For this review, Seattle Pockets welcomes Guest Blogger, Christopher Monsos.
The Pirates of Penzance have sailed far from the waters off Cornwall and are now plundering the coastline of Canada during the show’s run at The 5th Avenue Theatre through August 4th, 2013.
A twenty two year old pirate bound an overactive sense of duty is released from his indentured servitude and cast ashore. He quickly encounters beautiful maidens (not usually found on the high sea), romance, and tests that put this heightened sense of duty to the test.
With thirty minutes left on his piratical contract does he give this band of pirates tips on how to better plunder? Once released from piracy, can he fulfill his civic duty and turn his old crew in? What consequences arise when he is duty-bound to uphold follow through with his agreements… to the letter?
The 5th Avenue Theatre delivers a solid production of the comic opera, with an vocally powerful cast giving the Gilbert & Sullivan score and patter songs its full respect. Frederic (Hunter Ryan Herdlicka) delivers a performance as tight as his trousers, Mabel (Anne Eisendrath) hits incredibly high operatic notes with strength, and Ruth (Anne Allgood) delivers fantastic comedy – quickly becoming a favorite character. The Pirate King (Brandon O’Neill) found his swagger by the middle of Act 2. The cast is rounded out by a booming band of Pirates-slash-Canadian Mounties, a cunning Major-General (David Pichette), a shuffling Mountie sergeant (Jared Michael Brown), and the scene-stealing bevy of beautiful mavens that are Mabel’s sisters.
Opening night included some gags that could land harder if they were just slightly pulled back (hip thrusting, a decapitated Canadian goose as examples) and Act 2’s set seemed oddly flat for what is possible with a static two-scene show.
The Pirates of Penzance delivers a solid and entertaining evening of love and laughter. Pay enough attention to the plot points being sung – but make sure you take moments to visually explore the scenes to catch some of the detail and comedic performances from the ensemble.