The Threepenny Opera



  • A musical drama by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill.The play was first performed in 1928 at the Theater am Schiffbauerdammin Berlin, where it ran for 4000 performances. Brecht derived theplot from John Gay's The Beggar's Opera, but used it to emphasizethe corrupting effect of bad social conditions and to satirize contemporaryGerman society. Hitler banned it in 1933, the year that it floppedin New York. Duke Ellington later wrote a version for Broadway entitledBeggar's Holiday (1946). Brecht's original was finally performedsuccessfully off-Broadway in 1954 and ran for 2611 performances; thefirst London production followed in 1956 at the Royal Court Theatre.The musical's opening song 'Mack the Knife' became an internationalhit.