Just so, just so,' said Bar, nodding his head, for he was not to be put off in that way, 'and therefore I spoke of our sitting in Banco to take a special argument--meaning this to be a high and solemn occasion, when, as Captain Macheath
says, "the judges are met: a terrible show
In fact, Rodriguez wrote the part of Bucho for Raul Julia (who died before filming began), who compared it to his work as Macheath
in The Threepenny Opera (Ramirez Berg 237-38).
It centres around Macheath
, London's most notorious criminal, who has recently married Polly, the daughter of Jonathan Peachum, the leader of the beggars.
The scene is set in Newgate Prison where the highwayman hero Macheath
is about to be hanged, and the two women who both believe themselves to be his wife are pleading to their respective fathers to save him.
Staged in March and April, it features the rogueish Macheath
and songs including Mack the Knife.
I'm not sure whether this would have stopped Captain Macheath
in his tracks, but still, he might have thought it wise to curtail his activities and spur his horse back to London, where perhaps Polly Peachum could tend to his puncture wounds and wounded pride.
This depressed young widower grows before our eyes from a bit part outsider with a single line to the leading role of Captain Macheath
, even mirroring that master of lechery and larceny by wenching with the best of them.
Peachum becomes the turncoat leader of a community co-op, literally selling workers down the river for his own financial advantage; Polly, Peachum's daughter, rebels against him and joins the motley crew headed by Macheath
(here a black pirate known as Morano) in order to fight the authorities.
I began to imagine it as a sort of slightly-dodgy, Restoration-comedy character (a friend of MacHeath
Polly tells a melodramatic tale reuniting Polly Peachum and Macheath
in the West Indies and ending in Polly's marriage to the Indian prince, Cawwawkee.
Indeed, Cibber refused it for his theatre and the famous actor Quin declined to play MacHeath
Raul Julia is Macheath
(here known as "Mac the Knife"), and the cast also includes Ellen Greene, Elizabeth Wilson, Tony Azito and Caroline Kava.