Donmar Warehouse version.
The Donmar Warehouse is a 251 seat, not-for-profit theatre in Covent Garden, London, England. It first opened on 18 July 1977.http://en.wikipedia.org/...
Follow the link if you wish to know more: all I can say is the Donmar Warehouse repeatedly mounts the kinds of productions that make international news (and show up in NYC a year later, with critics drooling all over the place).
This is your soundtrack while you read: I promise it is worth your time. It is brilliant, and brutal:
Can't help wondering how much it influenced Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd.
Much more below the fleur-de-kos:
The Threepenny Opera is a musical by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill.
Bertolt Brecht (brɛkt; German: [ˈbɛɐ̯tɔlt ˈbʁɛçt] ( listen); born About this sound Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht (help·info); 10 February 1898 – 14 August 1956) was a German poet, playwright, theatre director, and Marxist.http://en.wikipedia.org/...
A theatre practitioner of the 20th century, Brecht made contributions to dramaturgy and theatrical production, the latter through the tours undertaken by the Berliner Ensemble – the post-war theatre company operated by Brecht and his wife, long-time collaborator and actress Helene Weigel.
Kurt Julian Weill (German: [vaɪl]; March 2, 1900 – April 3, 1950) was a German composer, active from the 1920s, and in his later years in the United States. He was a leading composer for the stage who was best known for his fruitful collaborations with Bertolt Brecht. With Brecht, he developed productions such as his best-known work The Threepenny Opera, which included the ballad "Mack the Knife". Weill held the ideal of writing music that served a socially useful purpose. He also wrote several works for the concert hall, as well as several Judaism-themed pieces.http://en.wikipedia.org/...
From the ever-helpful Wikipedia:
The Threepenny Opera (German: Die Dreigroschenoper) is a play with musical elements by German dramatist Bertolt Brecht and composer Kurt Weill, in collaboration with translator Elisabeth Hauptmann and set designer Caspar Neher. It was adapted from an 18th-century English ballad opera, John Gay's The Beggar's Opera, and offers a Socialist critique of the capitalist world. It opened on 31 August 1928 at Berlin's Theater am Schiffbauerdamm.http://en.wikipedia.org/...
By 1933, when Brecht and Weill were forced to leave Germany by Hitler's Machtergreifung, the play had been translated into 18 languages and performed more than 10,000 times on European stages. Songs from The Threepenny Opera have been widely covered and become standards, most notably "Die Moritat von Mackie Messer" ("The Ballad of Mack the Knife") and "Seeräuberjenny" ("Pirate Jenny").
No discussion of The Threepenny Opera would be complete without Ella Fitzgerald's iconic interpretation of its most famous song, "Mack the Knife":
but the problem is that Ella sings it as a celebration of Mack, whereas the musical is much darker, and Mack is clearly a villain, not a lovable scamp.
The synopsis is here:
Act 1Tell me that doesn't sound like Sondheim's Sweeney Todd:
The story begins in the shop of Jonathan Jeremiah Peachum, the boss of London's beggars, who outfits and trains the beggars in return for a slice of their takings from begging. In the first scene, the extent of Peachum's iniquity is immediately exposed. Filch, a new beggar, is obliged to bribe his way into the profession and agree to pay over to Peachum 50 percent of whatever he made; the previous day he had been severely beaten up for begging within the area of jurisdiction of Peachum's protection racket.
After finishing with the new man, Peachum becomes aware that his grown daughter Polly did not return home the previous night. Peachum, who sees his daughter as his own private property, concludes that she has become involved with Macheath. This does not suit Peachum at all, and he becomes determined to thwart this relationship and destroy Macheath.
The scene shifts to an empty stable where Macheath himself is preparing to marry Polly once his gang has stolen and brought all the necessary food and furnishings. No vows are exchanged, but Polly is satisfied, and everyone sits down to a banquet. Since none of the gang members can provide fitting entertainment, Polly gets up and sings "Seeräuberjenny", a revenge fantasy in which she is a scullery maid turning pirate queen to order the execution of her bosses and customers.
a revenge fantasy in which she is a scullery maid turning pirate queen to order the execution of her bosses and customersHe practically stole the mold! (lol)