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Elliot Norton Reviews; Three Penny Opera, The


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Elliot Norton Reviews
Three Penny Opera, The
Program Number


Series Description

Boston theatre critic Elliot Norton interviews prominent actors, directors and producers on their craft. (Aired from October, 1958 to 1982. Winner of both Peabody and Tony Awards.) Series release date: 1958

Program Description

Elliot Norton interviews director Geraldine Fitzgerald and actors Elly Stone and Maryann Flunken about their production The Threepenny Opera by Bertold Brecht and composer Kurt Wiell at the Charles Playhouse. Stone talks about how she first played Jenny about twenty years prior in a summer stock production, when the play was banned in Philadelphia. They discuss Brecht’s ties to communism and the play’s reputation as communist propaganda. Flunken talks about first playing Lucy Brown and then Polly Peachum.

In this production, Fitzgerald wanted to stress the “creation of euphoria in the play, which would be transmitted to the audience.” She believes that Brecht was attempting to entertain his audience with this play. She also talks about the role of Filch the beggar and the actor who plays him - Adam Redfield, son of actor Billy Redfield. She discusses the element of “impish humor” that Stone brings to the role of Jenny, which has not been seen in previous interpretations of the role. Flunken talks about Polly as an innocent child who becomes disillusioned and grows up before our eyes. She also mentions the ironic quality of the entire script and Fitzgerald notes that as an Irish woman, she was able to recognize that ironic tone.

DIrector: Marcia Hulley. Taped 5/13/1982.

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Talk Show
Performing Arts
Chicago: “Elliot Norton Reviews; Three Penny Opera, The,” 05/13/1982, GBH Archives, accessed April 23, 2021,
MLA: “Elliot Norton Reviews; Three Penny Opera, The.” 05/13/1982. GBH Archives. Web. April 23, 2021. <>.
APA: Elliot Norton Reviews; Three Penny Opera, The. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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