The Merry Widow 101
A Century of Romance
Compiled by John Kenrick
Franz Lehar's Die Lustige Witwe premiered in Vienna in 1905. Over a century later, The Merry Widow is still going strong, with productions taking place in various languages all around the world. The Internet has little coverage of this cultural landmark, so once again, Musicals101 is happy to fill the gap with this collection of essays, research resources, and photos from John Kenrick's archive.
Bordman, Gerald. American Operetta. New York: Oxford University Press, 1981. A fine look at the beginnings of the musical in America. Includes detailed discussion of The Merry Widow's first Broadway production in 1907.
Ganzl, Kurt. The Encyclopedia of Musical Theatre (3 Volumes). New York: Schirmer Books, 2001. Only serous research libraries carry this hefty set listing thousands of shows and individuals. There are lengthy and informative entries on Die Lustige Witwe, its authors, and noteworthy producers and performers associated with the piece.
Grun, Bernard. Gold and Silver: The Life and Times of Franz Lehar. New York: David McKay Co., 1970. Charming and informative, this book includes extensive coverage of The Merry Widow, as well as a refreshing assessment of Lehar's controversial final years.
Henderson, Mary C. The New Amsterdam: The Biography of a Broadway Theatre. New York: Roundtable-Hyperion, 1997. The jewel in Broadway's theatrical crown was the Widow's first home in America. A gorgeous volume.
Traubner, Richard. Operetta: A Theatrical History. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1983 The ultimate love letter to operetta, with superb scholarship throughout. A new paperback edition appeared in 2003.