In the Dutchess County Spotlight
"The Threepenny Opera"
Brecht & Weill's classic adaptation of The Beggar's Opera
Colorful criminals, piercing social satire and a brilliant musical score come together in a story as relevant today as it was when it first opened.
The Threepenny Opera is not an opera; the ironic title is a reaction to the popularity of Wagnerian opera in 1920s Germany. The Threepenny Opera is a classic musical play about corruption, crony capitalism, and also raging hormones! Set in early 19th century London on the eve of Queen Victoria's inauguration, it was meant to criticize the rise of fascism and protest the corruption of the powerful,. With book and lyrics by Bertolt Brecht and music by Kurt Weill, it's funny and playful, yet very serious.
Opening with the classic The Ballad of Mack the Knife, the show's characters are thieves, murderers, prostitutes, beggars and swindlers, all operating in London's seamier side. This has everything you'd want in a musical; great music and dance, smart humor, pretty girls, rakish men, and maybe even a surprise ending. The ridicule of the political establishment and human faults comes across in the classic cabaret-style songs as well as the dialogue. These songs and sharp conversations caused the play to be banned in pre-WW II Germany. As a result, Brecht and Weill had to leave their native land before the war.
The Brecht and Weill's adaptation of John Gay's The Beggar's Opera received the Obie Award for best musical; the English translation is by Marc Blitzstein. The production is directed and choreographed by Laurie Sepe Marder, with musical direction by Paul and JoAnne Schubert. Set and lighting design is by Andy Weintraub.
Performances are 8pm on Fridays & Saturdays, and at 3pm on Sundays.
Tickets are $26; and $24 for seniors. To make your reservations, call The CENTER's box office at (845) 876-3080 or visit www.centerforperformingarts.org
The CENTER, a non-profit arts and education organization, is located at 661 Route 308, three miles east of the village center in Rhinebeck.