BWW Review: A Pirate's Life For Everyone at CenterPoint Legacy's THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE

BWW Review: A Pirate's Life For Everyone at CenterPoint Legacy's THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE

Ahoy! For someone who considers herself a theater buff, I am embarrassed to admit that before seeing this production, I knew very little about The Pirates of Penzance, other than the oft-parodied "Modern-Major General" song.

If you're anything like me, based solely on the fact that it was written in the 1800s, you might assume that it could be a bit outdated, or boring, or unrelatable. But like me, you'd be wrong.

The CenterPoint Legacy Theatre rendition of THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE (Book and Lyrics by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan) is not only chock-full of talent, but also brilliantly-written humor that stands the test of time.

The audience was simultaneously blown away by the cast's singing while laughing hysterically at every expertly-delivered line.

This comedy-opera is a perfect affair for every member of the family, although those who can't read the supertitles might not quite get all the jokes! And if you happen to find yourself perplexed by some of the pirate terminology, simply open your playbill to find a glossary of pirate terms.

Though, I promise it's not at all hard to follow the storyline. The tale of Frederic, played by Alan Smith (double cast as Derek Marsden), a pirate who has aged out of his duty to serve under the Pirate King, played by Monte Garcia (double cast as Jake Omer).

Frederic falls in love with fair maiden Mabel, played by Sarah Jane Watts (double cast as Kahli Dalbow), who is one of many daughters of the Major General, played by Jason Wadsworth (double cast as David Marsden). Unbeknownst to Frederic, the pirate crew learns that because he was born on a leap year, he technically has not served his full duty to the Pirate King, and thus he must rejoin the crew and fight the Major General.

The pirates take kindly to the Major's other daughters and decide to leave the Major unscathed when he tells them the tale of his orphan past. They release him out of pity...until they learn that he was lying.

While the plot may not sound very comical, I assure you the delivery will certainly surprise you.

Watts was exquisite as Mabel. Her vocal range was captivating and her comedic performance a delight.

Smith's high notes as Frederic were equally wonderful. Though the show claims in jest that he is showing off his range, it's a treat for the audience's ears.

Perhaps the crowd favorite though, was Wadsworth's performance of the famed "I am the very model of a modern Major General." The clever tongue-twisting number is known for its rapid pace and hilarity, and Wadsworth delivered it with ease.

Every cast member, from the hysterical pirates to the playful daughters, to crazy old Ruth, played by Charline Grigg (double cast as Laura Alsop Checketts), and the Sergeant of Police, played by Matthew Stokes (double cast as Matthew Thomas Castleton), gave a stellar performance and left the audience in stitches.

Not to be overlooked were the elaborate, colorful, and whimsical costumes designed by Nita Smith and Jeana Forthman, which added a spectacular element to the show. Kudos to set designer, Bryan Christensen, scenic change artist, Cynthia Klumpp, and prop designer, Jackie Smith, for the detailed scenery and props.

For anyone looking for a both impressive and hilarious night at the theatre, I highly recommend CenterPoint Legacy's THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE.

Catch the show before its close on Saturday, September 1. For a list of show times and to purchase tickets, visit or call 801-298-1302.

Photo Credit: L-R Monte Garcia and Alan Smith

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From This Author Hayley Westwood

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