Threepenny Opera with Cumming, Falco and McKay Announced for Spring '06
Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director) will present Tony® award winning Alan Cumming as "Macheath," Emmy® and Golden Globe® award winning Edie Falco as "Jenny" and Nellie McKay as "Polly" in a new Broadway production of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera, directed by Scott Elliott on Broadway at Studio 54. Roundabout Theatre Company has commissioned Wallace Shawn to translate and adapt the original German book and lyrics for the production.
Performances will begin in Spring 2006. This will be a limited engagement. The cast and creative team will be announced shortly.
The Threepenny Opera serves up a deliciously dark satire of "respectable" society, with dashing thieves, saucy prostitutes, and lingering melodies. Based on Elizabeth Hauptmann's German translation of John Gay's eighteenth-century The Beggar's Opera , The Threepenny Opera thrusts the audience into the seedy underworld of Mack the Knife, a dapper criminal and his wry love affair with Polly Peachum.
Scott Elliott is an Associate Artist of the Roundabout Theatre Company. For the Roundabout Theatre Company, he has directed Chekhov's Three Sisters and Clare Boothe Luce's The Women.
The Threepenny Opera premiered on Broadway at the Empire Theatre on April 13, 1933. The last Broadway revival began at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on November 5th, 1989.
The Threepenny Opera will be the fifth musical at Studio 54 since Roundabout Theatre Company purchased the venue that will serve as their new home for musical theatre productions and special theatrical events. The past tenants include Pacific Overtures, the Tony® award-winning production of Assassins and the Tony® award-winning production of Cabaret which had its final performance on January 4, 2004, after a six year run.
Tickets will be available in the Spring of 2006 and available by calling Roundabout Ticket Services at (212) 719-1300, check online at www.roundabouttheatre.org for details.
BERTOLT BRECHT (1898-1956). Poet, playwright, and theatre director, born in Augsburg, S Germany. His early plays, marked by a revolt against bourgeois values, won him success, controversy, and the Kleist Prize in 1922. Popularity came with Die Dreigroschenoper (1928, The Threepenny Opera), an adaptation of Gay's The Beggar's Opera (1728), and from then until 1933 his work was particularly concerned with encouraging audiences to think rather than identify, and with experimentation in epic theatre and alienation effects. Hitler's rise to power forced him to leave Germany, and he lived in exile for 15 years, chiefly in the USA. During this period, he wrote some of his greatest plays, including Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder (1938, Mother Courage and her Children) and Der Kaukasische Kreidekreis (1945, The Caucasian Chalk Circle). After his return to East Berlin in 1948, his directorial work on these and other plays with the Berliner Ensemble firmly established his influence as a major figure in 20th-c theatre. In 1955 he received the Stalin Peace Prize.
KURT WEILL (1900-1950) began his career in the early 1920's, after a musical childhood and several years of study in Berlin. By the time his first opera, The Protagonist (Georg Kaiser), was performed in April 1926, he was an established young German composer. But he had already decided to devote himself to the musical theater, and his works with Bertolt Brecht soon made him famous all over Europe. He fled the new Nazi leadership in March 1933 and continued his indefatigable efforts, first in Paris (1933-35), then in the U.S. until his death. Certain common threads tie together his career: a concern for social justice, an aggressive pursuit of highly-regarded playwrights and lyricists as collaborators, and the ability to adapt to audience tastes no matter where he found himself. His most important works: the Violin Concerto (1925), The Threepenny Opera (Bertolt Brecht, 1928), Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (Brecht, 1930), The Pledge (Caspar Neher, 1932), The Seven Deadly Sins (Brecht, 1933), Lady in the Dark (Moss Hart and Ira Gershwin, 1941), Street Scene (Elmer Rice and Langston Hughes, 1947), Lost in the Stars (Maxwell Anderson, 1949). He died of heart failure in 1950, shortly after he and Anderson began work on a musical adaptation of Huckleberry Finn, leaving behind a large catalogue of works and a reputation that continues to grow as more of his music is performed. Weill was raised in a religious Jewish family in Dessau, Germany. Although he was not observant, he composed a number of "Jewish" works, from a vast score to The Eternal Road (1937, Franz Werfel) to a setting of the Kiddush. He married actress Lotte Lenya in 1926; they maintained a close relationship throughout his life despite their divorce in 1933 (they remarried in 1937).
Scott Elliott (Director). Broadway credits include The Women, Three Sisters (both with the Roundabout Theatre Company, where he is an Artistic Associate), and Present Laughter. At the New Group, where is is Artistic Director, he has directed Aunt Dan and Lemon, The Women of Lockerbie, Comedians, Smelling a Rat, Ecstasy, Goose-Pimples, Curtains, Hazelwood Jr. High, East is East, Cranes, What the Butler Saw, Betwixt, and Andrew after Dark. His producing credits with the New Group include: Avenue Q (which recently moved to Broadway), as well as Roar, This is Our Youth, My Night with Reg, Another American, Servicemen, The Fastest Clock in the Universe, The Flatted Fifth, Paradise Island, Some Voices, and Halfway Home. Other credits: The Monogamist (Off-Broadway); The Ride Down Mt. Morgan, The End of the Day (Williamstown); and A Map of the World (film). Awards: OBIE, Lucille Lortel, Calloway, National Board of Review, Excellence in Independent Filmmaking.
