2 Acts, Book Musical, Thru Sung / Operetta, Rated G
Public Theater Version (1980)
A hilarious farce of sentimental pirates, bumbling policemen, dim-witted young lovers and an eccentric Major-General.
Set sail with this classic comedy that boasts one of the most famous patter songs in musical theatre history. A fresh take on one of Gilbert and Sullivan's most popular comic operas, this updated version of The Pirates Of Penzance took New York by storm when it premiered in Central Park in 1980, leading to a subsequent smash-hit Broadway run.
Gilbert and Sullivan's hilarious, hopeful farce follows young Frederic, an orphan who has mistakenly been apprenticed to an ineffectual but raucous band of pirates. He disavows the pirates' way of life and falls for the beautiful Mabel. Frederic's melodious tones win over the heart of Major General Stanley's songbird daughter, Mabel, but when the Pirate King discovers General Stanley has lied about being an orphan to keep the pirates from stealing all of his belongings and carrying off his bevy of beautiful daughters, an "ingenious paradox" may prevent the budding romance and lead to the death of "The very model of a modern Major-General."
The beauty, wit and whimsy of Gilbert and Sullivan's classic score is suffused with a modern sensibility, making this version an excellent choice for opera and light opera companies looking to expand their audience base. The sheer number of memorable roles makes it perfect for community and school groups. And with production requirements consisting of only two sets and a medium-sized orchestra, The Pirates Of Penzanceshould be considered by any company featuring comic actors with excellent singing voices.
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Kurt Weill’s ("Berlin to Broadway") greatest theatrical success came after his death with The Threepenny Opera when it opened off-Broadway in 1954. Starring his widow, Lotte Lenya, it went on to run over 2,600 performances.