Itay Tiran as Mack the Knife in the Cameri Theatre's The Threepenny Opera/Photo: Ayelet DekelItay Tiran as Mack the Knife in the Cameri Theatre’s The Threepenny Opera/Photo: Ayelet Dekel

The Threepenny Opera, with its scathing social critique and jazzy numbers, will open at the Cameri Theatre on June 11, 2015, directed by Gilad Kimchi. Since this is Brecht, please remember that the jazzy songs and dances are there to disrupt the emotional connection between the viewer and the characters onstage, this disconnect allowing one to reflect on the themes and issues. Of course, if you are having a lot of fun while contemplating social change, that’s fine too. A backstage peek at Cameri rehearsals would seem to indicate that pleasure and social critique work very well together.

Yossi Graber officiates as Itay Tiran and Merav Shirom say "I do"/Photo: Ayelet DekelYossi Graber officiates as Itay Tiran and Merav Shirom say “I do”/Photo: Ayelet Dekel

Dance! The Threepenny Opera/Photo: Ayelet DekelDance!/Photo: Ayelet Dekel

Danger - The Threepenny Opera/Photo: Ayelet DekelDanger/Photo: Ayelet Dekel

The cast is excellent, with Itay Tiran as the amoral Mack the Knife, Gadi Yagil as his scheming father-in-law Peachum, Irit Kaplan as Mrs. Peachum, and Merav Shirom as their daughter Polly, Mack’s new bride. Yossi Graber brings his radiant presence to the role of Street Singer. Chief of Police Tiger Brown (Simha Barbiro) is also Mack’s old army buddy, and interestingly enough, his daughter Lucy (Kinneret Limoni) also seems to have a claim on Mack’s heart (or some other vital organ), as does Jenny Bordella (Helena Yarlova). Yes, it gets interesting.

Lucy (Kinneret Limoni) and Polly (Merav Shirom) vie for Mack's heart - The Threepenny Opera/Photo: Ayelet DekelLucy (Kinneret Limoni) and Polly (Merav Shirom) vie for Mack’s heart/Photo: Ayelet Dekel

Let's not forget Jenny (Helena Yarlova) who has her own claims/Photo: Ayelet DekelLet’s not forget Jenny (Helena Yarlova) who has her own claims/Photo: Ayelet Dekel

Brecht adapted his play from John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera, with Kurt Weill composing the original score. Brecht’s assistant and collaborator Elisabeth Hauptman translated the libretto from English to German, and the Hebrew version is translated by the talented Dori Parnes. The Threepenny Opera premiered in Berlin on August 31, 1928. Introducing this morning’s look at a few select scenes, Cameri Theatre Artistic Director Omri Nitzan mentioned Brecht’s predilection for establishing distance between the audience and the events of the play in history and geography, setting The Good Person of Szechuan in China and The Threepenny Opera in London. From that comfortable vantage point one can more readily observe and critique the moral failings and sins of society, government, and all those who wield power over the vulnerable and the poor.

Mack the Knife (Itay Tiran): "Food first, then morality"/Photo: Ayelet DekelMack the Knife (Itay Tiran): “Food first, then morality”/Photo: Ayelet Dekel

As Mack says: “Food first, then morality.”

Irit Kaplan, Gadi Yagil, Merav Shirom - The Threepenny Opera/Photo: Ayelet DekelIrit Kaplan, Gadi Yagil, Merav Shirom/Photo: Ayelet Dekel

The Threepenny Opera rehearsals/Photo: Ayelet DekelThe Threepenny Opera rehearsals/Photo: Ayelet Dekel

Performances dates, ticket purchase and additional information may be found on the Cameri Theatre website.

All photos were taken during a preview look at rehearsals for The Threepenny Opera at the Cameri Theatre, without costumes or set.

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