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What Keeps Mankind Alive? 

Macheath — "Mack the Knife" to friend and foe alike — is the king of the criminals in North London. He treats crime like a business, running an efficient organization and staying one step ahead of the law because, hey — he's bribed the law. His love life is a little less organized, as he has several women on the string and one brand-new wife, the lovely young Polly Peachum. Her father is the king of the beggars, and he and Mrs. Peachum aren't happy with their new son-in-law, so they arrange to have him arrested for all his many crimes. Who will save Mack? Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's Threepenny Opera drops you into the seamy world of crime, bribes, political favors and business — it's like going to Washington but with a jazzy score and some of the most scathing songs to which you'll ever tap a foot. The Washington University Performing Arts Department presents Threepenny Opera at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (October 22 through 31) at Washington University's Edison Theatre (6445 Forsyth Boulevard; 314-935-543 or edisontheatre.wustl.edu). Tickets are $10 to $15.
Fridays-Sundays. Starts: Oct. 22. Continues through Oct. 31, 2010

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