Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


A Man Possessed

A visit with the composer who took over where Marc Blitzstein left off

Print Email

Leonard Lehrman never met Marc Blitzstein. Lehrman was still in high school in 1964 when the composer of The Cradle Will Rock and the original translator of Threepenny Opera (alas, not the version now on Broadway) died.

But when Lehrman was a music student at Harvard, the Blitzstein estate was looking for someone to finish an opera called “Idiots First,” based on a story by Bernard Malamud. Other composers—including Leonard Bernstein, a friend and onetime protégé of Blitzstein, had already said no. So Lehrman took a look at the score. He’s been channeling Marc Blitzstein ever since: completing unfinished works, putting on a traveling Blitzstein cabaret, and coming out recently with the 650-page Marc Blitzstein: A Bio-Bibliography.

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

You need to get upset! Simply letting the quota happen isnt acceptable. Generally this will allow you to take the inititive to make things happen.

I currently have read your article. It’s actually helpful. We will be able to benefit a great deal from the item. Fluent publishing style along with vivid words make us all readers enjoy reading. I might share ones opinions together with my good friends.

Many reasons why you are falling motivated by this document. The opinions were clearly defined and extremely persuasive. After reading your content, I learned considerably that is very useful to my foreseeable future life.

Many possibilities for falling in love with this posting. The viewpoints were good defined and very persuasive. After reading this great article, I learned a lot which is very helpful to my foreseeable future life.

This interview with me was on for a while.

Now it’s here on but the pdocast linked with it

is not the interview with me, but rather on a different subject entirely; cheese cake!
Leonard J. Lehrman


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

A Man Possessed

A visit with the composer who took over where Marc Blitzstein left off

More on Tablet:

How to Protect the Conversion Process

By Tzipi Sutin — My friend was recorded in a mikveh by a rabbi. Let’s ensure the end of this abuse of power.