Nov. 1, 2010
Webster University's Conservatory of Theatre Arts Presents "The Threepenny Opera"
Webster University's Conservatory of Theatre Arts presents "The Threepenny Opera," book and lyrics by Bertolt Brecht, music by Kurt Weill and English adaptation by Marc Blitzstein. The production will run from Nov. 17-21 in the Browning Theatre of Webster's Loretto-Hilton Center, 130 Edgar Road. Curtain time is 8 p.m., except Sunday, which will have a 2 p.m. matinee only. Admission is $12 for the general public and $6 for senior adults and students. For ticket reservations, please call the Fine Arts Hotline at 968-7128.
Brecht and Weill turned to John Gay's 18th-century "The Beggar's Opera" to fashion this savage, biting commentary on bourgeois capitalism and modern morality, while incorporating the sound of 1920s Berlin dance bands and cabaret. Set in a seedy section of Victorian London, the story revolves around a predatory outlaw known as Mack the Knife who presides over an unprincipled but colorful world of thieves, murderers, beggars, prostitutes and corrupt officials. He secretly marries the daughter of Soho's underworld boss, but is soon betrayed by his sinister in-laws and sent to prison. After being freed by the police chief's daughter, he is again betrayed by a prostitute and sentenced to death. At the final hour he manages a reprieve from Queen Victoria herself, thus providing a menacing finale of ferocious irony.
Weill's acid harmonies and Brecht's biting texts created a revolutionary new musical theater that inspired such subsequent hits as Cabaret, Chicago, and Urinetown. The show's opening number, "Mack the Knife," became one of the most popular songs of the century.
"The Threepenny Opera" is directed by visiting director Tim Ocel.