Sing along if you know the words: “I am the very model of a modern major-general, I've...”
Okay, probably nobody knows the rest. But you can find out how that famous name-dropping song goes this weekend and next when the Theater Company stages the two-act musical The Pirates of Penzance at Sinatra Park.
The show, which has many comedic aspects, is about a gentle and honorable young man named Frederick, who on his 21st birthday escapes his accidental apprenticeship with a band of pirates, and meets the charming Mabel, the daughter of the esteemed Major-General Stanley. Frederick and Mabel fall in love, but they have to convince her father to approve, as well as dodge the pirate band, who seek to reclaim Frederick and who also covet the rest of the general's daughters.
Director Clara Barton Green said the show is her favorite written by the famous composing duo Gilbert & Sullivan, who wrote it in 1879. She said she likes most the mixture of action and romance.
“It's so irresistibly dashing,” Green said. “Handsome pirates storming the beach, sword fights, beautiful maidens being carried off, what's not to love?”
The show's three leading roles feature soprano Jennifer Connor as Mabel, Taylor Martin as Frederick, and playwright Duncan Pflaster as Major General Stanley. They are surrounded by both veterans and newcomers to the Theater Company, including Nobuko Hori, Thomas Livingston, Dylan Lupo, Kristy Magee, Jessica Nelson, Frank A. Riccobono, Mara Adler, Marleny Alonzo, Tawni Michelle Lanford, Melissa Lugo, Mike Wolff and Paul Kazalski, who lends the show some acrobatic flair by flipping and walking on his hands.
All of the actors sing and dance to music, which is played through a sound system. Green said she kept most of the original score and only cut what she thought wouldn't adapt for a modern audience.
“We've trimmed down the show just a bit, to get it out of the baroque heaviness of the late 19th century and make it a little leaner, sassier and sexier,” Green said.
The Theater Company's production of The Pirates of Penzance will run July 13, 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22 at 7pm at the Sinatra Park amphitheater. The show is free, but the company welcomes donations to help stage future shows at its home in the Monroe Center. For more information visit the Theater Company website.