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Weill and Brecht Return Home to Santa Monica
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By Lookout Staff

July 6, 2016 -- Composer Kurt Weill and playwright Bertold Brecht, whose musicals featuring revenge, murder and broken hearts epitomized the Weimar-era in pre-Nazi Germany, both lived for a spell in Santa Monica.

So it is fitting that selections of their work will be staged by Tony award-winner Paul Sand this month at the bay city's Miles Playhouse, which was built in 1929 at the height of the duo's creative collaboration.

The show titled “Kurt Weill at the Cuttlefish Hotel,” which will run at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays from July 8 through 30, will mark the launch Sand's newly formed Santa Monica Public Theatre, event organizers said.

The show will feature the same cast that performed at its premiere on the Santa Monica Pier in December 2013, before moving to the Actors Gang Theatre in Culver City in 2015, organizers said.

Santa Monica, Sand said, is the perfect location to stage Weill and Brecht's compositions, which are often set in waterfront bars.

“I love the way this city has grown since I was a wet and sandy kid hitching rides on the back to the trams that traveled the boardwalk," Sand said. "Nicely enough, I live just off this same boardwalk. It’s nice to be back.”

“Kurt Weill at the Cuttlefish Hotel” showcases some of Weill’s best-known songs, including “Mack the Knife,” which was popularized worldwide by Luis Armstrong's 1953 jazz rendition, and “The Alabama Song” from “Mahagonny,” which was featured on The Doors first album.

Weill expert Michael Roth, who lives one block away from Brecht’s former house in Santa Monica, is the show's music director.

The new Santa Monica Public Theatre plans to "revive the old French horror plays from The Grand Guignol Theatre in Paris, an interesting spin on Noel Coward’s Private Lives, a story theatre format for a French literary classic, and a two-act drama with music that he has written. Called 'Possible Dangerous Side Effects,'" organizers said.

A Los Angeles native, Sand has had a long career in stage, film and television. He has performed with legendary mime Marcel Marceau’s company in Paris, danced with Judy Garland during a west coast tour and was a member of Chicago's Second City improv company.

He has appeared in dozens of television shows, including appearances on Mary Tyler Moore and Carol Burnett's hit shows, “Taxi,” St. Elsewhere,” “The X Files” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

“In the beginning I did everything in my career by instinct and intuition and had all these great adventures and met and worked with such amazing people,” Sand said. “Creating the Santa Monica Public Theatre feels like the right thing to do."

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