Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Threepenny Opera by Brecht & Weill, University of Texas, February 18 - 27

The Threepenny Opera, University of Texas

UT's The Threepenny Opera is an astonishing production, of such quality and depth that it deserved to run for months. But the Oscar Brockett Theatre seats only about 200 and there were only seven performances.

I organized a group of 16 to attend the first Saturday performance, and they walked away bedazzled. You can pity that one prospective group member who decided not to take up the offer because, he said, he's "allergic to opera."

Rachel Haney Butler, Sarah Konkel (image:Brenda O'Brian)A parenthetical rant: You can't buy this kind of performance on the open market, because it would have to go into a far larger hall to have even the remotest possibility of contributing to the overhead.

Never mind that this cast of 22 and musical ensemble of 7 are almost all students, performing for free and working with UT grad students and faculty. Instead, admire the fact that they're paying tuition so they can get up there and amaze you.

Given the size of the university and the theatre department, you can explain some of the quality by simple Darwinian selection. Plus the fact that UT, in fashion similar to Texas State, has ploughed resources into a new musical theatre program.

The back page of the program lists 180 names -- 180! -- of secondary-level crew members, in 70 specialties.

Read more at . . . .

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