5 Interesting Facts about Stanley Chase and “The Threepenny Opera”

2 years ago

On October 7, 2014 theater, television, and film producer, Stanley Chase passed away at age 87.  He was most famous for producing the 1954 Off-Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera by Bertolt Brecht– one of the most successful musicals of all time.

In honor of his legacy and impact on American theater history, here are  

5 Interesting Facts about Stanley Chase & The Threepenny Opera.

#1.) Chase was 26 years old when he co-produced The Threepenny Opera.


#2.)  In order to raise money for the production, Chase worked for months from a phone booth at Cromwell’s, a Manhattan cafeteria where actors met.


#3.) An earlier 1933 Broadway production of Threepenny Opera  closed after 12 performances. Chase’s 1954 production was the first smash hit in Off-Broadway history running for 6 years, totaled in 2,611 performances, and inspired jazz musicians like Louis Armstrong.


#4.) A star-studded cast! The original cast included Lotte Lenya, Charlotte Rae, Bea Arthur, and John Astin.  More than 700 actors were employed throughout the entire run.   Among them were Edward Asner, Leonard Nimoy, Carroll O’Connor, Jerry Orbach, Jerry Stiller, Estelle Parsons, and Viveca Lindfors. 

People arranged respectively from above.  Row 1: [1] [2] [3] [4]     Row 2: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]


#5.) The Threepenny Opera received the ONE and ONLY Tony Award honoring an Off-Broadway performance in 1956. Lotte Lenya as Jenny won for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical.

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