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This New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players production is your chance to get carried away by The Pirates of Penzance - they'll steal your heart away on Thursday, February 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall for one night only!

Join the band of swashbuckling buccaneers, bumbling British bobbies, frolicsome Victorian maidens and the delightfully dotty "model of a modern Major-General" for a rollicking romp over the rocky coast of Cornwall. This exuberant musical theater masterpiece, directed and conducted by Albert Bergeret with choreography by Bill Fabris, is performed in its original format. The rich sounds of full orchestra, chorus and vocal soloists resonate with classic elegance and power while the company's vibrancy, energy and contemporary sense of humor keep the show alive and exciting to a modern audience.

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 the only Gilbert & Sullivan operetta to have its world premiere in the United States and it has remained popular both here and throughout the English-speaking world ever since. Gilbert's wit (always incisive but never vicious or dated) and Sullivan's memorable score (including the original tune from which "Hail, hail the gang's all here" is drawn) are among the most valuable treasures of musical theater history.

Patter songs are a Gilbert & Sullivan trademark and Pirates features the most famous of them all, "I am the very model of a modern Major-General." Other highlights of the show include "For I am a Pirate King," the pirates' "Here's a first rate opportunity," the policemen's "When the foeman bears his steel" and Mabel's show stopping coloratura aria, "Poor wand'ring one."

The plot of Pirates centers on the dilemma of young Frederic who, as a child, was mistakenly apprenticed to the pirates until his twenty-first birthday. Since he was born in leap year on February 29, he is honor-bound to remain a pirate until the distant date of 1940, despite his moral objection to piracy. Helping Frederic to deal with this unusual predicament are the brash Pirate King, Ruth the pirate maid-of-all-work, romantic Mabel and the delightfully stuffy Major-General Stanley.

Tickets are $57-$87. Purchase tickets at, the Box Office or by calling (941) 263-6799. Groups of 10 or more should contact (941) 263-6726. This show is sponsored by Wilde Lexus Sarasota and ABC7. Pre-show dining is available at Mattison's at the Van Wezel located in the theater and can be reserved at or through the Box Office.

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