Threepenny Opera at Studio 54

The cast of 'Threepenny Opera' on stage.

Dale, Gasteyer, Cummings, McKay, Lauper on stage. This must be the opening or closing, because all of the neon is lit.

Doing a bit of website attic clean-up here, so this will be brief: Alisa and I saw The Threepenny Opera at Studio 54 back in June. It starred Alan Cumming, Nellie McKay, and Jim Dale, and featured Cyndi Lauper. It was a hell of a show. It had teeth, humor, and a strong message delivered through gritted teeth.

Lauper was actually a smaller part of the show than I anticipated, but she wasn’t the most interesting member of the cast. Cummings, Dale, and McKay were the real shining jewels in the cast. Cummings was, of course, a pleasure to watch. Dale’s wonderful take on the sleezy business man almost stole the show. McKay, who I’d never seen before, delivered her character with a sly, multi-layered flair, and she kept pace with Cummings and Dale with what looked like no effort. Even though the plot lost me at a few points, Threepenny Opera was a lot of fun.

The set, interestingly enough, was almost entirely typographic (as seen above). Without droning on about Brechtian techniques, I can sum it up as funny and effective, but a little lacking from a type design perspective (“No! Don’t squash the type and then immortalize it in neon!”). But other than that, good stuff.