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The Threepenny Opera



'At Signature, "Threepenny Opera's heart beats strongest with Natascia Diaz's Jenny on stage'. Mac's back in town, but it's Jenny's show" "For the real Brechtian deal, spend a few fulfilling minutes in the presence of Natascia Diaz, the sultry Jenny of Signature Theatre’s capable, lusty-voiced revival of “The Threepenny Opera,” as she sings of shark’s teeth and other pointed things pertaining to her ultra-dangerous lover, Mack the Knife. With her hard/soft eyes — languorous glances suggesting both suffering and desire — Diaz inhabits the brooding underworld of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s landmark musical with such a powerful sense of mystery you could spend the entire show trying to puzzle out what’s going through Jenny’s mind. Is it hate that drives this lady of the evening to betray the seductively corrupt Mack and send him to the gallows? Or is it the exact opposite? Diaz’s pure embodiment of the enigma of Jenny gets in some crucial way at the essence of this sermonizing show that shames all of us who have and think too little of those who have not...The actress is pivotal to the most resonant moments of director Matthew Gardiner’s production…this “Threepenny” beats with a plaintively compelling heart. And never more so than whenever Diaz makes an entrance."


"Before Mitchell Jarvis’s Macheath even appears from the shadows, he’s introduced by Jenny (Natascia Diaz) in what feels like the most thrilling rendition of “Mack the Knife” in the history of theater. “He’s a rapist, he’s a sadist,” Diaz sings, with eyes impossibly vast and mournful. “And they haven’t caught him yet....after her phenomenal opening number she disappears for the length of a Bible." (...full review


"Threepenny begins with a terrific, gritty brass and reed-centric eight-piece jazz band under the wonderful musical direction of Gabriel Mangiante. The overture brings us into the fray. A dark-haired woman slowly steps into view: dead center. Lights, little by little, come up on her. We are introduced to a seedy world by a street-walker named Jenny (a raw, hooded-eyes, hypnotic Natascia Diaz). She is clearly street-wise, but lost, almost dead in the eyes, as she ever so slowly, enunciates each word, each syllable of the lyrics “The Flick Knife Song” about the crook, rapist, sadist and quick with a knife, Macheath (Mack the Knife).I simply cannot image being Diaz taking this iconic song on. Jeez, think about the many versions of this song, and the number of artists who have sung it. Diaz had to sweep them away to get the show up and running. She took the audience by its collective neck with one hand to bring them into the rough world of Threepenny Opera. Diaz did that and more. With each word and syllable, her diction pure, her darkly tinged voice drew the audience into her world. She effectively grounded Threepenny Opera. Then, she dropped her grip and the show went on. Throughout the show, Diaz in her singing and appearances, projects pain and being battered with an “I will get by attitude.” She is not so emotionally broken that she can’t or won’t find ways to strike back at those who did her ill."  (...full article


"Natascia Diaz plays the prostitute Jenny, with an ennui that chills to the bone.  Opening with the solo “The Flick Knife” a mournful song that describes Mack as the low-down murderer she loves, she offers up an eerie and halting rendition of the grisly ballad."  (...full review


"It’s hard to know where Signature Theatre’s “The Threepenny Opera” can go after Natascia Diaz’s show-stopper, when as Jenny, she stands alone on the stage and sings “The Flick Knife Song,” better known as “Mack the Knife,” in a carefully paced and enunciated crystalline voice. It is the opening song of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s cynical musical, and she is mesmerizing. Her rendition is so chillingly haunting that it is possible to forget all those other more familiar jazz-style renditions by Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and Bobby Daren. Diaz has such a commanding presence that it is unfortunate Jenny isn’t required to be on stage more...Everything circles back to Diaz who is this production’s superstar. It is unfortunate that the ending didn’t find a way to bring HER back onto the stage to reprise her stirring “Mack the Knife.” (...full review


"Director-choreographer Matthew Gardiner sets the stage at once with Natascia Diaz's biting version of "The Flick Knife Song" (the song known universally as "Mack the Knife"), the first verse of which she performs breathtakingly a cappella." (...full review


"The lights dim snappishly—almost violently—and a woman (Natascia Diaz)—bare except for a short slip dress and a blood-red coat—emerges from the shadows, singing to us about a mysterious murderer and rapist—the enigmatic antihero of the show—in “The Flick Knife Song.” She tells us about a vicious, violent man who “violated [women] in her slumber” and “slashes at his prey” in gruesome detail. The audience cringes. The song builds and then, suddenly, screeches to an abrupt halt. There is complete silence, the audience holds its breath and, after a few brief suspenseful moments, hesitantly exhales. The audience is hooked. I was hooked. Scene-stealers for the evening include Natascia Diaz as Jenny, who masterfully plays a scorned woman who was previously romantic involved with the antihero Macheath. Her rendition of “The Flick Knife Song” sent chills down my spine, and her masterful and precise acting matches seamlessly the sharp and cunning character that she embodies." (...full review


"The first song, “The Flick Knife Song,” is Jenny’s. We’ll learn later Jenny survives through prostitution. Natascia Diaz sings the song stunningly, breathtakingly, beginning intimately, slowly, then building to a brazen belt."  (...full review)


"Sad-eyed Natascia Diaz provides the most pathos and passion (and the night’s best pipes) as conflicted prostitute Jenny, whose old love for Macheath burns in conflict with a desire for vengeance and a need to survive."  (...full review)


"The phenomenal Natascia Diaz as Jenny, the woman who ultimately betrays Mack, is the first to sing, offering a dramatic rendering of the famous standard "Mack The Knife" -- here dubbed "The Flick Knife Song" -- which she starts off singing a cappella, showcasing her seemingly perfect pitch and incredible tone."  (...full review)

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