Pirates of Penzance

By Anna Marie D'Addarie - April 6, 2006

(From left) Madeleine Penicaud, Ella DaSilva, Ali Flake, Brianna Buchanan, Julie Pringle, and Nina Levin, maids all in "The Pirates of Penzance," Gilbert and Sullivan's comic operetta. Photo by Ralph Stewart

"The Pirates of Penzance" will open at the Tisbury School on Friday night for a two-night run. The operetta sub-titled "The Slave of Duty" was originally produced, script in hand, by the cast of "HMS Pinafore," on Dec. 30, 1879 in Devon, England, one night before the New York City debut. This was done to establish the United Kingdom copyright. A full British performance of the show didn't happen until April of the following year.

No matter how inauspicious its beginning, "The Pirates of Penzance" is one of Gilbert and Sullivan's best. The Tisbury School production is sure to please, with songs such as "I am the very model of a modern Major-General," "A rollicking band of pirates we," and "With cat-like tread," the latter sung during a funny police chase.

This show will challenge the students who are helped along the way by music director Peter Boak; director Chris Abbot; and choreographer Cathy Weiss. Marci Nichols did the costumes and Michael Ovios designed the set. The audience can look forward to a delightful journey to rural England and the zany characters who pride themselves on devotion to duty, right or wrong.

"Pirates of Penzance," at Tisbury School, W. William Street, Friday, April 7, and Saturday, April 8 at 7 pm. Tickets $5, $20 family cap.