New Line Theatre's "The Threepenny Opera" Is An Old Musical With Modern Sensibilities

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Todd Schaefer and Cherlynn Alvarez in New Line Theatre's "The Threepenny Opera." Photo Credit: Jill Ritter Lindberg

There's only one way I can think of to do justice to the The Threepenny Opera, a show that debuted in Germany in 1928, features no real hero and is a stark commentary on man's tendency to bring out the worst in himself. The world is going to Hell and humanity is to blame, a sentiment that still rings true today, sadly enough. So with apologies to dramatist Bertolt Brecht and composer Kurt Weill, and even Louis Armstrong and Bobby Darin, here we go...a one and a two and a three and a four...

(To be read by the tune of "Mack the Knife," by Bertlolt Brecht and Kurt Weill. Sorry fellas.)

Oh, the show has a strong cast, dear,
And they showed their skills this night;
Terrific costumes by Sarah Porter, dear,
Keeps them looking out of sight!

When the show starts with Filch and Peachum, dear,
Stark reality starts to spread;
Played by Jeremy Hyatt and Zachary Allen Farmer, 
And Sarah Porter's Mrs. Peachum shares his bed!

But their daughter, oh Polly Peachum uh-huh,
Played by Cherlynn Alvarez, so full of life;
Has been sneakin' 'round Rob Lippert's set;
With Todd Schaefer as Mack the Knife!

He's a criminal and a scoundrel, don't you know,
A serial polygamist and man about town;
Todd plays it ultra cool, which comes off menacing;
He marries Polly once she settles down!

Then Macheath's gang, Brian Claussen, Kent Coffel, Todd "The Boss" Micali, and Luke Steingruby did appear, dear,
Having stolen the wedding bash,
And Reynaldo Arceno plays their nervous priest and later corrupt Warden Smith;
While Christopher "Zany" Clark's crooked copper Tiger Brown is there to smooth things over when the boys do something rash!

Oh there's Jenny Diver, played by Nikki Glenn,
With Kimi "Molly" Short, Margeau "Betty" Steinau, and Larissa "Dolly" White,
And Christina Rios plays Miss Lucy Brown.
Oh Macheath loves, he loves the ladies, dear,
He hits the brothel every Thursday even when the chips are down!

I can't forget director Scott Miller,
And his vision for New Line Theatre.
He gets the best actors in St. Louis, babe,
And a top notch band led by Jeffrey Richard Carter.

There's a lot of absurdity to revel in here,
And I think that was Brecht's point.
It might not make much sense at all,
But then it hits you late at night...

The show was written nearly a century ago,
And it may never be more more relevant than it is right now.
The world's in chaos and it's our fault, hey...
Maybe we're all Mack the Knife!

Oh yes the show iwas great, well acted and sung,
And Miss Porter's costumes bring the period to life;
Young Miss Alvarez was delightful,
And Todd Schaefer nailed it as Mack the Knife.

So if you're looking for a fun yet challenging show,
Between now and June 20th,
Check out New Line's Threepenny Opera,
It might just change how you look at life!

Look out--Ol' Macky’s back! Cha! (Fade to black.)

5.0 / 5.0