“Threepenny Opera” is a biting satire of the post-war rise of capitalism, wrapped up in Weill’s jazzy score and the tale of Macheath (Mack the Knife), a debonair crime lord on the verge of turning his illegal empire into a legitimate business. When Macheath marries Polly Peachum, her father, Jonathan Peachum, is greatly angered. Jonathan Peachum controls the beggars of London, and he strives to get Macheath hanged. However the chief of police, Tiger Brown, is an old friend of Macheath. Nevertheless, Peachum exerts considerable political influence, and eventually Macheath is arrested and imprisoned, escapes, then imprisoned once more. At the point of execution, in an unrestrained parody of a happy ending, a hard-riding messenger from the Queen dramatically arrives at the last minute, and Macheath is pardoned and given a baronetcy.