Three Penny Opera

threepenny-web.jpgBuy Tickets Performances February 4-14 at Arcata Playhouse and February 19-28 at Ferndale Rep. Mack the Knife is back in town! The Playhouse and Ferndale Rep partner to produce this groundbreaking work. Performances will take place in both locations. Come see London’s gritty underworld in this beloved musical inspired by A Begger’s Opera. The haves clash with the have-nots while Macheath, the ultimate sneering antihero, perches in the middle of the storm. A brilliant masterpiece of epic theater, Brecht’s sharp critique of Capitalism originated the popular songs “The Ballad of Mack the Knife"

Book and Lyrics by Bertolt Brecht Music by Kurt Weill English adaptation by Marc Blitzstein

Directed by Leira V. Satlof with musical direction by Jill Petricca, set design by Ray Gutierrez, costumes by Lynnie Horrigan and lighting by Michael Foster. The cast feature an all-star line up of local luminaries.

Sponsored by Abruzzi and Plaza Grill  Tickets at Wildberries or online here

Mack the Knife is back in town! In 1928 Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill joined forces to bring The Threepenny Opera to the stage. In that spirit the Arcata Playhouse and Ferndale Repertory Theatre have partnered to produce this groundbreaking work that opens February 5th in Arcata and then moves to Ferndale. Come see London’s gritty underworld in this dark and witty musical that mixes love story, uninhibited German cabaret and ingeniously original melody.

The Threepenny Opera is a "play with music", adapted by Brecht from John Gay's 18th-century English ballad operaThe Beggar's Opera with music by Kurt Weill. It displays a world in which morality and loyalty are swapped and bargained for like commodities.

The production originally opened in 1928 in Berlin and offers a Socialist critique of the capitalist world. By 1933, when Weill and Brecht were forced to leave Germany by Hitler’s Nazi Party, the play had been translated into 18 languages and performed more than 10,000 times on European stages. Songs from The Threepenny Opera have been widely covered and become standards, most notably The Ballad of Mack the Knife and Pirate Jenny covered by the likes of Nina Simone, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra and Tom Waits just to name a few.

In composing The Threepenny Opera, Kurt Weill wanted to steal from opera as a dramatic form and re-invent it, to write an “opera” that could be sung by actors. Directed by Ferndale Rep’s artistic director Leira Satlof, with musical direction by Jill Petricca, this production takes that idea a step further by utilizing a cast of actor-instrumentalists who must move between playing, singing and acting. “It has been an unusual rehearsal process,” commented Satlof. “Normally when working on a musical the band and the actors will rehearse separately for a long period and then come together in the few rehearsals before opening. In this case we have been rehearsing together from the beginning, because the actors and the band are the same group of people. It has made for a rich process and I am very excited by the work we are going to bring to the stage.”

Satlof has gathered a stellar local cast and design team for the production that draws from the immense talent of the region. The collaboration between the Arcata Playhouse and FRT is an effort to explore how local theaters can work together, sharing resources, audiences and artists. The cast includes Playhouse executive director Jackie Dandeneau in the role of Jenny, Christopher Kehoe as Macheath, Kaitlen Osburn as Polly, Carl McGahan as Mr. Peachum, Dianne Zuleger as Mrs. Peachum, Sarah McKinney as Lucy, and Tyler Egerer as Tiger Brown. Cindle Barr, Jim Case, Ethan Frank, Jill Petricca, John Petricca, Gina Piazza, Rigel Schmitt, Laura Welch, and Andrea Zvaleko complete the cast of actor-instrumentalists. Local designers Ray Gutierrez (sets), Lynnie Horrigan (costumes) and Michael Foster (lights) round out the team.

The Threepenny Opera previews at the Arcata Playhouse on February 4 and runs February 5, 6, 12, 13, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, February 7 & 14 at 2 p.m. The production will then move to Ferndale Repertory Theater and perform on February 19, 20, 26, 27 at 8 p.m. and February 20, 21, 27, 28 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 general admission, $16 for students and seniors (60+) with a special $5 preview on Thursday, February 4th. Tickets can be purchased at, by calling 707-786-5483, or at Wildberries Market for Arcata performances.

— Newsweek


February 04, 2016 at 8pm - 11pm

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