If the "opera" of the title evokes images of Viking helmets and glass-shattering arias, think again. Scored by composer Kurt Weill in the style of jazz and contemporary German popular music, this late-1920s proto-musical is peopled by pimps, thieves, prostitutes and would-be pirate queens. Writer Bertolt Brecht, for his part, was never shy about mixing his theater and his politics. In adapting The Threepenny Opera, he created an anti-capitalist antihero in Macheath (aka Mack the Knife), whose jealous and suspicious father-in-law hatches a sinister plan to leave Macheath swinging from the gallows. Along with the incredibly catchy "Ballad of Mack the Knife," memorable tunes include "Pirate Jenny" and the tango-like "Pimp's Ballad." Robert Tombari (Macheath), Isabella Mesenbrink (Polly Peachum) and Abbey Crawford (Jenny) star under Troy Nickerson's direction.
Oct. 18-Nov. 3; Thu-Sat at 7:30 pm, Sun at 2 pm • $25 • Stage Left Theater • 108 W. Third • spokanestageleft.org • 593-8203
— E.J. Iannelli