University of Texas at Austin's Theatre and Dance Department Presents "The Threepenny Opera"

Event: The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance presents the 20th century musical theater milestone, "The Threepenny Opera," written by Bertolt Brecht with music by Kurt Weill and directed by third-year Master of Fine Arts in Directing candidate Halena Kays. In a story told with live music and biting social commentary, Mack the Knife is on the prowl through London with the help of the city's most upstanding thieves in this raucous, outrageous and salacious musical.

When: Feb. 18, 19, 24, 25, 26 at 8 p.m.

Feb. 20, 27 at 2 p.m.

Where: Oscar G. Brockett Theatre in the F. Loren Winship Drama Building (WIN) at the intersection of 23rd and San Jacinto streets.

Tickets: $20 public, $17 faculty/staff and seniors, $10 students. On sale at the following authorized ticket outlets: Bass Concert Hall Box Office, most H-E-B stores and all Texas Box Office outlets, online at, or by calling 512-477-6060 or 800-982-BEVO.

Background: When creating "The Threepenny Opera," after John Gay's "The Beggar's Opera," composer Kurt Weill (1900-1950) and playwright Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) transformed saccharine, old-fashioned opera and operetta forms by blending sharp political perspective with the sounds of 1920s Berlin dance bands and cabarets. Weill's acid harmonies and Brecht's biting texts generated a revolutionary new musical theater inspiring Broadway hits like, "Cabaret," "Chicago" and "Urinetown."

Halena Kays most recently directed the premiere of Erin Phillips' "The Death of Beth" and a new adaptation of "The Trojan Women." For UT New Theatre she directed the premiere of Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig's award-winning drama "Lidless" and conceived, co-wrote and directed "101 Ways to..." for the 2009 University Co-op Presents the Cohen New Works Festival.