The Playgoer: Threepenny 101

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Friday, September 30, 2011

Threepenny 101

Rob Kendt in Time Out clears up some misconceptions about The Threepenny Opera on the eve of the sold-out(!) run at BAM next week of Robert Wilson's staging with the Berliner Ensemble.

In fact, Threepenny was a long-running hit at the Theater de Lys on Christopher Street in the 1950s, helping establish Off Broadway as a commercial alternative to Broadway (not to mention burnishing both Brecht’s and Weill’s post-WWII reputations). But the work has never really thrived on the Main Stem; apart from the aforementioned Roundabout and Sting versions, Joe Papp’s 1976 production, directed by Richard Foreman, managed a respectable 307-performance run, but divided the critics.
I was more favorable than Rob to Roundabout's 2006 attempt, by the way. But I was definitely in the minority.

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