Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny
Los Angeles Opera’s production of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s delightfully subversive political satire about three criminals who create a city where lawlessness and hedonism are the main occupations and the only crime is to run out of money is being billed as a “risqué new production as controversial as the original one banned by the Nazis in the 1930s.” That’s a little hard to believe; after all, is there really anything that can shock a 2007 audience? Repressive Nazi audiences, however, were a different matter, and Mahagonny was banned in 1933 and did not have a significant production until the 1960s. The marvelous score, a striking blend of ragtime, jazz, music hall and opera best known for “Moon of Alabama,” is still a winner, and the story — an allegory about political and moral corruption — remains eternally relevant. Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion; Sat. & Thurs., Feb. 17 & 22, 7:30 p.m.; thru March 4; $30-$220. (213) 972-8001 or www.LAOpera.com. See Alan Rich’s review on page TK.
—Mary Beth Crain