Our second weekend of New Line Theatre‘s The Threepenny Opera is nearing a close. I’ve grown to love this show so much! The reviews have been strong, although the audience may or may not be ‘getting it.’ We are having fun with this material, and the band sounds better and more idiomatic every night. And I delight in having one of my own voice students in the show.
From the critics:
–And a top notch band led by Jeffrey Richard Carter.
–As usual, an excellent band led by Music Director Jeffrey Richard Carter.
–A 7-piece house band handles the score with elan.
–Jeffrey Richard Carter’s (piano/conductor) musical direction is finely honed.
–The moment music director Jeffrey Richard Carter and his sly ensemble begin the overture, a shudder of pleasure rips through the theater.
–Musical director Jeffrey Richard Carter leads his excellent band through the song’s sea-shanty rhythms with malicious glee. It’s a beautiful start to the evening.
But why do all these critics seem to think that all I do is lead the band? Cf. https://jeffreycarter.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/what-a-music-director-does/
(Much of this same information is discussed in Scott Miller’s brilliant podcast on Stage Grok.)
An extended excerpt from Paul Friswold at the Riverfront Times:
For the next three weeks you have a choice in how you stay informed about current events: You can either suffer through another local newscast as the tone whiplashes between banal levity and grim images of oppression, crime and human misery — or you can soak up the horrible truth at New Line Theatre’s near-perfect production of The Threepenny Opera.
Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s assault on society’s ills was crafted as Germany started its long slide into Nazism. Poverty was grinding down the middle class, killers stalked the streets, and the government twiddled its thumbs while the ultimate evil grew in strength every day — and good men did nothing. We all know how that turned out, so why are we making the same mistakes 87 years later?
That is the question haunting almost every lyric Brecht wrote for Threepenny, and it is that question that director Scott Miller has his cast hammer home throughout the show. The result is a sharp, angry musical that shouts the truth about our society’s ills for two-and-a-half hours. If you’re not angry by the time the lights come up, you’re part of the problem.
Here’s a view from my seat before the show begins: