"Threepenny Opera "
Next Up at New Rep

Todd Alan Johnson, Nancy E. Carrolland Leigh Barrett, stars of New Repertory Theatre's acclaimed production of "Sweeney Todd" from last season, are returning to New Rep for Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's "The Threepenny Opera." The production runs January 7 through  February 8.

The  score of "The Threepenny Opera" is dramatically pointed by a new translation/adaptation by Robert David MacDonald, with lyrics by Jeremy Sams, which sets the work in a near future London, dissolute with crime and corruption.  

Last season's production of "Sweeney Todd," starring Todd Alan Johnson (of Broadway's "Aida" and the national tour of "Les Miserables") as the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Nancy E. Carroll (Elliot Norton Award winner for Best Actress) as the ghoulish baker Mrs. Lovett, and Leigh Barrett as the Beggar Woman, broke all box office records at New Rep in a sold-out run.

Now Johnson returns to play the charismatic and ambitious criminal, MacHeath, Carroll plays the equally amoral Mrs. Peachum and Barrett plays the sexy and dangerous Pirate Jenny.

Rick Lombardo, New Rep's Producing Artistic Director, commented, "The play has gained a renewed importance and power in our current world. We find ourselves thrust into a twenty-first century troubled with economic instability, international conflict, and on-going national security fears. The satirical and cautionary barrage unleashed by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill is precisely the antidote we need."

Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill came of age in post-World War One Germany, where the struggle to build a democracy in the face of devastating economic privation created a world in which rising to the top was less about law and more about power.  Their "Threepenny Opera," based on John Gay's 1728 play, "The Beggar's Opera," satirizes the Bourgeois society that arose during that difficult period. 

MacHeath, Mack the Knife, is a ruthless and romantic strongman, who will commit murder and use sex as a commodity in his efforts to be seen as an accepted member of English society.  The compelling score and lyrics echo the harsh realities of a world in which the lower classes must mix cruelty and love just to survive.

Currently located in Newton Highlands, New Rep will be moving next year to a new state of the art theater in the Arsenal Center for the Arts, set to open in Watertown in 2004.

For information, call 617-332-1646.

-- OnStage Boston



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