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20 April 2006

big goddam 4/20 treat: Brecht & Weill's Threepenny Opera / Dreigroschenoper opens in NYC!

at Studio 54, New York

Alan Cumming
Jim Dale
Ana Gasteyer
Cyndi Lauper
Nellie McKay


The Threepenny Opera
(Die Dreigroschenoper)

by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill
New Translation by Wallace Shawn
Directed by Scott Elliott


March 24 - June 18, 2006
Tuesday - Saturday Evenings at 8pm
Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday Matinees at 2pm
Special Sunday Evening on March 26, 2006 at 7:30PM
Special 7:00PM Early Curtain performances from May 16- May 26, 2006.
Opening Night is scheduled for Thursday, April 20, 2006


The First Production:

Berlin, 1928, Theater am Schiffbauerdamm
Director: Erich Engel
Conductor: Theo Mackeben

Harald Paulsen (Mack)
Roma Bahn (Polly)
Erich Ponto (Mr. Peachum)
Rosa Valetti (Mrs. Peachum)
Lotte Lenya (Jenny)

Length of run: over 2 years

No original cast recording. Lotte Lenya, Erich Ponto, and Kurt Gerron from the original cast, along with several other singers, recorded about half of the score in December 1930 (available on several CD reissues, including Telefunken Legacy 0927 42663 2).

One of the greatest rags-to-riches stories in the history of theater. After a disastrous rehearsal period, everyone involved thought the show was doomed. Producer Ernst Josef Aufricht had already started trying to find another play for his theater the day before Threepenny opened. But the audiences couldn't get enough, and within a week the show was the talk of Berlin. Count Harry Kessler noted, "It is the show of the season, always sold out." Threepenny-fever swept Berlin-one entrepreneur went so far as to open a club (the Dreigroschenkeller) named after the show-Germany, and Europe. The show saw an amazing 130 productions on the Continent over the next four years.

(The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music)


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