Bertolt Brecht - Happy End

The musical shows us the corrupt world of 1919. The story involves the world of gangsters, the police, and the members of the Salvation Army who all claim rights to the loot, the money the gang robbed from the bank. And yet the story also revolves around love between the Lieutenant of the Salvation Army, Lillian Holiday, and the Chicago’s most hardened criminal, Bill Cracker. A very happy end indeed!

The passage comes from Act One.

Bill’s Beer Hall

. The Gangsters are sitting on the stools at the bar and drinking whiskey. There is the grave REVEREND who speaks in a sepulchral voice, the inventive PROFESSOR who is always busy working on some clever device, the slow-witted BABY FACE, the con man SAM, and the composed Japanese NAKAMURA who speaks broken English. MIRIAM, the pretty girl behind the bar who is in love with BILL, serves them drinks. The FLY, that is only briefly mentioned here, is an old lady, the leader of the gang who plans their robberies. The rebellious BILL CRACKER is the cleverest of the group and the only one who does not comply with the FLY’S orders. The Gangsters are afraid of him and thus hold him in deep respect, or at least pretend to do so when BILL is nearby. His is also the impressive collection of the victims’ hats hanging on the hat rack behind the bar.

In order to make the short scene even more interesting we can have ‘Gorilla’ Baxley’s robbery in the background. When BABY FACE is reading the article about the crime, Baxley, who is disguised as a bride, can be robbing the train.
Instead of the hat, Bill may hang the bridal veil on the rack. It will clearly indicate it was Baxley’s.

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