The Threepenny Opera
by Bertolt Brecht
The Threepenny Opera was Brecht's first and greatest commercial success, and it remains one of his best-loved and most-performed plays. Based on John Gay's eighteenth-century Beggar's Opera, the play is set in Victorian England's Soho but satirizes the bourgeois society of the Weimar Republic through its wry love story of Polly Peachum and Mack the Knife Macheath. With Kurt Weill's music, which was one of the earliest and most successful attempts to introduce jazz into the theater, it became a popular hit throughout the Western world.