by Paula Citron
The kindest word to describe Soulpepper’s production of Brecht/Weill’s The Threepenny Opera is uneven. The cast includes many members from Soulpepper’s training academy, and while these emerging young professionals do creditable jobs, they lack the projection and polish of the seasoned actors. It may have seemed like a good idea to mix and match, but it doesn’t work.
Not only that, although the Brecht/Weill songs are singspeak, you need some musical acumen to pull them off, and quite frankly, everyone except Patricia O’Callaghan as Polly, whose stock in trade these cabaret songs are, is still looking for the key. At times this show is painful to the ear.
It’s a case of the whole being better than the parts. Tim Albery’s dark direction, Lorenzo Savoini’s sparse set and Paul Sportelli’s cynical approach to the music are very good. Too bad what is going on on stage is not up to par.
The Threepenny Opera continues until Mar. 25.
From the Young Centre, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.