PITTSBURGH - Fall in love with the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera's production of the warm and witty romantic comedy "The Student Prince," which runs through Sunday at the Benedum Center.
This classic American operetta has captured audiences for more than 85 years. Based on the play "Old Heidelberg" by Rudolf Bleichman, "The Student Prince" is the story of Prince Karl. Bored with royal life, the prince sets off to finish his studies and find a freedom far away from the mythical kingdom of Karlsberg. Surrounded by fellow students, he is swept away by the sights, the sounds and the sentimental song of Kathie, the innkeeper's daughter. Their friendship gives way to true love, but when news arrives that the king has died, Prince Karl must return home for his coronation and his wedding.
Will he honor an arranged marriage with a proper princess or abandon his kingdom for Kathie? The show's majestic score features the timeless "Golden Days," "Deep In My Heart" and the celebrated "Drinking Song."
"The Student Prince," an operetta with book and lyrics by Dorothy Donnelly and music by Sigmund Romberg, remains one of America's all-time musical theater classics.
The operetta came after a period of struggle with Romberg's producers, the Shubert brothers. Romberg fought a legal battle with the Shuberts over the content of the piece, emerging as the winner. "The Student Prince" went on to become one of his greatest and most lasting successes.
The musical opened on Broadway at the Jolson Theater on Dec. 2, 1924, and ran for 608 performances. The show was the most successful of Romberg's works and the longest-running Broadway show of the 1920s. After that, it toured extensively throughout the United States and entered the international repertoire. The stage work was revived twice on Broadway - once in the 1930s and again in the 1940s.
In 1954, MGM made a very popular film version of the musical, and New York City Opera began staging productions of it. This operetta is now a classic of the American theater, repeatedly revived. In recent years, the "The Student Prince" has been performed each summer at the Heidelberg Castle Festival. Tickets begin at $21.50 and are available at www.pittsburghCLO.org; by calling (412) 456-6666 or at the box office at Theater Square.