The fresh (as in hip hop infused) interpretation of The Threepenny Opera, currently in residence at the Stamford Center for the Performing Arts Palace Theatre, closes May 13. Performances began May 6 with Mike Harvey as the Ballad Singer and Jekyll & Hyde's Rob Evan as MacHeath.
Harvey, who replaced the originally announced Cee-Lo, has supported such bands and singers as Steely Dan, Korn, Al Jarreau, Roberta Flack and Bette Midler as a backing vocalist. He just came off tour with Grammy Award winner, Seal. Threepenny Opera marks Harvey's theatrical debut.
Evan starred as the title role in Frank Wildhorn's Jekyll & Hyde. Other credits include Jean Valjean in the national tour of Les Miserables and productions of Hot Mikado, Hello, Dolly!, Jesus Christ Superstar and Brigadoon.
Joining them are Sally Wilfert (Polly Peachum), M. Kathryn Quinlan (Jenny) and Lynn Eldredge (Mrs. Peachum).
Paula Suozzi directs. A member of the Metropolitan Opera's directing staff and associate artistic director Milwaukee's Skylight Opera Theatre, her credits include new productions of The Marriage of Figaro, Don Pasquale, Guys and Dolls, The Turn of the Screw and Mass Appeal. A landmark when it opened in 1928, Threepenny Opera boasts lyrics by Bertolt Brecht and music by Kurt Weill. The jazz-flecked yarn based on John Gay's The Beggar's Opera (1728), weaves a tale of lusty passion and political corruption and features classic songs such as "The Ballad of Mack the Knife," "Pirate Jenny," "Soldiers' Song," and "Tango Ballad."
Tickets are $60-$25. The Palace Theatre is located at 61 Atlantic Street. For tickets, call (203) 325-4466. The Stamford Center for the Arts is located at http://www.onlyatsca.com.
-- By Christine Ehren