Translating the Gestus of “Mac the Knife”

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Peter W. Ferran


“Die Moritat von Mackie Messer,” probably the most famous theatre song of the twentieth century, is known to most Americans simply as “Mac the Knife.” That title is the legacy of the Hit Parade of the 1950s. Like many Broadway show tunes, it had been yanked out of its theatre context and made into a commercial commodity.

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