BWW Review: PIRATES OF PENZANCE at West Fargo Sheyenne High School
West Fargo Sheyenne High School Theatre Presents Pirates of Penzance
I have never seen a stage production of Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance before. Actually, the only knowledge I had was the 1983 movie starring Kevin Kline, Linda Ronstadt and Rex Smith. Therefore, I was very pleasantly surprised with the show that West Fargo Sheyenne put on. The production is described, as a "comic opera" and I would agree, but do not worry, as this is not anything like any other opera. Director Anthony Peterson assembled a wonderful cast to tell the story of young Frederic who is released from his pirate apprenticeship upon his 21st birthday.
First off, we have Frederic, played by Zach Felber. Zach is a great actor and singer who was fun to watch in all of his scenes. He has a great voice and really stood out on "Oh False One, you have deceived me". Zach has great stage presence and I look forward to seeing more of him.
Ben Konsok as the Pirate King fir the role perfectly. His stage presence was apparent from the first scene and he got to show off his powerful voice on "Oh, better far to live and die" in which it hit an amazing long note that seemed to go on forever.
Avery Moxness as Ruth was a joy to watch. It is always a pleasure to see Avery on stage (I loved her in Hello Dolly last summer) and her voice truly shines on "When Fred'ric was a little lad" and "Oh False One, you have deceived me".
A few more I have to be sure to mention are Amine Berriche as the Sergeant of Police, Logan Lang as Samuel and Ian Olson as Major-General Stanley. Amine was hilarious in his role and was so good on "When a felon's not engaged in his employment". Logan Lang kicked off the show with a bang on "Pour, oh pour, the pirate sherry". Ian Olson almost stole the show when he sang, "I am the very model of a modern major-general". He absolutely nailed it on a very fast-paced song.
Saving one of the best for last, Emma Woodward as Mabel was stunning. The voice on this young lady was so beautiful and powerful. The high notes she hits on "Poor wand'ring one" actually gave me chills.
A shout out to the rest of the cast and crew, especialy allm of the pirates and the wards for doing a wonderful job.
I also have to be sure to mention the wonderful pit orchestra directed by Isaac Schwarz with assistant Mary Kate Smith, and of course the choreography by Patrick Kasper.
This is a great family friendly show and you still have time to see it.
***Photo Credits Mike Benedict