Update: Michael Cerveris’s performance of “Mack the Knife” now available on Youtube. Watch it!
On 18 May 2015, at Webster Hall in New York, the 60th Annual Obie Awards, which recognize outstanding achievements in Off-Broadway theater, will highlight Weill’s unique contributions to Off-Broadway musical theater. The ceremony will feature a video tribute to The Threepenny Opera and a live performance of “Mack the Knife” by Michael Cerveris and friends. The video will include excerpts from an interview with Kim H. Kowalke, President of the Foundation, and images from the original off-Broadway production.
In 1956, the first year Obies were awarded, Threepenny earned the prize for Best Musical, less than two months after the show also won a special Tony Award despite the fact that it ran off-Broadway (Lenya also took home a Tony for her performance in Threepenny that year.) The recognition was fitting given the powerful boost to the off-Broadway movement that Threepenny provided. Marc Blitzstein’s English adaptation ran from 1955 until 1961 (2,611 consecutive performances), setting a record at the time for the longest run of a musical in the history of American theater. As a result, the comparatively new phenomenon of off-Broadway theater attracted substantial attention from critics and audiences alike and began to build a reputation as a viable, vibrant alternative to the Great White Way.
Village Voice video tribute to The Threepenny Opera
Official Obies website
Learn more about The Threepenny Opera