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The Threepenny Opera

Book and lyrics by Bertolt Brecht, music by Kurt Weill, English adaptation by Marc Blitzstein

Directed by David M. Jenkins

Oct. 20 – Nov. 12, 2017

Thu. – Sat. 8pm, Sun. 4pm

Tickets: $29.50

Preview Performances: Oct. 18 – 19 | Wed. – Thr. 8pm | Tickets: $15

Jaeb Theater, Straz Center for the Performing Arts

Media Cast & Crew Patron Reviews Season Season Tickets

[Threepenny] still feels edgy … [Jobsite’s] most ambitious in recent years … terrific vocals … more than a nod or two to vaudevillian cops-and-robbers humor and attendant slapstick – Tampa Bay Times

[The cast of Threepenny] brings Brecht’s Germany to Trump’s America with real creativity, compelling us to ask what those two seemingly different universes have in common. – Creative Loafing Tampa

Each new production of The Threepenny Opera is worth seeing. This one is no exception. Although it’s almost 90 years old, its themes [are] always current. Most notable is the amazing energy of the piece … Characters run and jump across the stage with the exuberance of youth, and mug – tastefully, never excessively – for the audience … Brecht would’ve wholeheartedly approved of their fourth-wall theatrics. – Stylus Zine

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Synopsis

Giselle Muise in Jobsite's The Threepenny Opera.Set in London in the 1800s, THE THREEPENNY OPERA is a musical satire (don’t be fooled by the word “opera”) about a notorious bandit who marries a girl much to the chagrin of her father, forcing the peeved patriarch to do everything in his power to imprison his son-in-law. Ahead of its time, the political and social themes in this iconic piece of musical theater get at the corruption of humanity and how it consumes us and forces us to consume one another.

Last revived on Broadway in a Tony Award-winning production starring Alan Cumming and Cyndi Lauper (and even more recently revived in London starring Rory Kinnear), THE THREEPENNY OPERA must be recognized as the grandfather of musicals like Cabaret and Chicago that show us singing and dancing our way to our own destruction. David M. Jenkins directs with Jeremy Douglass set to return after previously helming LIZZIE’s six-piece band (several of whom also return here) as music director.

The Threepenny Opera is is presented through special arrangement with R & H Theatricals.

Read a full summary of The Threepenny Opera.

Why It's For You

The Ensemble of in Jobsite's The Threepenny Opera. (Photo courtesy Ryan Finzelber.)Any musical theater aficionado will want to be able to say they’ve seen this iconic show (featuring popular hits like “The Ballad of Mack the Knife” and “Pirate Jenny”) that truly changed the rules and has inspired so many shows after it. It is a timeless and timely social and political satire. Lovers of the dark, curious, and unusual will be enthralled by the aesthetic and the show’s themes. Fans of Amanda Palmer, Danny Elfman, and the Tiger Lillies will want to see where so much inspiration came from.

Why We Chose It

Fo'i Meleah and Jonathan Harrison in Jobsite's The Threepenny Opera. (Photo courtesy Ryan Finzelber.)After several years of producing kitschy and cult-hit musicals on the Jaeb stage, we decided we wanted to reach a broader audience while still serving those fans of work like LIZZIE, Silence! the Musical, and Return to the Forbidden Planet. We think this show does just that. It’s also a dark enough show with just enough mayhem to fit into the Halloween season. This is a tremendous undertaking – our biggest musical yet, featuring the work of over two dozen regional artists – and we’re itching for the challenge.

About the Writers

Bertolt Brecht (Book, Lyrics) (1898-1956) was born in Augsburg, Germany. He grew to maturity as a playwright in the frenetic years of the twenties and early thirties, with the plays Man Equals Man, The Threepenny Opera, Mahogonny, and The Mother. He left Germany when Hitler came to power in 1933, eventually reaching the United States in 1941, where he remained until 1947. It was during this period of exile that the masterpieces Life of Galileo, Mother Courage, The Caucasian Chalk Circle and Puntila were written. Shortly after his return to Europe in 1947 with his wife, Helene Weigel, he founded the Berliner Ensemble, becoming its executive director, and from then until his death, Brecht was mainly occupied in producing and directing his own plays there.

Marc Blitzstein (Adapter) (1905-64) was born in Philadelphia and appeared as a pianist with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the age of 15. He later studied with the influential French teacher Nadia Boulanger and the Austrian-born composer Arnold Schoenberg. His works include the opera Regina (1949), based on Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes, The Cradle Will Rock (1937) and No For An Answer (1941) and an English adaption of the German poet Bertholt Brecht’s book and lyrics for The Threepenny Opera, by the German-American composer Kurt Weill.

Kurt Weill (Music) (1900–1950) wrote some of the most important works of opera and musical theatre of the first half of the 20th century. His first opera, Der Protagonist, was performed in Dresden in 1926; this was followed by several more avant-garde works, including Royal Palace (1927) and Der Zar lässt sich photographieren (1928). In 1927 he first collaborated with Brecht on the Songspiel Mahagonny, which met with such success that they extended the piece into the full opera Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny (1930). Brecht and Weill also worked together on Die Dreigroschenoper (1928), a contemporary adaptation of John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera of 1728. Brecht’s striking scenarios and texts and Weill’s richly varied scores ensured that their partnership was one of the most celebrated in operatic history. Though they fell out in 1930, they collaborated on a number of other works, including Der Jasager (1930) and Die sieben Todsünden (1933). Weill left Germany following the rise of the Third Reich and settled in the US in 1935, where he worked as a Broadway composer. Lady in the Dark (1940) and One Touch of Venus (1943) were both great successes, although an English-language Threepenny Opera was even more successful on its premiere in 1954, with his widow Lotte Lenya leading the cast as she had in the German premiere in 1928.

