The Race to Urga

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The Race to Urga
MusicLeonard Bernstein
LyricsStephen Sondheim
BookJohn Guare
BasisBertolt Brecht's play
The Exception and the Rule

The Race to Urga is a musical theatre play, started in 1968 as an adaptation of the Bertolt Brecht play The Exception and the Rule, with the project soon renamed to A Pray by Blecht. The theme of Brecht's play was the exploitation of capitalism of the working class in the 1930s.

Jerome Robbins asked John Guare to write the adaptation. Leonard Bernstein was to compose the music,[1] with Stephen Sondheim intending to write the lyrics. The musical was announced for a production at Lincoln Center for January 1969, but during cast auditions Robbins left the production and it was not produced.[2]

The show was never completed, but in April–May 1987 a workshop production was presented at the Mitzi Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center. Direction and choreography were by Jerome Robbins.[3][4]

There is no known recording of this show, although there was a demonstration recording done in 1968.[5]


Song list (Workshop)[edit]


  • Prologue Marches
  • Intro / In Seven Days Flat
  • You're In Hann
  • The Secret
  • The Suspicion Song
  • Coolie's Dilemma (lyrics by Jerry Leiber)
  • Doors to Urga
  • Get Your Ass In There
  • Coolie's Prayer
  • Number One
  • The Zorba's Dance


  1. ^ a b The Exception and the Rule listing, retrieved December 9, 2009
  2. ^ Long, Robert. "Broadway, The Golden Years: Jerome Robbins And The Great Choreographer-Directors : 1940 To The Present" (2003). Continuum International Publishing Group. ISBN 0-8264-1462-1, pp 133-134
  3. ^ Vaill, Amanda "Somewhere: The Life Of Jerome Robbins" (2006), p. 501, retrieved December 9, 2009
  4. ^ Leonard Bernsten Timeline, 1987, retrieved December 9, 2009
  5. ^ Exception and The Rule Demo, retrieved December 9, 2009

External links[edit]