The play itself isn't nearly as fascinating as the history behind it: rookeries, one out of every four houses a gin distillery, thief-catchers threatening their prey with a hanging for the forty pound reward if they didn't bring them a certain amount of stolen goods every week . . . fascinating stuff. I was amazed at the beggar's commentary who announces a happy ending that is, he admits, completely undeserved. Maybe I would've liked the play itself more if I knew more about eighteenth century Italian Operas that Gay is satirizing. Guess it's time to get busy.