Threepenny Opera

  • Threepenny Opera

Event Category: Theater

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  • UB Theatre & Dance Presents:
    A Play with music based upon John Gay’s
    By Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill
    In collaboration with Elisabeth Hauptmann
    English Adaptation by Simon Stephens

    Directed by Nathan R. Matthews
    Choreography by John Fredo
    May 2 – 5, 2019

    Part of the UB Department of Theatre & Dance 2018 – 2019 Season

    The University at Buffalo Department of Theatre & Dance will present THE THREEPENNY OPERA from Thursday, 2 May through Sunday, 5 May 2019 in the Drama Theatre, located at the Center for the Arts, North Campus. Evening performances will be at 7:30 PM. There will be matinee performances on Saturday and Sunday at 2 PM.

    The University at Buffalo Department of Theatre & Dance will present the first production in the United States of America of a new adaptation written for and premiered by The National Theatre in London in 2016 by Tony and Olivier Award winning playwright, Simon Stephens. Nathan R. Matthews will serve as director and music supervisor for this newly conceived and designed full production with orchestra at the UB Center for the Arts Drama Theatre, 2-5 May 2019. The production will also feature choreography by John Fredo.

    A milestone of 20th century music theatre, THE THREEPENNY OPERA, reached its 90th anniversary in 2018. THE THREEPENNY OPERA is a play with music based upon John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera, by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill in collaboration with Elisabeth Hauptmann, English Adaptation by Simon Stephens. Stephens won both the Tony and Olivier Awards for his play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” Bertolt Brecht was a German playwright, poet and director known for his “epic theater” plays including The Good Person of Setzuan and Mother Courage and Her Children. Brecht collaborated with Kurt Weill on other projects including Happy End and The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. In addition to his work with Brecht, Kurt Weill had a notable career in the USA composing music for the stage, the concert hall and in for Hollywood films.

    “The Ballad of Mack the Knife,” the work’s opening number, continues to be one of the most popular songs of all time; and Kurt Weill’s music inspired such landmark shows as Cabaret, Chicago, and Urinetown. This gripping, macabre masterpiece, a criticism of capitalism and middle-class morality set in a world of corrupt money and unpunished evil, is one of the most produced works of music theatre worldwide. Weill’s celebrated score parodies operatic conventions and embraces the musical styles of jazz, period dance-music, and cabaret.

    Nathan R. Matthews, UB Associate Professor of Music Theatre and Director of Music Theatre, is a contributing author to THE OXFORD HANDBOOK OF SONDHEIM STUDIES. He has worked on Broadway, on the music staff of the Santa Fe Opera, across North America and abroad. Matthews is the founding Producing Artistic Director of New York’s Riverside Opera Ensemble where he has developed and produced new works of music theatre and has helmed events with the participation of Leonard Bernstein, Rosemary Harris, and Harolyn Blackwell. Matthews has worked with internationally acclaimed artists such as Dixie Carter, Melissa Errico, Malcolm Gets, Mark Hamill and Anne Hathaway. In western New York, Matthews has directed/music directed/conducted at UB and music directed/conducted at the Irish Classical Theatre Company, the Kavinoky Theatre, Musicalfare Theatre, and at Artpark.

    Students in the UB Music Theatre BFA degree program comprise the cast for THE THREEPENNY OPERA. A number of these students are from western New York including Nathan Roberts, Thomas Evans, Hannah Keller. This production is funded in part by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Inc., New York, NY.
    Tickets for general admission are $20, students and seniors can reserve tickets for $10. To reserve tickets please contact the CFA Box Office at (716) 645-2787 or visit the website For general information contact (716) 645-6897.

    May 2, 2019: Doors 7:00 PM / Show 7:30 PM
    May 3, 2019: Doors 7:00 PM / Show 7:30 PM
    May 4, 2019: Doors 1:30 PM / Show 2:00 PM
    May 4, 2019: Doors 7:00 PM / Show 7:30 PM
    May 5, 2019: Doors 1:30 PM / Show 2:00 PM

    UB Center for the Arts
    Drama Theatre
    University at Buffalo, North Campus
    Buffalo, NY, 14260

    $20.00 General Public
    $10.00 Student/Senior Admission

    CFA Box Office:
    (716) 645-2787

    Groups Sales:
    (716) 645-0611
    Charge by phone:

    Nathan R. Matthews
    Director, Associate Professor of Music Theatre
    Phone: (716) 645-0584

    Gina Cali-Misterkiewicz
    Assistant Dean for Marketing and Communications, Center for the Arts
    Phone: (716) 645-0755

    (716) 645-6897

    CFA Website:

    Department Website:

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