You might know “Pirates of the Caribbean,” but “Pirates of Penzance” beat it by a good 125 years, and has not only just as much comedy but much better singing. The Gilbert and Sullivan operetta is being produced at the Pearl Street Mormon church. It features live orchestra and talented singers — plus shooting cannons, tap and haka dancing, and humor. And admission is free.
“‘Pirates of Penzance’ is a hysterical show and I’m really proud of our work on it,” director Erin Guinup said. “It is a major production and I feel so grateful that we can offer the community the opportunity to see this show for free.”
Written by those masters of English comic operetta W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan and first performed in 1879, “Pirates of Penzance” combines the ridiculous silliness and subtle satire of all the duo’s works. It tells the tale of the attractive but intensely dutiful Frederic, whose childhood apprenticeship to a band of rather gullible pirates is called into question when he falls in love with the endlessly trilling Mabel, daughter of a quick-thinking Major General, who gets to sing one of opera’s most famous patter songs. Strewn through the opera are a troupe of hilariously incompetent policemen, Mabel’s busy-body sisters, dastardly planning and an unexpected plot twist.
The show is free (no donations asked) and produced by The Multi-Stake Cultural Arts Committee of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Past productions include “A Christmas Carol,” Handel’s “Messiah” and “Amahl and the Night Visitors.” Coming events include another “Christmas Carol” and sing-along “Messiah” this year.
The production includes a live eight-piece orchestra and 40 actors from the Puget Sound area, including Seattle-based opera singer Lisa Prina and Joint Base Lewis-McChord officer Tasha Conde sharing the role of Mabel, Manestage Theatre’s Jonathan Fowles and Steven Page as Frederic, Patrick Watson as the Pirate King, and Deane Burbank as the Major General.thenewstribune.com