Happy End | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's 1929 musical concerns the romance between a Chicago mobster and a sexually repressed Salvation Army worker, "Hallelujah Lil, the saint of South Canal Street." Written as a follow-up to The Threepenny Opera, the show was a flop in its time and is seldom revived. The slipshod script is a mostly unfunny spoof of crime melodramas, with a tacked-on ending that equates organized crime, organized religion, and big business. The songs, which mix lyrical romanticism and pungent expressionism, are some of Weill and Brecht's best. But the Brown Couch Theatre Company's cluttered production of Michael Feingold's adaptation, directed by Micky York, buries them in raucous, often shrill renditions that overwhelm the intimate, acoustically problematic space. --Albert Williams a Through 12/30: Thu-Sat 8:30 PM, Sun 3:30 and 7:30 PM, Raven Theater, 6157 N. Clark, 312-409-2010, $15-$20.

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