Mack the Knife reappears in new production of Beggar’s Opera tonight!

Lucy and Macheath in Seven Tyrants' production of A Beggar's Opera. Photo credit: David Newham.

Lucy and Macheath in Seven Tyrants’ production of A Beggar’s Opera. Photo credit: David Newham.

Seven Tyrants Theatre’s Beggar’s Opera returns to Vancouver for 10 performances this March, beginning tonight (March 4).

The updated version of John Gay’s 1728 ballad opera The Beggar’s Opera brings the classic story into the modern day, with visual effects and a new score drawing from contemporary musical influences. But don’t worry, the iconic “Mack the Knife” – written for Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s 1928 take on the story, The Threepenny Opera – remains.

Seven Tyrants premiered their updated version of Gay’s script last year at Performance Works on Granville Island, where it was well-received.

In David Newham’s adaptation, the show is divided into ten vignettes rather than the three acts of the original. Daniel Deorksen contributes an original musical score that draws on a range of styles, from jazz to the avant-rock of Frank Zappa and the underworld ethos of Tom Waits, with a little bit of The Muppets thrown in for good measure.

Deorksen performs the score live with violinist Phyllis Ho and the cast of 15 performers. The musical numbers have been choreographed by Catherine Burnett with nods to choreographers Jerome Robbins and Pina Bausch, with perhaps some Monty Python sprinkled on top for a lighter touch.

Much of the original cast remains, including Tallulah Winkelman as Polly, Linden Banks as Mr. Peachum, Kayla Deorksen as Lucy and Gord Myren as Lockit the Warden, with new members including Cameron Anderson as Macheath, the opera’s anti-hero.

Beggar’s Opera runs March 4-14 at Jericho Arts Centre (1675 Discovery St.). Evening shows are Tuesday – Sunday at 8 p.m.

Tuesday performances are $20. Wed-Sun shows are $29.

The Sunday March 9 performance is 2-for-1 at the door (based on available seating). Students can save $5 at the door (with valid Student ID).

Advanced tickets available at TicketsTonight (1-877-840-0457).

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