Playwright George Tabori assembled a huge master script -- too massive for inclusion in any one production -- of materials collected from the works of Bertolt Brecht. Directors are urged to make their own selection from the myriad pieces, which include poems, songs, scenes and transcripts of Brecht's wily testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee. This production is selected and directed by Alistair Hunter, on the 40th anniversary of his 1973 production of the piece for the Scorpio Rising Theatre, which ran for three years in repertory. It emphasizes Brecht's role as a savage, disenchanted social critic who distrusted governments -- all governments -- and includes songs from The Three-Penny Opera, Mother Courage
and The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny
. Also in the mix are "The Jewish Wife" episode from Fears and Mysteries of the Third Reich
, some clever and bitterly ironic poems and amusing anecdotes, all performed with gusto and finesse by the five-person ensemble of Gil Hagen-Hill, Daniel Houston-Davila, Belinda Howell, Susan Kussman and Gregg Lawrence. While the prose selections remind us of Brecht's quieter, more thoughtful side, it's the bitterly satiric Kurt Weill songs and ensembles that prove to be the highlights. The Other Theatre Company at Atwater Playhouse, 3191 Casitas Ave., Atwater Village; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m., Sun., 2 p.m., through June 9. (323) 960-1054, plays411.com/brecht.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m.; Fri., May 17, 8 p.m.; Sat., May 18, 8 p.m.; Sun., May 19, 2 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sun., June 2, 2 p.m.; Sun., June 9, 2 p.m. Starts: April 27. Continues through June 9, 2013