A darkly comic new take on Brecht and Weill’s raucous musical “The Threepenny Opera” will be broadcast live from London’s National Theatre to the Strand Theatre, 345 Main St., Thursday, Sept. 22, at 2 p.m.

“The Threepenny Opera” proclaims itself "an opera for beggars" and offers a socialist critique of the capitalist world. It was in fact an attempt both to satirize traditional opera and operetta; and to create a new kind of musical theater based on the theories of two young German artists, composer Kurt Weill and poet-playwright Bert Brecht. The show opens with a mock-Baroque overture, a nod to its source, “The Beggar's Opera,” a brilliantly successful parody of Handel's operas written by John Gay in 1728.

“The Threepenny Opera” was first performed in August 1928 in Berlin. By 1933, when Weill and Brecht were forced to leave Germany by the Nazi seizure of power, the play had been translated into 18 languages and performed more than 10,000 times on European stages. Songs from “The Threepenny Opera” have been widely covered and become standards, most notably "Die Moritat von Mackie Messer" ("The Ballad of Mack the Knife") and "Seeräuberjenny" ("Pirate Jenny").

The setting is a fair in Victorian London, just before Queen Victoria's coronation. The story focuses on Macheath, an amoral criminal who marries Polly Peachum. This displeases her father, who controls the beggars of London, and he endeavors to have Macheath hanged. His attempts are hindered by the fact that the Chief of Police, Tiger Brown, is Macheath's old army comrade. Still, Peachum exerts his influence and eventually gets Macheath arrested and sentenced to hang. Macheath escapes these fate moments before the execution when, in an unrestrained parody of a happy ending, a messenger from the Queen arrives to pardon Macheath and grant him the title of Baron.

This new, anarchic production was adapted by Simon Stephens (“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”) and directed by Rufus Norris (“Everyman,” “London Road”), with Olivier Award-winner Rory Kinnear (“Hamlet,” “Othello,” “James Bond”) as Macheath alongside Rosalie Craig (“As You Like It,” “My Family and other Animals”) as Polly Peachum and Haydn Gwynne (“The Windsors,” “Drop the Dead Donkey”) as Mrs. Peachum.

Be advised that this production contains scenes of a sexual nature, violence and profanity. Tickets are $10, general admission. To buy tickets or for more information, visit rocklandstrand.com; call 594-0070, ext. 3; or email info@rocklandstrand.com.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.