First performed in Berlin in 1928, this dark comedy is infused with a sharp political perspective and the sound of 1920s Berlin cabarets. Turning notions of the good life upside down, Threepenny focuses on the lives of the lower classes in Victorian London. The protagonist is Macheath, a notorious, amoral antihero. His secret marriage to Polly Peachum in the first act complicates his life in unforeseen ways. The union upsets Polly's father, Jonathan Jeremiah Peachum, who controls the beggars of London. Peachum initiates a campaign against Macheath, hoping to see him hanged for his various crimes. Peachum's efforts are hindered, however, by Macheath's long-time friendship with the chief of police, Tiger Brown. Determined to prevail, Peachum continues to press the authorities until Macheath is eventually arrested and sentenced to hang. But Macheath's connections run deep. Will yet others intervene to save his neck? Just who are the heroes and the villains in this dark, farcical vision of society?
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