Lost in the Stars is a far from perfect musical, but its strengths are such that most viewers willingly overlook its flaws. Criticized by many for presenting a view of apartheid that they see as somewhat patronizing (a charge that applies equally to the book upon which the musical is based), the larger problem with Stars is that Maxwell Anderson and Alfred Hayes' screenplay is often too earnest and polemical. Still, the writers have created a basic human situation that is compelling and engrossing, and this more often triumphs over the occasional didacticism. Most importantly, Stars benefits from a glorious, transcendent Kurt Weill score that includes the haunting and overwhelming title song and the tortured "Cry the Beloved Country," as well as the beautiful "Trouble Man." Director Daniel Mann's work is a tad unimaginative, especially given the material, but he handles his cast very well. Brock Peters scores impressively as the minister, torn between his God and his son, and a young Melba Moore does extremely well as Irina. Though not as cinematic as one might wish, Stars is undeniably powerful.
by Craig Butler review