Donmar Warehouse—THE THREEPENNY OPERA (1994)

mi0002173465Review by Graham Warnken

Assigned by Dina Levina

I knew Brecht by name before this, but had never got around to reading any of his plays. Based on this I need to, though. This album is hitting aaaaaalll my musical theatre buttons, and I’m kicking myself for being so late with the review that I have to keep it short.

Snappy, Gothic orchestration? Check. Revisionist satire on capitalism in Ye Olde Europe? Check. The word “shit” appearing a lot? Check. There’s this aura of muck and dirt that hangs around the whole thing, and it’s just so much fun. This particular English translation is pretty obviously period-inaccurate, but for this sort of thing it’s more important that the spirit is gotten across, which the numerous swear words and sex jokes do admirably.

I can’t speak to the wider story/satire, as I have yet to read the libretto, but I’ll be remedying that posthaste. Probably seeking out other cast recordings, too—I love the vernacular/vulgar approach this one takes but am interested in finding older versions as well. Especially as this kind of modernizing approach to translation drives me insane when it’s employed for books. 😛

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Author: Graham Warnken

I’m not locked in here with you, you’re locked in here with me. Or you could just, y’know, load another webpage.

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