Lost in the Stars

Musical tragedy in two acts after Alan Paton's novel Cry, the Beloved Country.
Book and lyrics by Maxwell Anderson.

Song List
Performance Information
Principal Productions

Sketch of backdrop for Broadway production, 1949.


Stephen Kumalo, a black umfundisi (minister), lives in rural South Africa; his children have moved to Johannesburg. His brother sends him a letter which suggests that his son Absalom is in trouble. Kumalo goes to Johannesburg and learns, after some investigating, Absalom is accused of murdering a white man; not just any white man, but one who advocated greater freedom for black South Africans. Absalom confesses and is sentenced to death, leaving his pregnant wife behind. Reverend Kumalo meets with the father of the murder victim and is able to effect a reconciliation at the end of the play.

Song list
   1. The hills of Ixopo
   2. Thousands of miles
   3. Train to Johannesburg
   4. Little tin god
   5. The search
   6. Little gray house
   7. Who'll buy?
   8. Trouble man
   9. Murder in Parkwold
 10. Fear
 11. Lost in the stars
 12. The wild justice
 13. O Tixo, Tixo, help me
 14. Stay well
 15. Cry, the beloved country
 16. Big mole
 17. A bird of passage
 18. Four o'clock


Performance Information

Cast: singing roles -- Leader (tenor or high baritone), Stephen Kumalo (baritone), Linda (singer-dancer), Irina (mezzo-soprano), Alex (boy soprano), white and black choruses.
speaking and other roles -- Grace Kumalo, Absalom Kumalo, John Kumalo, Matthew Kumalo, James Jarvis, Arthur Jarvis, Edward Jones, judge, guard, policeman, townspeople, villagers.
Orchestra: Reed 1 (cl, alto sax, fl), Reed 2 (cl, ten. sax, ob, Eng hn), Reed 3 (cl, bass cl, alto sax); tpt; piano (accordion), harp, timp & perc; 2 viola, 2 cello, bass.
Duration: full evening, 60 minutes music

Principal productions

LP Decca DL 79120
CD MCA 10302
CD Decca 10402

Original Broadway Cast 1949
Todd Duncan, Herbert Coleman, Sheila Guyse, Inez Matthews, 
Julian Mayfield, Frank Roane, Guy Spaull
Maurice Levine, cond.
Hills of Ixopo
Thousands of Miles
Train to Johannesburg / Reprise: Thousands of Miles / The Search
Little Gray House
Who'll Buy / Trouble Man
Murder in Parkwold / Fear
Lost in the Stars
O Tixo, Tixo, Help Me
Stay Well
Cry, the Beloved Country
Big Mole / Chapel Scene
Bird of Passage / Reprise: Thousands of Miles
LP Word CS-5117   Mississippi Cast 1968
Eugene Holmes 
Robert Honeysucker 
Gladys Scott 
MusicMasters Classics CD

Studio Cast 1992
Arthur Woodley, Gregory Hopkins, Cynthia Clarey, Carol Woods, 
Jamal Howard, Reginald Pindell, Richard Vogt
Orchestra of St. Luke's, 
Concert Chorale of New York, 
Julius Rudel, cond.


Cry, the Beloved Country

Concert suite from Lost in the Stars arranged by David Drew (1988)
for mezzo-soprano, tenor, white and black choruses, SATB, and instrumental ensemble.

Song list

The Land
The Hills of Ixopo
Train to Johannesburg
The City
Who'll Buy
Murder in Parkwold
Trouble Man

The Trial
Cry, the Beloved Country

The Mines
Big Mole
The Judgement
The Wild Justice
Vigil and Hymn -- A Bird of Passage
Four O'Clock

Performance Information

Orchestra: Reed 1 (cl, alto sax, fl), Reed 2 (cl, ten. sax, ob, Eng hn,) Reed 3 (cl, bass cl, alto sax); 1 tpt; piano (accordion) harp, timp and perc; 2 viola, 2 cello, 1 bass.
Duration: 35 minutes of music
First performance: October 9, 1988, New York, Carnegie Hall, Milagro Vargas, Damon Evans, vocalists, American Composers' Orchestra, Dennis Russell Davies, cond.