Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, with LuPone and McDonald, Begins Feb. 10

News   Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, with LuPone and McDonald, Begins Feb. 10
Tony Award winners Patti LuPone and Audra McDonald head the cast of the Los Angeles Opera's production of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, which begins its limited engagement Feb. 10. Tony Award winner John Doyle directs.
Audra McDonald
Audra McDonald Photo by Eddie Malluk

Joining McDonald (as Jenny) and LuPone (as Leocadia Begbick) are Anthony Dean Griffey as Jim Mahoney, Robert Wörle as Fatty the Bookkeeper, John Easterlin as Jake (Jack) Schmidt, Mel Ulrich as Pennybank Bill, Donnie Ray Albert as Trinity Moses, Derek Taylor as Toby Higgins and Steven Humes as Alaska Wolf Joe.

Mahagonny, which features the classic Weill song "Moon of Alabama," will be presented Feb. 10, 14, 17, 22, 25 and March 1 and 4. The creative team also includes Mark Bailey (set designer), Ann Hould-Ward (costume designer) and Thomas C. Hase (lighting designer). James Conlon will conduct the orchestra.

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. . ."

A Tony Award winner for her work in Evita, Patti LuPone also earned an Olivier Award for her performances in the West End productions of Lés Misérables and The Cradle Will Rock. Her other theatrical credits include Sunset Boulevard, Anything Goes, Oliver!, Working, The Old Neighborhood, Master Class and Pal Joey. LuPone also headlined two solo Broadway concerts, Patti LuPone On Broadway and Matters of the Heart, and received glowing notices for her performance as Mrs. Lovett in the Lincoln Center concert version of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd and a Tony nomination for her performance in the recent revival of that Sondheim work. She was seen in the Kennedy Center's staging of Marc Blitzstein's Regina and also portrayed Mama Rose in the Ravinia Festival's recent mounting of Gypsy. A four-time Tony Award winner for her work in A Raisin in the Sun, Master Class, Carousel and Ragtime, Audra McDonald was also seen on Broadway in Henry IV. The singer-actress made her solo Carnegie Hall concert debut in an evening of songs scored for big bands, performing several tunes from her Nonesuch CD "Happy Songs." McDonald's other solo recordings, "Way Back to Paradise" and "How Glory Goes," are also on the Nonesuch label. The acclaimed actress also co-starred in the NBC series "Mister Sterling” and was recently seen in the WB series "Bedford Diaries." McDonald also made her Houston Grand Opera with a double bill of Send (who are you? I love you) and La Voix Humaine. McDonald will return to Broadway later this season in the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of 110 in the Shade.

For more information about the Los Angeles Opera, visit www.losangelesopera.com.

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