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Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

Don’t know what’s happening on PBS in your town tonight, but here in the center of the universe, Channel 13 is bringing us Kurt Weill’s brilliant (and somewhat depressing for the Christmas season) “The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.”  Great cast includes Audra McDonald, Patti LuPone, John Doyle, and Anthony Dean Griffey.  Check your local listings.


Comment from Steve Layton
Time: December 17, 2007, 6:47 pm

The first act looks great, but the other two worry me. And, like most works I love-love-love (and this is definitely one of those), I know the english translation will pain me to no end. Like the greatest musicals, so much that’s critically beautiful happens in the precise, almost syllable-by-syllable interplay between the original text and music.

Comment from Elaine Fine
Time: December 18, 2007, 9:44 am

It was odd. Griffey’s perfect English diction wrapping itself around that translation somehow made his character seem false. I too love this piece, but I found the production rather cold. Maybe it was the fact that it was on TV, maybe it was that oddly amplified piano, maybe it was the “in your faceness” of the staging.

Comment from zeno
Time: December 18, 2007, 3:52 pm

Since the San Francisco Opera and PBS apparently won’t be broadcasting “Appomattox” by Philip Glass and Christopher Hampton, it looks like the hoi polloi will have now to trudge out to their local mall multiplex and plop down 9 quid. [I also wonder whether the BBC will be broadcasting the world premiere of Harrison Birtwistle and David Harsent’s “The Minotaur” next spring, from London’s Royal Opera House. I recall that Birtwistle and Zinovieff’s “Mask of Orpheus”, in 1986 at ENO, was supposed to be broadcast on a delayed basis; but that the plan was aborted due to technical problems.]