In 1938, composer Kurt Weill (recently moved to New York after escaping from Nazi Germany) joined forces with American playwright, author, poet, journalist and lyricist Maxwell Anderson. Together, they wrote a show that is part romantic comedy and part political satire. Washington Irving’s Knickerbocker Stories was the basis of the story of the last Dutch Governor of New Amsterdam and his grab for power (a thinly disguised comment on FDR, whom Anderson despised), and the love story of Tina and Brom.
Knickerbocker Holiday hasn’t been fully recorded until now (a few recordings of Walter Huston have survived). September Song has been recorded by just about everyone from Frank Sinatra to James Brown to Ronnie Drew and is considered a pop standard. This new recording of the show was made in January of this year, with the Collegiate Chorale and the American Symphony Orchestra. Victor Garber, Kelli O’Hara, David Garrison and Ben Davis play the leading roles.