Happy Hour #30: Der Dreigroschenpodcast - ‘The Threepenny Opera’

Hallo kinder! We’re going further than we’ve ever gone before for our thirtieth birthday, back to pre-war Germany and Brecht and Weill’s “The Threepenny Opera.” We learn the differences between Verfremdungseffekt and Gesamtkunstwerk, talk about how torturous times can create form-changing art and reflect on how Brechtian theatre exists today.

The Threepenny Opera – 1954 New York Cast Blitzstein Adaptation

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Show Notes

If you’ve only ever listened to the OBC, why not try something new and listen to the RIAS Berlin Symphony Orchestra recording starring Ute Lemper? It’s Jimi’s all time favourite.

Get your notepads out, listeners! It’s time for a bit of theatre education. Your prescribed textbook is ‘Brecht on Theatre: The Development of an Aesthetic.’ Turn to page 394.

If you’re more of an auditory learner check out this documentary here, here and here, featuring interviews from Brecht’s wife and collaborator Helene Weigel.

Don’t tell Brecht, but you should REALLY listen to ‘Tristan und Isolde’ by Wagner if you haven’t. It’s pretty darn life changing.

After that, continue you on your operatic journey and check out our musical theatre pal Patti LuPone in Brecht and Weill’s ‘The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny’ and then buy the DVD.

There are approximately an annjillian versions of ‘Mack the Knife,’ but here’s Ella Fitzgerald showing us all how to get over forgetting the lyrics mid-song.

Tommy pulled out Weill’s ‘The Firebrand of Florence’ out of his pocket mid-podcast. Check out what the hell he was talking about here!

What do you think about the music of ‘The Threepenny Opera?’ Tommy’s tied, Jimi’s in love, where are you? Tell us on Reddit!

Here’s the queen of cabaret, Lotte Lenya, singing one of Jimi’s all-time favourite musical theatre numbers - ‘Pirate Jenny.’ Then have a swatch at Ute Lemper, her contemporary counterpart, doing the same in German. But if you want something completely different, check out Amanda Palmer taking her NSFW take on it! Which do you prefer?

Why was Bob Dylan aroused? It’s a question we ask ourselves every day. Check out this article to find a bit about why!

We’ve not heard from ‘Forbidden Broadway’ in a while, check out their inadvertent pastiche of ‘The Threepenny Opera’ in their ‘Spring Awakening’ spoof!

Also if anyone wants to hear more from Lotte Lenya or Bertolt Brecht in Jimi’s little book,

Bonus shnote! Here's Jimi when he played Mr Peachum in a production of 'The Threepenny Opera' at the Edinburgh Fringe:


Which musical caused the events of this quote to occur:

“From the outside, I’m sure it sounded like all hell had broken loose in my dressing room, which in fact it had. I was hysterical … I took to batting practice in my dressing room with a floor lamp. I swung at everything in sight — mirrors, wig stands, makeup, wardrobe, furniture, everything. Then I heaved a lamp out the second-floor window.”

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