The Threepenny Opera (Penguin Classics)

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Brutal, scandalous, perverted, yet humorous, hummable, and with a happy ending- Bertolt Brecht's revolutionary masterpiece The Threepenny Opera is a landmark of modern drama that has become embedded in the Western cultural imagination. Through the love story of Polly Peachum and "Mack the Knife" Macheath, the play satirizes the bourgeois of the Weimar Republic, revealing a society at the height of decadence and on the verge of chaos. Complemented with music by Kurt Weill, it was one of the earliest and most successful attempts to introduce jazz into the theater, and the song "Mack the Knife" became one of the most popular and widely recorded songs of the twentieth century.

Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (December 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143105167
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143105169
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces

Customer Reviews

“Ah, you never turned around to see the frowns…

1 helpful vote
 on December 19, 2016
By John P. Jones III
…on the jugglers and the clowns when they did their tricks for you.” Despite his deplorable behavior since he won the Nobel Prize, his lyrics remain an essential touchstone of our culture. How do the down and out, the “lumpen-proletariat,” in Marxist rhetoric, view life, and those “above” them, at least economically? Another one of my favorite songs with this theme was sung by Judy Collins: “Pirate Jenny.” Jenny is the one who scrubs the floors, and as she says: “Maybe once ya tipped me and it made ya feel swell.” Jenny dreams of obtaining the power for revenge, so that she is the one who provides the answer to the question from her “troops”: “Kill them now, or later?” “Then they’ll pile up the bodies, and I’ll say: ‘That’ll learn ya’.” It took me almost three decades after first hearing these words to learn that the song was part of the Threepenny Opera, and I would obtain that knowledge watching a performance of it in Riyadh, of all places.

The right book for the musical

1 helpful vote
 on May 30, 2017
By M. R. Leavitt
The “best of” numbers from the original show. The scores are pretty easy to follow and the songs are just wonderful. Play “Mack the Knife” the way it’s supposed to be played!

Historically interesting and amusing.

1 helpful vote
 on September 24, 2017
By Cynthia Klingler
Before I only knew Mac the Knife. Now I know why this is a classic.

Five Stars

1 helpful vote
 on July 17, 2017
By Amazon Customer
Hate this book but needs it for class. Thanks I guesss

This is a play by Brecht and thus not for …

1 helpful vote
 on March 23, 2015
By jack harter
This is a play by Brecht and thus not for everyone. He wrote a lot after the first world war and left Germany because of the Nazis of pre-WWII. He is branded a Communist. The line between humanist and Communist is blurred when it comes to Bertolt Brecht. This play is an opera, really, a combination of his dramatic writings and lyrics and the music of Kurt Weill. Think Mac the Knife and Show Me the Way to the Next Whiskey bottle. It is very imaginative and off-the-cuff drama. Think Mother Courage, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, etc. I first read his works in German, in college. He is surely a playwright and poet of contention because of his political and economic incliniations, especially in these days of the American Tea Party and other Conservative rantings. But, he is a man or was a man and a fighter who opposed the likes of Nazis, Tea Party, and Conservatives. I read him now and again to remind myself of the hope that is still possible for the world.

Bertolt Brecht s Threepenny Opera as the greatest hit play during the Weimar era in Germany

1 helpful vote
 on April 16, 2015
By C. M Mills
The Threepenny Opera was first on stage in 1928. Bertholt Brecht (1898-1956) is the playwright. The musical comedy is a retelling of John Gay s

An entertaining classic!

1 helpful vote
 on August 29, 2013
By S. Mullins
No study of Germany’s Weimar Republic is complete without reading this book. There are so many levels within the story to consider, but the presentation makes in interesting and enjoyable. A must read classic!

Wonderful script

1 helpful vote
 on December 11, 2012
By krystalbird
For everyone: interested in the story of pre-war Berlin, or how that society compares with our own today, what a good fit there is between the story and the music of the musical. The book is short, pithy.

as advertised

1 helpful vote
 on September 26, 2013
By Father Brown
excellent seller, would use this seller again, received on time, in like new condition, will recommend to everyone i know

Good book

1 helpful vote
 on October 3, 2013
By Abbie Aylward
I thought this book was reasonably priced and it shipped well within the amount of time stated. I would recommend this seller.

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