Frank Theatre revisits The Threepenny Opera

Bradley Greenwald leads the company of <i>The Threepenny Opera.</i>

Bradley Greenwald leads the company of The Threepenny Opera.

Four years after his stunning turn as the Emcee in Frank Theatre's Cabaret, Bradley Greenwald brings "Mack the Knife" to glorious life in Frank Theatre's mad and invigorating production of The Threepenny Opera.

It's the kind of role Greenwald was born to play. The versatile actor has the vocal chops to bring off the depth and breadth of Kurt Weill's score, while his strong acting instincts craft a character that is both engaging and repellent, a perfect blend for the Bertolt Brecht script.

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Frank Theatre and director Wendy Knox have a long history with Brecht, having produced several of the German provocateur's works in the past, including The Threepenny Opera. As a celebration of the company's 25th season, this is a perfect choice. Like the best work from Knox's company over the years, we have a work that asks difficult, uncomfortable questions that is also presented in a sharp, distinct manner.

Decked out in leather pants and knee-high boots, Greenwald's Macheath cuts a counter-culture path amid the underbelly of not-quite Victorian London, stealing at will while cutting corrupt officials enough of the take to stay out of the gallows.

Danger looms after he elopes with young Polly Peachum. Not only does Macheath have plenty of other lovers (and another wife), but Polly's parents put their own plots into motion to get Mack the Knife for his actions. From there, it is a dizzying string of not-quite-escapes and times spent in a prison cell as the corrupt society at large focuses in on our "hero."

There are plenty of strong performances to go with Greenwald's, including Gary Briggle as the impressively mustached Mr. Peachum and Molly Sue McDonald as Macheath's other main flame, Jenny Driver.

Local legend Vern Sutton returns to the stage in a variety of roles, including the vital one as the Street Singer, who introduces the action with Kurt Weill's most famous song, "Mack the Knife."


The Threepenny Opera
Through May 4
Southern Theater

1420 Washington Ave S., Minneapolis

For tickets and more information, call 612.724.3760 or visit online.