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This Month in Theatre History

‘2nd Greatest Show on Earth’ launches a season, while Mack the Knife has trouble gaining traction.

80 YEARS AGO (1933)

Bertolt Brecht.
Bertolt Brecht.

Composer Kurt Weill and playwright Bertolt Brecht unveil The Threepenny Opera at the Empire Theatre on Broadway. The play closes after only 12 performances. The show’s opening number, “Mack the Knife,” will eventually become one of the top hits of the century, and will be recorded and performed by famous voices such as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.

60 YEARS AGO (1953)
Talk Radio and subUrbia playwright Eric Bogosian is born in Woburn, Mass.  After graduating from Oberlin College in Ohio, Bogosian will move to New York City, going on to write for the stage and for the screen.

40 YEARS AGO (1973)
With young audiences in mind, artist Zaro Weil and fifth grade teacher Lynn Rubright create Metro Theater Circus in St. Louis. They launch their season with 2nd Greatest Show on Earth, and go on to become a touring company. The company will adopt a new name in the ’90s, Metro Theater Company.

20 YEARS AGO (1993)
The Zuni Collective, rooted at the popular San Francisco Zuni Café, transforms into Z Space, which will become known as one of the nation’s leading laboratories for new work development. David Dower starts Z Space in an effort to support Bay Area theatre artists. The company will go on to produce works from disciplines including theatre, dance, visual art, music and performance art.

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