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Linden to star in 125th Anniv. Production of Pirates of Penzance Jan.7-23

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America's foremost Gilbert & Sullivan repertory ensemble, the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, is proud to announce that acclaimed Broadway and television star Hal Linden will star in the gala 125th anniversary production of "The Pirates of Penzance" (January 7th-23rd) on the great stage of New York's historic City Center (West 55th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues). Under the artistic and music direction of Albert Bergeret, the company and its 25-piece orchestra, has presented over 2,000 performances throughout the United States, Canada, and England. Its productions feature contemporary energy while retaining a traditional respect for each of the G & S masterpieces. The New York Gilbert &Sullivan Players is considered by many to be the nation's "leading custodian of the G & S classics."

Tony award winning Hal Linden has performed in plays and musicals on Broadway, toured in shows and starred on TV's "Barney Miller," but this is the first time he is going to tackle Gilbert & Sullivan. Linden has appeared in twenty Broadway and touring Broadway musicals including Bells Are Ringing, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Subways Are for Sleeping, The Apple Tree, Ilya Darling and, most recently, The Sisters Rosensweig , I'm Not Rappaport , Chicago and Cabaret. He won his Tony Award playing patriarch Mayer Rothschild in the Sheldon Harnick-Jerry Bock musical, The Rothschilds. Joining Mr. Linden will be: Ross David Crutchlow as the Pirate King; Andrew MacPhail as Frederic; Keith Jurosko as Sergeant of Police; Laurelyn Watson as Mabel and Angela Smith as Ruth.

The Pirates of Penzance, or The Slave of Duty was first performed at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in New York City on December 31, 1879. It was Gilbert & Sullivan's fifth collaboration and their only operetta to have its world premiere in the United States ---in an unsuccessful effort to secure an international copyright for their works, which had regularly been produced in the US without their consent. The 125th anniversary production will feature costumes designed by

Gail J. Wofford; lights designed by Sally Small and scenery by LouAnne Gilleland.

Audiences of all ages will enjoy the NYGASP Family Overture series of entertaining and informative pre-show musical introductions and plot summaries. Hosted by Artistic Director Albert Bergeret, these interactive and fun-filled presentations are offered on Saturdays at 1:45PM, prior to the 3PM matinee. Your matinee admission is your ticket to Family Overture!

Set on the rocky coast of Cornwall, England---The Pirates of Penzance centers on a band of tenderhearted pirates celebrating the coming of age of their apprentice, Frederic. Although Frederic's apprenticing to pirates was the mistake of his nurse maid Ruth, he has dutifully served, but he now announces his plan to devote his life to the extermination of piracy. The naïve young man meets a group of beautiful girls, their father, the delightfully dotty Major General Stanley (Hal Linden), and enlists the help of some bumbling and diffident policemen. But Ruth and the Pirate King tell Frederic that his apprentice papers state that he won't be of age until his 21st birthday, which won't occur until the distant date of 1940 because Frederic was born in leap year on the 29th of February. Frederic is doomed to remain the pirate apprentice. The policemen try to capture the pirates on their own, but are easily defeated. Everyone is happy to discover that the pirates are really all "noblemen who have gone wrong", so all is forgiven in the end.

Weekend Performances January 7 through 23rd are scheduled on Fridays at 8PM; Saturday's at 3 & 8PM and Sunday's at 3PM. Tickets range in price from $85 to $40. (Family Package discounts of $70 and $60 are available for 5 for more in the top prices.) FAMILY OVERTURES – a special matinee series to learn more about Gilbert and Sullivan - are scheduled Saturdays at 1:45PM. More information and tickets can be obtained through the City Center box office and by phoning CityTix (212) 581-1212 or log on to www.citycenter.org.


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