Zorba was a 1968 musical version of Nikos Kazantzakis' novel, Zorba the Greek, which had already been made into a film. With a book by Joseph Stein, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and music by John Kander, the show was originally directed by Harold Prince, and featured a Greek-style chorus with a leader, originally played on Broadway by Lorraine Serabian. Chita played the part in the 1970 California production where the role created by Herschel Bernardi was played by John Raitt.

Zorba revolves around the relationship between the title character who is a philosophical rake, and a young pragmatist named Nikos who has inherited a defunct mine in the town where Zorba lives. Life-embracing Zorba is never defeated or bothered by life's tragedies and disappointments. He convinces young Nikos to reopen the mine, but then recklessly squanders the money Nikos has given him to purchase mine equipment. Nikos' love is murdered in a family vendetta, but Zorba continues to espouse his world view, in which the only way to enjoy life is to be accepting of whatever comes.

Song List

*Life Is
The First Time
*The Top Of The Hill
No Boom Boom
The Butterfly
Goodbye, Canavaro
Grandpapa (Zorba's Dance)
Only Love
*The Bend Of The Road
Entr'acte
Y'Assou
Why Can't I Speak
*The Crow
*Happy Birthday (Medley)
I Am Free
Life Is (Reprise)

* songs sung by Chita

 

 


The program for the San Francisco Civic Light Opera production of Zorba, starring Chita as the Leader

 


Chita watching over the action as the Leader in the San Francisco Civic Light Opera production of Zorba