Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

SD Fringe: 7 Deadly Sins

Rare staging of the terse, bitter masterpiece makes the case for the Fringe fest itself.

7 Deadly Sins
7 Deadly Sins

SD Fringe: Seven Deadly Sins

Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s 1933 “Ballet chante” — sung ballet — encapsulates many of Brecht’s themes in a short, spare piece. The full title’s “The Seven Deadly Sins of the Petty Bourgeoise.” In nine brief scenes, young Anna leaves Louisiana to find work. She’ll send money back to her family. They want to build a new house on the river. A “sin” awaits her at each stop. And Brecht lambastes Capitalism.

In Memphis, Anna dances topless in a cabaret. She can’t commit the sin of Pride, because she “isn’t rich enough to be proud.”

At Los Angeles, she works at a movie studio (how she lands these jobs amid the Great Depression isn’t addressed). When an extra’s mistreated, she can’t express her Anger, because she’ll lose her job.

She might become a star. While her family back home gobbles meals, she must starve herself. Gluttony will hold her back, since her contract has a weight clause. So Anna eats and purges into a waste basket.

For each scene, Weill has composed often beautiful, eerie, and ironic music: he gives Pride a waltz; Anger a fox trot; Gluttony a barbershop quartet, a capella; and Envy, a stately, heroic march.

In a sense, the piece is a kind of Seven Commandments of bourgeoisie living: if you want to fit in, these are the Thou Shalt Not’s.

Along with Weill’s wonderful score, Brecht splits Anna in two: Anna I and Anna II. They are sides of the same person. Brecht said the choice let him “convey the ambivalence inherent in the ‘sinner.’”

Though she shows occasional sympathy, Anna I acts like an imperious superego. Her angry songs criticize the travails of Anna II, who, as she tries to find happiness and self-expression, dances and suffers one humiliation after another.

Bodhi Tree Concerts initial staging had some persistent sound problems (though I hear some have been cleared up). But it’s still worth seeing, for Weill’s eclectic/ironic score — accompanied with dexterity by Mark Danisovsky on a baby grand — for Brecht’s bullet-train swipe at the evils of Capitalism, and for Shirley Johnson’s inventive direction and choreography.

7 Deadly Sins also makes a salient case for a fringe festival in San Diego: where else would we see Brecht/Weill’s terse, bitter masterpiece?

GETTING WORD OF MOUTH OUT

Counting the Buskers, who perform all over town, this year’s Fringe has over 80 entrants. Each day has nine time-slots and usually five shows on at once.

I only have two feet. And word of mouth needs to spread quickly, since the festival closes July 13.

To expand coverage in the Reader, I’ve asked some trusted theater people to make recommendations (Welton Jones, Kathi Diamant, Pat Launer, D.J. Sullivan, Jim Hebert). These aren’t reviews, or star-ratings, just a firm “yes” for a show.

This doesn’t mean these are the only must-see’s in the festival. Far from it: just an on-the-run poll. The following received several mentions:

  • The 146 Point Flame, at the Spreckels Off-Broadway.
  • Beau and Aero, at Tenth Ave. Arts Center.
  • Red, White, and Blacklisted, Spreckels RAW Space.
  • Will Work For, Tenth Ave. Arts Center, Cabaret Space.
  • Pretending Things are a C**K, Tenth Ave. Arts Center.
  • Ceremony, Tenth Ave. Arts Center.
  • The Mending Monologues, Spreckels RAW Space.
  • Solo y Juntos – Al Camino del Alma, Lyceum Theatre.

Many more, most likely, to follow.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Anne Bradstreet: the first writer in North America to be published

The first poet of importance in the American literary tradition
Next Article

Ocean Beach – San Diego's last true neighborhood

Berms, fire spinner, homeless, bully, radicals, Newport Avenue
7 Deadly Sins
7 Deadly Sins

SD Fringe: Seven Deadly Sins

Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s 1933 “Ballet chante” — sung ballet — encapsulates many of Brecht’s themes in a short, spare piece. The full title’s “The Seven Deadly Sins of the Petty Bourgeoise.” In nine brief scenes, young Anna leaves Louisiana to find work. She’ll send money back to her family. They want to build a new house on the river. A “sin” awaits her at each stop. And Brecht lambastes Capitalism.

In Memphis, Anna dances topless in a cabaret. She can’t commit the sin of Pride, because she “isn’t rich enough to be proud.”

At Los Angeles, she works at a movie studio (how she lands these jobs amid the Great Depression isn’t addressed). When an extra’s mistreated, she can’t express her Anger, because she’ll lose her job.

She might become a star. While her family back home gobbles meals, she must starve herself. Gluttony will hold her back, since her contract has a weight clause. So Anna eats and purges into a waste basket.

For each scene, Weill has composed often beautiful, eerie, and ironic music: he gives Pride a waltz; Anger a fox trot; Gluttony a barbershop quartet, a capella; and Envy, a stately, heroic march.

In a sense, the piece is a kind of Seven Commandments of bourgeoisie living: if you want to fit in, these are the Thou Shalt Not’s.

Along with Weill’s wonderful score, Brecht splits Anna in two: Anna I and Anna II. They are sides of the same person. Brecht said the choice let him “convey the ambivalence inherent in the ‘sinner.’”

Though she shows occasional sympathy, Anna I acts like an imperious superego. Her angry songs criticize the travails of Anna II, who, as she tries to find happiness and self-expression, dances and suffers one humiliation after another.

Bodhi Tree Concerts initial staging had some persistent sound problems (though I hear some have been cleared up). But it’s still worth seeing, for Weill’s eclectic/ironic score — accompanied with dexterity by Mark Danisovsky on a baby grand — for Brecht’s bullet-train swipe at the evils of Capitalism, and for Shirley Johnson’s inventive direction and choreography.

7 Deadly Sins also makes a salient case for a fringe festival in San Diego: where else would we see Brecht/Weill’s terse, bitter masterpiece?

GETTING WORD OF MOUTH OUT

Counting the Buskers, who perform all over town, this year’s Fringe has over 80 entrants. Each day has nine time-slots and usually five shows on at once.

I only have two feet. And word of mouth needs to spread quickly, since the festival closes July 13.

To expand coverage in the Reader, I’ve asked some trusted theater people to make recommendations (Welton Jones, Kathi Diamant, Pat Launer, D.J. Sullivan, Jim Hebert). These aren’t reviews, or star-ratings, just a firm “yes” for a show.

This doesn’t mean these are the only must-see’s in the festival. Far from it: just an on-the-run poll. The following received several mentions:

  • The 146 Point Flame, at the Spreckels Off-Broadway.
  • Beau and Aero, at Tenth Ave. Arts Center.
  • Red, White, and Blacklisted, Spreckels RAW Space.
  • Will Work For, Tenth Ave. Arts Center, Cabaret Space.
  • Pretending Things are a C**K, Tenth Ave. Arts Center.
  • Ceremony, Tenth Ave. Arts Center.
  • The Mending Monologues, Spreckels RAW Space.
  • Solo y Juntos – Al Camino del Alma, Lyceum Theatre.

Many more, most likely, to follow.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

First Cow: mooving picture

Carve out a culinary slice of the American dream
Next Article

Anne Bradstreet: the first writer in North America to be published

The first poet of importance in the American literary tradition
Comments
1

This looks really great! Go Mark, on that baby grand... where's some video?!

July 10, 2014

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close