Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pirates of Penzance

Last night my friend Jenna came with me to see my boyfriend Brian in a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance.  For those of you unfamiliar with the show, it's completely campy and ridiculous.  It was written forever ago in the operetta style, so there's hardly any spoken dialogue just silly song after silly song.  The story is basically of a young man named Fred who was accidentally apprenticed to a pirate (instead of a pilot, as you see, the words sound so similar).  However, the show starts on his 21st birthday where he is now free of his duty and can now seek out a wife.  Luckily, a Major General and his beautiful daughters happen to be on the same island as the pirate lair, and of course he falls in love with one of them.  The pirates and the girls have a confrontation, but the Pirates of Penzance are such soft-hearted little sissies that they won't harm anybody if they are an orphan.  So the Major General claims to be an orphan and the pirates leave him in peace... until the find out that he is lying... and then they find out that Fred was born on a leap year and thus still a pirate...and then the police get involved...and somehow in the end it is revealed that the pirates are all noblemen so they are free to do whatever they like, so they marry all the daughters and everyone is happy.

Oh, and if you go to see the performance that I saw at the Prospector Conference Center in Park City, Utah, you will find that the show also entails bits from MacBeth and Hamlet, the theme music to The Pirates of the Carribean films, and of course zombies dancing to Michael Jackson's "Thriller."

I know.  I didn't believe it either until I saw it.

Brian got sucked into all of this because he happens to be a long-time friend of the director, Pam Lockwood.  The actor playing the police sargeant in the second act decided to quit a week before opening night, so Brian was begged and begged to step in as a favor.  He went to just a handful of rehearsals, then one of the pirates quit, and he found himself playing a pirate in the first act.

So Jenna and I went out to see him and we really had a fun time.  Sure it was stupid and very "amateur" for a show charging $15 a ticket, but it was quick-paced and highly amusing.  We found ourselves laughing the whole night through, and Brian, I must say, did a terrific job.  Watching him doing those choreographed dances and singing his solos perfectly, one would never suspect that he hadn't been there from the start.  He's truly a natural and is amazing to watch.

So if you live in or near Park City, Utah, and want to just laugh stupidly for a few hours, go check out Pirates of Penzance.  It runs through April 3rd, except Sundays, and starts at 7:30 PM.  You can go to for more details.

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