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Pinafore in Outer Space @ Crown City Theatre

U.S.S. Pinafore
libretto by Sir W. S. Gilbert and music by Sir Arthur Sullivan
musical direction by William A. Reilly/directed & adapted by Jon Mullich
Crown City Theatre Company
through June 27

Crown City Theatre's adaptation of Gilbert & Sullivan's HMS Pinafore
entitled U.S.S. Pinafore mixing the rhythmical musical score with a Treky-based theme is one gigantically terrific musical takeoff.

When the original Pinafore was first performed in 1878 as a comic opera, it had enough mirth and silliness to sink the Titanic. It was conceived as a loving satire of the British royal navy -and, more matter-of-factly, the English system of social class. In this adapted version Jon Mullich places our team of players on a spaceship like the Enterprise of Star Trek, which is the most beloved sci-fi show in American television history, a true-blue institution, open to as much criticism as our democracy itself. In the chain of command how commandants like to step on captains and captains on lowly TARs (that's Transport Assistant Repairmen)! We may not be privy to class distinctions, but we certainly understand what it means to be rich and lofty versus poor and lowly. The adaptation fits the satire beautifully!

The plot remains unchanged in the new version and the quick-paced, upbeat score as well. Only some lyrics have been altered to suit the new venue. An example would be "He Is an Englishman" is now "He Is an Earthling Man". A great addition to the list of characters is Dick Deadeye, a lizard-like alien who stands apart as ugly and undesirable, making marriage to him seem utterly impossible.
The entire humanoid ensemble under Mullich's ultimate skill function exceedingly well together. Aidan Park as Rackstraw and Ashley Cuellar as Josephine are dynamic and vocally strong as the enamored young couple. James Jaeger is sheer delight as Deadeye. Every movement of the tongue is comic perfection. Equally excellent are Jesse Merlin as Captain Corcoran, Ron Schneider as Sir Joseph Porter, and Mona King heavenly as Buttercup. Tim Polzin, Paton Ashbrook, Michael Levin, Dave Berges, Victoria Gonzalez (jovial in a dual role), Misha Bouvion, and Jason D. Rennie as the voice of Al are all
tip-top.

Set design by Tony Potter is ship-shape, and costumes by Caitlin Erin O'Hare just right. Loved those brightly colored tacky wigs that have the look of Frederick's of Hollywood! Stephanie Pease does a nifty job with choreography.

This is a great second entry hit in Crown's new season. Congrats, you're on a roll!



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