LA Weekly!

Theater Pick: February 27-March 5

by Jim Crogan Pasadena Shakespeare Company kicks off its third season with adapter-director Dana Marley's resounding production of John Gay's 18th-century opera (that served as the template for Brecht/Weill's 1928 Threepenny Opera). Lighter than its politically barbed descendant, Beggar's Opera mixes popular tunes and lyrics with a plot that also focuses on London's homeboys, highwaymen and "doxies" (ladies of the night). Gay lampoons the sub-rosa alliances between corrupt elements of England's ruling class and the underworld that it uses and abuses at will. Fine ensemble acting blends with Steve Hill's perfectly balanced musical direction and Gregory Scott Young's ribald, foot-stomping choreography. Real-life sisters-in-law Jennie Fahn and Dorothy Elias-Fahn are in terrific voice, respectively, as Polly Peachum, new wife of playboy/thief Captain MacHeath (Mark McCandless) and Lucy Lockit, his pregnant girlfriend. Meanwhile, David Paul Needles and Jerry Neill are in top comedic form playing corrupt public officials. Also first-rate are Michael Hirsch, Jane Macfie and the footloose wenches led by dance captain Cristina Anselmo. The technical aspects, including a fine four-piece combo, all support the sleazy satire, thanks also to scene designer Charles Currier's two-tiered, platform set and the complementary efforts of lighting designer Michael Hans. Plaza Pasadena Mall, Second Level, Green St. & Euclid Ave.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru March 22. (818) 564-8564.

Return to this week's picks or peruse the LA Weekly's searchable calendar

Questions or comments?
Email letters to the editor:
Copyright © 1997, Los Angeles Weekly, Inc. All rights reserved.