Compact Discoveries®
a series of one-hour radio programs produced, written, hosted, and edited
by Fred Flaxman

©2012 by Fred Flaxman

Program 196
"Yours, Anne"

MUSIC: Michael Cohen/Enid Futterman: “I Remember” from Yours, Anne performed by the original off-Broadway cast [Jay Productions CDJAY 1391, Track 15] [3:14]

I remember going to an off-Broadway dramatic musical in 1985 at Playhouse 91 in Manhattan called Yours, Anne. And I remember what a strange idea I thought it was to base a musical on The Diary of Anne Frank. But that was because the word “musical” was widely understood as a shortened form of “musical comedy,” and there was certainly nothing funny about the tragic story of a Jewish teenager hiding from the Nazis with her family in World War II. Just as the war was about to end, Anne Frank and her sister were transferred to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where they both died of typhus in March 1945.

Yours, Anne was, of course, clearly not a musical comedy. It was a musical drama, a dramatic musical, a music drama, music theater -- anything but a musical comedy. And, in fact, when Anne’s father, Otto Frank, the only surviving member of Anne’s immediate family, heard music from the proposed production in 1975, he gave his permission less than 20 minutes after he heard the last note.

According to the program notes by Bert Fink that accompany this Jay compact disc recording, when Otto Frank died five years later, a number of songs from Yours, Anne were sung at a memorial service in New York City. And five years after that -- on October 10, 1985 -- Yours, Anne premiered with a cast of eight and a story line that followed the diary’s own narrative. The music was by Michael Cohen. The libretto by Enid Futterman. It was produced by my brother, John Flaxman, and directed by Arthur Masella, with Trini Alvarado in the title role.

Stay with me for the rest of this hour and we’ll listen together to the entire original cast album. My name is Fred Flaxman, and this is Compact Discoveries.

In addition to Trini Alvarado as Anne Frank, the original cast of Yours, Anne includes Betty Aberlin as Mrs. Van Daan, David Cady as Peter Van Daan, Merwin Goldsmith as Mr. Van Daan, George Guidall as Mr. Frank, Hal Robinson as Mr. Dussel, Ann Talman as Margot Frank, and Dana Zeller-Alexis as Mrs. Frank.

Anne Frank called her diary “Kitty,” and she addressed each entry as she would writing a letter to a good friend, “Dear Kitty.” She concluded each entry as she would sign a letter: “Yours, Anne.” In that way she created a narrative that would become her legacy: one of the world’s most widely-read books, one that has become the basis for several plays and films, and one which has made her internationally famous posthumously.

Act One: Yours, Anne.

MUSIC: Michael Cohen/Enid Futterman: “Dear Kitty, I am 13 years old” from Yours, Anne performed by the original off-Broadway cast [Jay Productions CDJAY 1391, Track 1] [3:42]

MUSIC: Michael Cohen/Enid Futterman: “Schlaf” from Yours, Anne performed by the original off-Broadway cast [Jay Productions CDJAY 1391, Track 2] [1:14]

MUSIC: Michael Cohen/Enid Futterman: “She Doesn’t Understand Me” from Yours, Anne performed by the original off-Broadway cast [Jay Productions CDJAY 1391, Track 3] [2:34]

MUSIC: Michael Cohen/Enid Futterman: “Dear Kitty, In the night” from Yours, Anne performed by the original off-Broadway cast [Jay Productions CDJAY 1391, Track 4] [0:42]

MUSIC: Michael Cohen/Enid Futterman: “They Don’t Have To” from Yours, Anne performed by the original off-Broadway cast [Jay Productions CDJAY 1391, Track 5] [1:43]

MUSIC: Michael Cohen/Enid Futterman: “Hollywood” from Yours, Anne performed by the original off-Broadway cast [Jay Productions CDJAY 1391, Track 6] [2:56]

MUSIC: Michael Cohen/Enid Futterman: “Dear Kitty, I have a nicer side” from Yours, Anne performed by the original off-Broadway cast [Jay Productions CDJAY 1391, Track 7] [1:16]

MUSIC: Michael Cohen/Enid Futterman: “We Live with Fear” from Yours, Anne performed by the original off-Broadway cast [Jay Productions CDJAY 1391, Track 8] [2:55]

MUSIC: Michael Cohen/Enid Futterman: “A Writer” from Yours, Anne performed by the original off-Broadway cast [Jay Productions CDJAY 1391, Track 9] [3:30]

MUSIC: Michael Cohen/Enid Futterman: “I’m Not a Jew” from Yours, Anne performed by the original off-Broadway cast [Jay Productions CDJAY 1391, Track 10] [2:21]

MUSIC: Michael Cohen/Enid Futterman: “The First Chanukah Night” from Yours, Anne performed by the original off-Broadway cast [Jay Productions CDJAY 1391, Track 11] [1:58]

So ends Act One of the original cast recording of Yours, Anne, music by Michael Cohen; libretto by Enid Futterman. The musicians are Al Rogers, violins; Anne Callahan, cello; Bob Keller, flute and clarinet; Ann Yarborough, French horn; Dan Stickland, synthesizer and celeste; and Mark Lipman, piano.

