“Three Penny Opera” opens for Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga

Reporting: Monessa Guilfoil

Directed by Garry Lee Posey

Music Direction by John Thomas Cecil

Stage Managed by Jamie Goodnight

Set Designed by Christy Gallo

ETC begins its 3rd year with the first full musical production in its history.

Here’s a bit more about this early 20th Century musical adapted from John Gay’s “Beggars Opera” by Brecht and Weill from Culturevulture.net author Arthur Lazere:

First performed  in Berlin in 1928, Brecht’s text is sardonic and brittle. He creates a world of beggars, thieves, and prostitutes in which there is no honor; every character would sell out any other if an advantage is to be gained. Relationships are fluid, changeable; betrayals abound as new alliances are formed amongst the array of seedy, colorful characters.
Jonathan Peachum is the king of beggars, here an entrepreneur. Brecht portrays the beggars, thieves, and prostitutes as capitalists, running businesses for a profit. Peachum has the instincts of a contemporary market researcher:

Macheath (“Mack the Knife”) heads up the thieves division. His men tremble before him, he’s got the police well greased, and women compete for his sexual attentions. He has impregnated his lover, Lucy, he marries Peachum’s daughter Polly, and he still has a passionate connection with hooker Jenny.
For this cynical scenario, Weill wrote a score that has become part of Western culture’s consciousness: jazzy, syncopated, dissonant, and full of inventive melody, it captures the essence of the mocking, ironic tone of the book.

Following is an original cast recording featuring  Lotte Lenya:

Listen to the Story:


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