Martin Is Mack: Starry Threepenny Opera Begins at Williamstown June 25.

News   Martin Is Mack: Starry Threepenny Opera Begins at Williamstown June 25. The ambitious Williamstown Theatre Festival production of Brecht and Weill's Threepenny Opera, which stars Jesse L. Martin as Mack the Knife, as well a host of theatre stars, begins its Main Stage run on June 25. Peter Hunt directs.
Jesse L. Martin
Jesse L. Martin (Photo by Paul Drinkwater (NBC))

The women surrounding Martin's Mack include three Tony Award winners, Karen Ziemba, Randy Graff, and Betty Buckley, and one Tony nominee, Melissa Errico. Also in the talent-laden cast are Jack Willis, Jack Noseworthy, John Ellison Conlee and Sarah Knowlton.

The Williamstown staging runs June 25-July 6. The cast and orchestra of Threepenny Opera will number 60; the score includes "Wedding Song," "Pirate Jenny," "Army Song," "Love Song," "Ballad of the Easy Life," "Barbara Song," "Jealousy Duet," "Solomon Song," "Useless Song" and "The Ballad of Mack the Knife."

Betty Buckley is the Broadway veteran of such shows as Cats, Carrie, The Mystery of Edwin Drood and The Triumph of Love. She recently starred in the Off-Broadway William Finn revue Elegies. Errico won a Tony nomination for her brief fall 2002 turn in Amour. It was her first nomination, but not her first starring Broadway role; My Fair Lady and High Society preceded it.

Karen Ziemba won a Tony Award portraying the Wife in Susan Stroman's Contact. She has also starred on Broadway in Chicago, Steel Pier, Crazy for You and 42nd Street, and her Off-Broadway work includes a Drama Desk Award-winning performance in And the World Goes 'Round. Randy Graff received a Tony Award for her performance in the Cy Coleman musical City of Angels and a Tony nomination for her work in A Class Act. Her other Broadway credits include roles in Grease, Saravà, Les Misérables, Falsettos, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Moon Over Buffalo and High Society.

Willis, who starred on Broadway in The Old Neighborhood, will be Tiger Brown. Noseworthy, the subject of John Lithgow's wrath in Sweet Smell of Success, is Crook-Finger Jake. Conlee, a Tony-nominated star of The Full Monty, will play Walt Dreary. And Sarah Knowlton, of Broadway's One the Town, is Dolly. A full cast list (including more beggars than posh Williamstown has seen in a century) follows:

Laurent Giroux: Street Singer
David Schramm: Mr. J.J. Peachum
Randy Graff: Mrs. Peachum
William Duell: Filch
Melissa Errico: Polly Peachum
Jesse L. Martin : Macheath
Betty Buckley: Jenny
Stephen Gabis: Rev. Kimball
Jack Willis: Tiger Brown
Kenneth Garner: Smith
Karen Ziemba: Lucy Brown
Jim Stanek: Ready-Money Matt
Jack Noseworthy: Crook-Finger Jake
Julio Monge: Bob the Saw
John Ellison Conlee: Walt Dreary
Kathy McCafferty: Betty
Sarah Knowlton : Dolly
Rachel Siegel: Molly
Kelly Brady : Coaxer
James McMenamin : Constable 1
Frank Faucette: Constable 2
Michael Crane: Beggar
Matthew Bailey: Beggar
Nikki Berger: Beggar
Stefani Cvijectic:Beggar
Bianca La Verne Jones: Beggar
Nancy McNulty: Beggar
Gus Danowski: Beggar
John Forest: Beggar
Claire Turner French: Beggar
Charlie Hudson III: Beggar
Abby Huston: Beggar
Ana Isabel Mercado: Beggar
Susan Myhr: Beggar
Jacquelyn Marie Phillips: Beggar
Godfrey Plata : Beggar
Amina Robinson : Beggar
Jonathan Randell Silver: Beggar
Scott Sweat: Beggar
Nick Thomas : Beggar
Baron Vaughn : Beggar
Audrey Lynn Weston : Beggar

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Williamstown announced this Threepenny Opera weeks before the Roundabout Theatre Company decided to book a Scott Elliott-directed version of the musical for its 2003-04 season—though Roundabout production are typically developed years in advance. No casting has been announced for the Broadway mounting.

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In a scheduling change, the WTF 2003 season will have one less premiere. Berkshire Village Idiot, a new solo show written and performed by Michael Isaac Connor, will replace the previously announced The Lake by Frank D. Gilroy. The reason given was scheduling conflicts. Barry Edelstein will direct Idiot, which runs July 30-Aug. 10.

Only mail-order ticket requests will be accepted for Williamstown offerings before the box office opens June 13. For information and a brochure, call (413) 597-3399.

The schedule, at a glance, runs as follows:

Main Stage:
Threepenny Opera, June 25-July 6
Landscape of the Body, July 9-20
Under Milk Wood, July 23-Aug. 3
Travesties, Aug. 6-17
An Enemy of the People, Aug. 20-24

Nikos Stage:
Big Bill, running July 2-13
Mother of Invention, July 16-27
Berkshire Village Idiot, July 30-Aug. 10
The Chekhov Cycle, Aug. 12-17