Trini Alvarado plays Anne Frank, Betty Aberlin is Mrs. Van Daan, David Cady plays Peter Van Daan, Merwin Goldsmith is Mr. Van Daan, George Guidall is Mr. Frank, Hal Robinson is Mr. Dussel, Ann Talman plays Margot Frank, and Dana Zeller-Alexis plays Mrs. Frank.

You are listening to “Yours, Anne” on this hour of Compact Discoveries. I’m your guide, Fred Flaxman.

[optional one-minute break not included in the total timing]

The second act of Yours, Anne begins on New Year’s Day, 1944. Anne begins her first entry of the year by writing that nothing has changed and that they are still in hiding, still waiting, still frightened.

Towards the end of the act Peter picks up news of D-Day on the BBC. Anne is convinced it means freedom, but Holland won’t be liberated until October, and on the morning of August 4, 1944, the eight occupants of the hide-out are arrested by the Gestapo, and the music drama concludes with “Dear Kitty, I still believe.”

Yours, Anne, Act Two.

MUSIC: Michael Cohen/Enid Futterman: “Dear Kitty, It’s a new year/We’re Here” from Yours, Anne performed by the original off-Broadway cast [Jay Productions CDJAY 1391, Track 12] [3:14]

MUSIC: Michael Cohen/Enid Futterman: “My Wife” from Yours, Anne performed by the original off-Broadway cast [Jay Productions CDJAY 1391, Track 13] [3:12]

MUSIC: Michael Cohen/Enid Futterman: “Dear Kitty, I am longing” from Yours, Anne performed by the original off-Broadway cast [Jay Productions CDJAY 1391, Track 14] [1:22]

MUSIC: Michael Cohen/Enid Futterman: “I Remember” from Yours, Anne performed by the original off-Broadway cast [Jay Productions CDJAY 1391, Track 15] [3:14]

MUSIC: Michael Cohen/Enid Futterman: “I Think Myself Out” from Yours, Anne performed by the original off-Broadway cast [Jay Productions CDJAY 1391, Track 16] [2:18]

MUSIC: Michael Cohen/Enid Futterman: “Nightmare” from Yours, Anne performed by the original off-Broadway cast [Jay Productions CDJAY 1391, Track 17] [2:35]

MUSIC: Michael Cohen/Enid Futterman: “For the Children” from Yours, Anne performed by the original off-Broadway cast [Jay Productions CDJAY 1391, Track 18] [1:58]

MUSIC: Michael Cohen/Enid Futterman: “Something to Get Up For” from Yours, Anne performed by the original off-Broadway cast [Jay Productions CDJAY 1391, Track 19] [2:01]

MUSIC: Michael Cohen/Enid Futterman: “When We Are Free” from Yours, Anne performed by the original off-Broadway cast [Jay Productions CDJAY 1391, Track 20] [2:02]

MUSIC: Michael Cohen/Enid Futterman: “Dear Kitty, I Still Believe” from Yours, Anne performed by the original off-Broadway cast [Jay Productions CDJAY 1391, Track 21] [2:44]

And that concludes Act Two of “Yours, Anne” on this hour of Compact Discoveries. My thanks to Michael Cohen for writing this beautiful music and for producing the recording, to Enid Futterman for the moving libretto, and to the actor/singers and musicians who brought this important story to life once again in a different form from Anne Frank’s original diary, to John Yap for remastering the original analog recording for compact disc, James Stenborg for the orchestrations, Dan Strickland for musical direction, to the producer, John Flaxman, and the director, Arthur Masella. Thanks, most of all, posthumously, unfortunately, to Anne Frank for writing her inspirational diary and for still believing, in spite of everything, that people are good at heart.

I’ll close out this hour with mezzo-soprano Laura Tucker singing “I Remember” from the first recording of the 1995 composition for voice, cello, flute, and harp by composer Michael Cohen, from the Newport Classic recording. This is Fred Flaxman, thanking you for listening.

MUSIC: Michael Cohen: “I Remember” from I Remember, sung by Laura Tucker, accompanied by Lisa Hansen, flute; Semyon Fridman, cello; and Susan Jolles, harp. [Newport Classic NPD 85656, track 12]

ANNOUNCER (Steve Jencks): Compact Discoveries is made possible in part by the financial support of Isabel and Marvin Leibowitz, and an anonymous donor from Palm Beach, Florida. And by contributions to local public radio stations by listeners like you. Thank you. [0:13]

Total Program Timing: 58:00