This past year, Steve Hendrickson may have been the hardest-working actor in town. Most recently, he appeared as the self-loathing Roy Cohn in Pillsbury House Theatre's production of Angels in America. Before that he was clowning through Shakespeare in local prisons and homeless shelters with Michelle Hensley's Ten Thousand Things company, and hamming it up in Wendy Knox's admirably lowbrow staging of Lysistrata at the Guthrie Lab. But it was Hendrickson's performance in Frank Theatre's The Threepenny Opera that solidified our esteem for this actor's talents. As Macheath, the leering antihero and crime boss of Brecht's blackly comic masterpiece, Hendrickson exuded just the right balance of venom, violence, and oily charm: Dean Martin crossed with Jimmy Hoffa. We won't soon forget the play's satiric and spectacular finale, when Hendrickson was hoisted to the top of a scaffold like some dark Christ and given the chance to spit out his profane denouncement of this wretched world.
Still, it works, especially in a couple of masterful performances by Steve Hendrickson and Heidi Fellner. Hendrickson, resplendent in a mustard-yellow jacket and blood-red spats, plays MacHeath as one big oily, postured sneer; his voice a high, hissy buzz that sounds like the helium has begun to wear off.
Best of all is Steve Hendrickson’s leering angry Macheath: he turns the arch-criminal into a blend of Alex from A Clockwork Orange and a gold chain-sporting lounge lizard. He’s not an especially attractive character, but he certainly has prospects, and what more could bourgeois in-laws want?
--SIREN, Robert Fuglei