Mack Is Back: Threepenny Opera Begins Philly Run Sept. 30

By Kenneth Jones
September 30, 2010

Philadelphia's Arden Theatre Company presents Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's The Threepenny Opera Sept. 30-Nov. 7, borrowing the recent Donmar Warehouse translation by Robert McDonald and Jeremy Sams.



Performances play Arden's F. Otto Haas Stage. Opening night is Oct. 6.

"These newly translated lyrics are the most true to Brecht's original version, highlighting the imagery and poetry of the songs," Terrence J. Nolen, the Arden's producing artistic director, said in a statement. "While the lyrics engage the audience, asking them to think, the score is certainly one of the most beautiful and complex in 20th century musical theatre."

Nolen directs a cast that includes Scott Greer as Peachum, Mary Martello as his wife Mrs. Peachum, Victoria Frings as their daughter Polly, Anthony Lawton as police chief Tiger Brown, Liz Filios as his daughter Lucy, Terence Archie as Macheath, Rachel Wallace as Jenny, with Doug Hara, Sean Lally, Darren Michael Hengst, Bi Jean Ngo, Clare O'Malley and Amanda Schoonover, Jamal Lee Harris and Brianna Horne.

The Threepenny Opera, based on John Gay's The Beggar's Opera, is from a German translation by Elizabeth Hauptmann. The adaptation and lyrics are by Brecht, with music by Weill.

In it, according to Arden, "Mack the Knife is on the prowl through London's most virtuous whores and upstanding thieves in this raucous, outrageous, and salacious musical. Conspire with some of Philadelphia's favorite actors as they stab, scheme and steal their way into Brecht's saucy script and Weill's smoky score."

The creative team includes set designer Tom Gleeson, lighting designer Thom Weaver, costume designer Rosemarie E. McKelvey, sound and video designer Jorge Cousineau.

Leading the ten-member orchestra is musical director Eric Ebbenga, who has received multiple Barrymore Awards and nominations for his work at the Arden.

For more information, visit www.ardentheatre.org.