Kurt Weill is remembered for his bitter, cynical songs, but it's important to note he only wrote the music; the words always came from a lyricist. And sure, his writing partner Bertolt Brecht had a palpable cynicism, but Ogden Nash was a fun guy, and Ira Gershwin wrote gold standard, Golden Age musical-type songs -- and Weill composed memorable music with all of those men. Soprano Elise LaBarge celebrates the full range Weill's music in the Art After 5 performance, Kurt Weill's Berlin, Paris and New York. Accompanied by Scott Schoonover (piano) and Marc Thayer (violin), LaBarge lends her enchantingly clear voice and excellent German (and French, too) diction to some of Weill's jazziest melodies, from the terrifying "Pirate Jenny" to the coquettish "Im A Stranger Here Myself." The performance begins at 7 p.m. at the Saint Louis Art Museum in Forest Park (314-721-0076 or www.slam.org), and admission is free.
Fri., Sept. 23, 2011