'The Threepenny Opera' opens at UI

'The Threepenny Opera' opens at UI

The next University of Illinois School of Music Opera Program performance brings the work that introduced us to "Mack the Knife."

Performances of "The Threepenny Opera" are at 7:30 p.m. today through Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Tryon Festival Theatre at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana.

The opera is sung in English. Tickets are $8-26 and can be purchased at the Krannert Center ticket office, online at krannertcenter.com or by calling 333-6280.

With music by Kurt Weill and book by the German playwright Bertolt Brecht, "The Threepenny Opera" is a revolutionary part of the 20th-century musical theater genre.

Director Tom Mitchell, conductor Cara Chowning and artistic director Eduardo Diazmunoz present this wickedly funny story of betrayal upon betrayal, climaxing in one of the most unusual and hilarious finales in modern musical theatre.

Krannert's English adaptation, by Marc Blitzstein, of "The Threepenny Opera" incorporates a contemporary, New York City-like approach that resonates well with the disappearing middle class concerns people faced during the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Rick Calk, a senior acting major, plays Macheath, commonly known as "Mack the Knife," on April 25 and 27. Lee Steiner, a doctoral candidate in voice, plays Macheath on April 26 and 28.