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Cast & Crew

  • David M. Jenkins – Director
  • Jeremy Douglass – Music Director
  • Alison Burns-Jackson – Choreographer/Associate Director
  • Matthew Ray – Stage Manager

Cast

  • Jennifer Casler – Bob the Saw / Ensemble
  • Colleen Cherry – Streetsinger / Betty
  • Spence Gabriel – Crookfinger Jake / Ensemble
  • Amy E. Gray – Jenny Diver
  • Jonathan Harrison – J. J. Peachum
  • Chelsea Hooker – Rev. Kimball / Coaxer / Ensemble
  • Chris Jackson – Macheath, “Mack the Knife”
  • Fo’i Meleah – Celia Peachum
  • Spencer Meyers – Streetsinger / Readymoney Matt
  • Giselle Muise – Polly Peachum
  • Maggie Mularz – Lucy Brown / Ensemble
  • Derrick Phillips – Tiger Brown
  • Alex Rivera – Smith / Walt / Ensemble
  • Olivia Sargent – Dolly / Ensemble
  • Katrina Stevenson – Molly / Ensemble
  • Ryan Sturm – Filch

Band

  • Woody Bond – Percussion
  • Jarryd Dollard – Reeds
  • Jeremy Douglass – Keys
  • David Gambino – Reeds
  • Mike Henry – Trombone
  • Ava Kord Octlanch – Trumpet
  • Steve Vought – Trumpet
  • Mark Warren – Guitars

Crew

  • Dave Cohen – Sound Engineer
  • Ryan E. Finzelber – Scenic and Lighting Design
  • Reuben Hirsch – Master Electrician/Light Operator
  • Heather Krueger – Associate Director
  • Katrina Stevenson – Costume Design

Patron Reviews

Via Email

We really enjoyed Sunday’s show … Visually stunning, great band, strong performances. Kat’s costuming was amazing. – Hugh Timoney

That was just brilliant. I loved everything about the show and wish so much I could’ve gotten my students to see it (stupid logistics). My two friends adored it also, and it was clear the entire crowd appreciated it. Thanks for all of that hard work! – Kathryn Duncan

Via Facebook

Really fine production!! – Scott Elliott

… a must see… Too many good performances to mention. Glorious music. Everybody’s wonderful and the show is one fat jolt of bitter, funny lightning. You gotta go. – Ned Averill-Snell

My favorite moment from the opening of The Threepenny Opera at Jobsite Theater last night was definitely when I came back to my table after intermission to find several members of the cast taking selfies on my phone 😂 And hey! Jobsite made me like Brecht! Well done 👏🏼 – K. L. Gold

Great performance tonight! – Bonita Axley

WowWowWow! Jobsite’s “Three Penny Opera” is powerful. The voices, costumes, and sets are dead on. Go to see it. – Clare Ward-Jenkins

I went to see Three Penny Opera last night, and was so impressed with this show! The set, the music, the costumes, and the ensemble of talent in this production were absolutely incredible! I did not know much about the show before hand and I was just captivated by the whole thing! I will be going again and again to see this production during its run at the Jaeb Theatre. Get your tickets and go see this show!! Bravo Bravo!! You did it again David Jenkins! – Jannine Cherry

Wonderful opening of The Threepenny Opera at Jobsite Theater at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts! Congratulations to the cast and production team! – Emilia Sargent

“One must live well to know what living is!” If you’ve not yet seen The Threepenny Opera, what are you waiting for? – Amanda Holder DeCourt

Super congrats to [the whole] Threepenny Opera cast on a job well done!! It was a lovely night of theater – Lindsay MacConnell Yarbrough

Fun show! A worthy choice for this year’s Jaeb musical! – Rick Stutzel

If you have the chance, come see this wonderful show at the Straz! – Brittany Rossow

Loved seeing Jobsite’s “The Threepenny Opera” last night … What an exceptional cast … The costumes are AMAZING, the performances are STELLAR…Congrats David Jenkins and the wonderful Jobsite team! – Kim Goodman

Great work by the Directors, Designers and Cast of Threepenny . . Bravo Tutti! – Keith Arsenault

If you haven’t done so already, get to The Threepenny Opera before the show ends Nov 12th! – Carla Kaufman

Via Instagram

Amazing show! – @brenloved

Loved the show! Everyone did a great job. Thank you for a wonderful evening! <3 – @kochok8

Watching @jobsitetheater ‘s The Threepenny Opera at @strazcenter! LOVE IIIIIT! What a beautiful cast and the singing and the costumes 😍🙌🏾 Serving me life😍🙌🏾 – @jessyjuliannaminson

Via Twitter


Intermission… Best performance EVER!! You must get tix to The Threepenny Opera!!! –@littlewys

I absolutely adored the performance from beginning to end, it made my month, thank you again. 😊 – @Lord_Orpheo

Bravo, @jobsitetheater. Hell of an opening! – @sturgidson

Cool set, wonderful voices and sexy costumes what’s not to love? – @MTClarity

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2 thoughts on “The Threepenny Opera

  1. I would have enjoyed the show more if the sound was better. In such a small theater it was way over amplified, folks sitting at tables nearby made the same comments, we missed important lyrics. Jonathan Harrison and Fo’i Meleah were the best!

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