Doyle to Direct LuPone and McDonald in Mahagonny

John Doyle, the acclaimed director of the Broadway revival of Sweeney Todd, will direct a production of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's opera The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny the L.A. Opera in 2007.

John Doyle
John Doyle (Photo by Aubrey Reuben)

As first reported by on Nov. 14, 2005, Tony Award winners Patti LuPone and Audra McDonald, who most recently shared the stage in the Ravinia Festival's production of Anyone Can Whistle, will reteam for The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. Opening night is Feb. 10, 2007.

The opera, which features the classic tune "Moon of Alabama," would feature LuPone as Mrs. Begbick, a madame, and McDonald as Jenny, a prostitute.

The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny was originally presented in Leipzig in 1930. In 1931 Lotte Lenya, Weill's wife, starred in a production in Germany. The opera was subsequently banned by the Nazis and did not play Germany again until the 1950's.

The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, according to the Kurt Weill Foundation, "begins with three criminals on the run from the law. They decide to found a city where people can do anything as long as they have money. Anything goes in Mahagonny — drinking, gambling, sex — and the town is soon populated by various kinds of hedonists. Two characters, Jenny, a prostitute, and Jimmy, a lumberjack, become lovers. . ."

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