Sunday, June 1, 2014

Who Is That Lurking Around The Corner? Could It Be Mack The Knife?

Waffle Opera presents The Threepenny Opera ( Die Dreigroschenoper) directed by Ted Zoldan. The English translation was by MIchael Feingold. The piece being originally in German was based on Elisabeth Hauptmann's German translation of John Gay's The Beggar's Opera. The music direction was by Ben Malkevitch.

Weill's The Threepenny Opera has a lot of important aspects of human life in it, in addition to wonderful music. Love, hatred, friendship, revenge... Despite being a pretty comedic work, it gets quite serious and deep at some moments. I'm going to refer to it as a music, rather than an opera or "play with musical aspects".

The Waffle Opera presented this musical in a very intimate environment, there being no stage whatsoever and hardly any chairs. The singers stood quite close to the audience and during intermission, when waffles were being passed around, it was possible to socialize with the performers themselves.

Roy Eikleberry (Tiger Brown, Betty) was a very good actor as well as singer. His majestic stage presence vocal abilities worked very well with the other performers on stage. Alexis Lane Jensen (Mrs. Peachum, Jimmy Junior) had a charismatic presence and a good feel of the role. The way she made the audience consider Mrs. Peachum a weak character at the very beginning and then revealed that she was a complete and utter villain at the very end. Charles Martin (J.J. Peachum, Rev. Kimball) was a great speaker, actor, and singer. His interpretation of Peachum was very thought-through and deep. It was of a man who most probably cared about his career more than about his daughter. Katie Nix, (Matt of the Mint) did an excellent job at playing a man while being a woman. That isn't always that easy to do, although it may seem so. Andres Ramirez (Captain Macheath) worked very hard during the whole musical. There wasn't even one moment when he was onstage that I thought that he was resting. Kelly Rubinsohn (Lucy Brown, Walt Dreary) was my favorite comedic character in the musical. Megan Stetson(Jenny Diver, Ed) performed the opening song Ballad of Mac The Knife extremely well, setting up the mood for the rest of the piece. It was intriguing and exciting, everyone in the audience sitting up in their seats. Jenny was a woman who couldn't resist money offered to her for betrayal, and yet felt guilty for betraying. This character was transferred to the audience by Megan Stetson in a very persuasive mood. Although Jenny was a immoral prostitute who betrayed Macheath, the audience still felt sorry for her. Sarah Young(Polly Peachum, Mollie) did a wonderful job at playing the role of the Polly, in love to the ears with Macheath, as well gorgeously singing it.

Overall, I enjoyed it very much. I had never heard this piece performed completely before (with the exception, of course, of the Mac the Knife song. But then, who hasn't heard that before?).

Also, I would commercialize the show, but they're all sold out! And, it was said that there is inappropriate content, but I need to say that the content wasn't that bad. A standard musical staged and performed in a public high school usually has more inappropriate content than this.

Here's a link to Waffle Opera's site!


Tiger Brown, Betty: Roy Eikleberry
Constable Smith, Sawtooth Bob: Brandon Jaico
Mrs. Peachum, Jimmy Junior: Alexis Lane Jensen
J.J. Peachum, Rev. Kimball: Charles Martin
Matt of the Mint, Dolly: Katie Nix
Captain Macheath: Andres Ramirez
Lucy Brown, Walt Dreary: Kelly Rubinsohn
Jenny Diver, Ed: Megan Stetson
Charles Fitch, Crookfinger Jake: Will Trichon
Polly Peachum, Mollie: Sarah Young
Pianist: Tyler Catlin(5/31, 6/1), Michael Schuler (5/25)

Stage Manager: Elayne Juten
Lighting Design: Brian Poedy
Lightboard Operator: Ted Zoldan
Rehearsal Pianists: Tyler Catlin, Andres Ramirez, Michael Schuler, Kelsey Walsh
Fight Choreographer: Sarah Young
Ass't. Fight Choreographers: Katie Nix, Andres Ramirez, Will Trichon
Dance Choreographer: Andres Ramirez, Ted Zoldan
Tango Choreographer: Michael Mohammed
Props and Costumes: Cinnabar Theater, Pocket Opera, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Ted Zoldan, Elayne Juten, Lora Libby, Sarah Young. 

This production was made possible in part by:
Lisa and Gilbert Eldredge.  

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