“The bad boy of musical theatre” closes its 24th season of adult, alternative musical theatre with one of the masterpieces of the art form, the darkly satiric THREEPENNY OPERA (which isn’t really an opera), running May 28-June 20, 2015.
The New Line cast includes Todd Schaefer as Capt. MacHeath; Zachary Allen Farmer as Mr. Peachum; Sarah Porter as Mrs. Peachum; Cherlynn Alvarez as Polly; Christopher “Zany” Clark as Tiger Brown; Christina Rios as Lucy Brown; Nikki Glenn as Jenny Diver; and Reynaldo Arceno, Brian Claussen, Kent Coffel, Jeremy Hyatt, Todd Micali, Kimi Short, Margeau Baue Steinau, Luke Steingruby, and Larissa White. Scott Miller directs, with music direction by Jeffery Richard Carter, scenic design by Rob Lippert, costume design by Sarah Porter, lighting design by Kenneth Zinkl, and sound design by Ben Rosemann.
New Line’s season closes with one of the comic masterpieces of the art form, Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s world-famous musical comedy, in the famous translation by Marc Blitzstein (The Cradle Will Rock).
This is the show that launched the pop standard, “Mack the Knife.” With its haunting jazz score, acid harmonies, biting lyrics, and questionable morals, this is the show that inspired Cabaret, Urinetown, Sweeney Todd, and so many other modern musicals. It’s an ironic morality tale about brutal paradoxes, about redemption for the irredeemable, about devotion to the undeserving, about criminal justice serving the unjust, and the poor dressing up to look poorer just so that the rich can get even richer.
Originally opening in Berlin in 1928, the show later became the first mega-hit off Broadway in the late 1950s, running over 2,600 performances. It’s now one of the most revived musicals around the world, having been translated into eighteen languages and performed more than 10,000 times.
The New York Post called the show “a distinguished and delightful work of art, striking, sardonic, original, humorous and always interesting.” The New York Times wrote in 1954, “You are not listening to shop-made jazz. You are listening to a master of his craft, saying in his score all sorts of things, with world weariness, compassion and despair.” Cue called it “sordid and beautiful.” The Chicago Sun-Times wrote of a 2008 production, “With Brecht’s cuttingly satirical look at the meaning of morality in a society populated by gangsters, beggars, prostitutes and corrupt cops, and Weill’s edgy, opera-meets-cabaret score, the show is all but irresistible.”
THE THREEPENNY OPERA runs May 28-June 20, 2015, on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, at 8:00 p.m., at the Washington University South Campus Theatre (formerly CBC High School), 6501 Clayton Road, just east of Big Bend. May 28 is a preview. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for students/seniors on Fridays and Saturdays; and $20 for adults and $15 for students/seniors on Thursdays. For other information, visit New Line Theatre’s full-service website at http://www.newlinetheatre.com . All programs are subject to change.www.newlinetheatre.com . All programs are subject to change.