Alan Cumming (Macheath) trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. On the New York stage he has appeared in Elle (which he also adapted); Design For Living and Cabaret at the Roundabout Theatre Company (for which he won the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Theater World, New York Press, FANY and New York Public Advocate's Awards). In London: Hamlet at the Donmar Warehouse (TMA Best Actor award and Shakespeare Globe nomination), Cabaret (Olivier nomination), La Bete (Olivier nomination), Conquest of the South Pole (Olivier nomination) and seasons with the RSC and RNT, where he won an Olivier Award for his performance in Accidental Death of an Anarchist (which he also co-adapted). Alan will next be seen in Showtime's Reefer Madness, a tongue-in-cheek musical comedy adaptation of the 1936 classic anti-marijuana propaganda film. He can currently be seen in Son of the Mask with Jamie Kennedy. Cumming recently completed work on the animated feature Ant Bully for Warner Bros. as well as the independent films Neverwas, costarring Aaron Eckhart, and Bam Bam and Celeste, directed by Margaret Cho. He wrote, directed, produced and acted in (with Jennifer Jason Leigh) the feature film The Anniversary Party, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and won a National Board of Review award and two Independent Spirit award nominations. He also directed the short films Butter and Burn Your Phone. Recent films include X2: X-Men United, Spy Kids 3, Nicholas Nickleby, Josie and the Pussycats, Company Man, Titus, Urbania, Eyes Wide Shut, Emma, Circle of Friends, Goldeneye and Buddy. His debut novel, Tommy's Tale, is available now and fragrance CUMMING will hit stores in March. He resides in New York City.
Edie Falco (Jenny) became the only actress to ever receive the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Dramatic Series, the Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Dramatic Television Series, and the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama, all in the same year for her performance as "Carmela Soprano" in the groundbreaking HBO series The Sopranos' debut season. She has subsequently been nominated for each award for each eligible television season, winning two additional Emmy Awards and another Golden Globe Award, as well as the American Film Institute's award for Female Television Actor of the Year. When she received the Television Critics Association Award for Individual Achievement in Drama, it was the first time in the history of the TCA that the award was presented to a woman. She is also known to television audiences from her recurring roles in the HBO dramatic series Oz and the acclaimed NBC series Law and Order and Homicide. Ms. Falco made her Broadway debut in the Tony Award winning play Sideman, which she originated in its off-Broadway production. For her performance, she received a Theatre World Award and a Drama Desk Award nomination for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play. She went on to make her London stage debut in the West End premiere of Sideman, and thereafter opened the London production of the highly successful play The Vagina Monologues. When Ms. Falco starred opposite Stanley Tucci in the lauded revival of Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune, the play broke four house box office records at Broadway's Belasco Theatre making it the most successful play on Broadway all season. She appeared on Broadway most recently opposite Brenda Blethyn in the first revival of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, 'Night, Mother. For the feature film Cost of Living, Ms. Falco received the American Film Institute's Best Actress Award. Her performance in the film Laws of Gravity earned her an Independent Spirit Award Nomination for Best Female Lead Actor. Her other film credits include A Price Above Rubies, Copland, Trouble on the Corner, Private Parts, Hurricane, Layin' Low, Breathing Room, The Funeral, The Addiction, Bullets Over Broadway, Trust, The Unbelievable Truth, Random Hearts, and the title character in the award-winning film Judy Berlin. For her performance in John Sayles' Sunshine State, Ms. Falco received the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and New York Film Critics Online Award for Best Supporting Actress. She will next be seen in the feature films The Quiet and The Great New Wonderful, and will begin shooting the feature film Freedomland opposite Julianne Moore and Samuel L. Jackson next month.
Nellie McKay (Polly) www.NellieMcKay.com, was signed to Columbia Records in 2003 and, shortly thereafter, began recording her critically acclaimed debut album, a double-disk set entitled Get Away From Me in February 2004. In late 2003, she opened for Cyndi Lauper in a series of concert performances and, 2004, performed around the country and overseas. She opened for Sting in Switzerland, France, Spain and Germany and opened for the Barenaked Ladies and Alanis Morissette on that tour's northeast and west coast dates. Among her 2004 U.S. concert dates, Nellie opened for Lou Reed at Carnegie Hall. Nellie has also participated in benefits for groups ranging from Planned Parenthood to Fair Fund to the ACLU. In late September, Nellie joined a cast of performers--including Ms. Lauper, Boyz II Men, and Alicia Keys--at the Great Wall of China for a charity special, benefiting the China Children and Teenagers' Fund, to be broadcast worldwide in early 2005. Nellie was recently seen performing-- along with Elvis Costello, Green Day, and Robbie Williams--on the "Later With Jools" television show in England. Nellie was named as finalist for this year's Shortlist Music Prize. Nellie has begun recording her second studio album, in addition to working on television, theater and film projects. Nellie has also been active in supporting get-out-the-vote efforts and the campaign to close Columbia University's primate laboratories. She continues to reside in her native Harlem.
Roundabout Theatre Company is one of the country's leading not-for-profit theatres. The company contributes invaluably to New York's cultural life by staging the highest quality revivals of classic plays and musicals as well as new plays by established writers. Roundabout consistently partners great artists with great works to bring a fresh and exciting interpretation that makes each production relevant and important to today's audiences.
The 2004-05 season marks an extraordinary time in Roundabout's history. The theatre has finally secured three permanent theatres each of which is designed specifically to enhance the needs of the Roundabout's mission. The off Broadway home, the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre's Laura Pels Theatre with its simple sophisticated design is perfectly suited to showcasing new plays while the grandeur of its Broadway home, American Airlines Theatre, sets the ideal stage for the classics. Roundabout's Studio 54 provides an exciting and intimate Broadway venue for its musical and special event productions. Together these three distinctive venues serve to enhance the work on each of its stages.
Roundabout Theatre Company productions are made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; New York State Council on the Arts; National Endowment for the Arts; and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. American Airlines is the official airline of Roundabout Theatre Company. The Westin Hotel is the official hotel of the Roundabout Theatre Company.