Set Sail for Huntington Theatre's "Pirates!"
Pirates! (or Gilbert and Sullivan Plunder'd)
Book and lyrics by William S. Gilbert
Music by Arthur S. Sullivan
Choreography by Denis Jones
Directed by Gordon Greenberg
Music Direction, F. Wade Russo; Scenic Design, Rob Bissinger; Costume Design, David C. Woolard; Lighting Design, Jeff Croiter; Sound Design, Drew Levy & Tony Smolenski IV; Orchestrations, Dan DeLange; Fight Direction, Michael Rossmy; Production Stage Manager, Gail P. Luna; Stage Manager, Carola Morrone
CAST (in order of appearance): Pirate King, Steve Kazee; Samuel, Caesar Samayoa; Frederic, Anderson Davis; Ruth, Cady Huffman; Kate, Kristen Sergeant; Edith, Julia Osborne; Jane, Sarah Ziegler; Isabel, Erica Spyres; Pippa, Brittney A. Morello; Cornelia, Krista Buccellato; Sergeant, Mel Johnson, Jr.; Mabel, Farah Alvin; Major-General, Ed Dixon; Pirates - Wes Hart, Sam Kiernan, Douglas Lyons, Chris Messina (Dance Captain), Joel Perez, Michael Rossmy, Dave Schoonover, Christopher Sergeeff, Victor J. Wiseheart; Policemen - Sam Kiernan, Douglas Lyons, Chris Messina, Christopher Sergeeff
Performances through June 14 at The Huntington Theatre Company
Box Office 617-266-0800 or www.huntingtontheatre.org
Like the fireworks finale on the Esplanade on the Fourth of July, the Huntington Theatre Company concludes the season with a big blast of a production that has hit written all over it. Pirates! (or Gilbert and Sullivan Plunder'd) combines energetic dancing, splendid voices, daring swordplay, and eye-popping costumes with a witty, tongue-in-cheek revision of The Pirates of Penzance that is a mirthful mix of Johnny Depp with classic operetta. Broadway veterans fill the principal roles, supported by a talented ensemble of local and national performers.
Director Gordon Greenberg and his collaborators Nell Benjamin and John McDaniel have adapted the original Victorian era story by changing the locale to the Caribbean and giving the Pirate King a Pirates of the Caribbean-style swagger and flair. As in the original Gilbert and Sullivan, Pirates! tells the tale of the King and his motley crew, their dutiful apprentice Frederic who is about to end his servitude, and the latter's nursemaid Ruth who longs to be his (or someone's) wife. The entertaining twist introduced by the co-conceivers is the "pirate curse" - to remain a pirate forever and become violently ill when spending extended periods of time on land. As the curse can only be undone by marrying a virgin bride, Frederic and his mates seek to capture the daughters of Major-General Stanley, until he pleads that he, an orphan, would be left alone in the world. Being orphans themselves, the pirates have a soft spot for orphans and return to sea leaving only Frederic ashore with his beloved Mabel, the smart daughter. Now that he is a free man, Frederic believes it is his duty to exterminate the pirates and gathers a police force to battle them. On the eve of the fight, Ruth and the King visit Frederic to inform him that his servitude is not complete due to a technicality and he is honor-bound to return to their side. The police regiment is outclassed and outnumbered by The Buccaneers, but the women come to the rescue by agreeing to marry the pirates. The curse is cast off and they all live happily ever after.