Friday, November 6, 2015

The Three Penny Opera

A friend asked, "Where are you now?"

That is a question people often ask Wyona, but I don't do the same kind of travel.

Each day is so full I want to blog about it, and then the day passes and I am out of blogging energy.

Tonight we are going to a live performance of The Three Penny Opera at the University of Victoria.

Poster from University of Victoria
by Bertolt Brecht
Msic by Kurt Weill
I spent part of the day learning (or would that be re-learning) the plot and familiarizing myself with the story.

I am going to be familiar with two songs: "Pirate Jenny" and "Mack the Knife".  Of course, the performance said no one under 16.  Both Rebecca's boys got snuck in by their mom.  The subjects are difficult [and duncan says maybe 'inappropriate'!.  For example, here is the Pimp's Tango (as it was performed at the Tony Awards by Cindy Lauper and Alan Cummings).

So, where I am:  Victoria.

And what I am doing: going to listen to the director talk for an hour before watching the performance of tonight's show.


And hours later:

An hour's lecture from the director, and then an opera with two intermissions -- Rebecca and I are both laughing, and still in shock. Now we have two shows we want to return to:  Hamlet and The Three Penny Opera.

The Victoria crowd is not your usual audience.  They were articulate with the director, and when he tossed out the names of the realist playwrites, as opposed to the Brectian ones, they were right back at him with questions.

I have some googling to do, since one of the questions was about the Beggar's Opera, from which this opera sprang.  The director said he had never heard the Beggar's Opera and someone in the audience knew that Benjamin Britten had put a piece of it in some requiem.  Well, who knew?

Rebecca got her boys there, me there, herself there ... and we all stayed until the live band had played their last notes, which included a solo from each, just as they do with the Jersey Boys in London.

Now how was that for a cool evening.



  1. I have fond memories of singing "Mack the Knife" with my siblings around the piano while you played the piano. Other songs I remember from the same song book are: "Days of Wine and Roses", "The Blues in the Night" ...

  2. Those Reader's Digest Songbooks came in many varieties. I think Mary has one that is just Canadian songs. And Wyona has one that is Xmas Songs. I don't know what mine was called. But a few times I have heard Rebecca humming tunes from it: Autumn Leaves for one -- since everywhere we walk, we are still stepping on the leaves of gold and red and they still are tumbling down.