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The Pirates of Penzance
March 24, 2023 | 7:30 pm || $32 – $61
SET SAIL WITH PIRATES
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 legitimate 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 – they’ll steal your heart away!
“Spirited … delightful … meticulous direction …” –New York Post
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
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.” This jaunty tune has been cleverly set to different words countless times (Tom Lehrer’s element song a notable example) and used in commercials to sell every-thing from Campbells soup to Handi-wipes, cars, newspapers and other items. Pirates also contains some of Gilbert’s most famous lyrics such as the often used quotation “a policeman’s lot is not a happy one” from the act two lament of the diffident “men in blue.” 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.
Please note that the Norton Center is a historic venue with limited accessible seating. Special reserved wheelchair and companion seating is available for all shows. Interpretive services and large print programs are available upon requested at least 20 days in advance of the performance. Please call the Box Office at 859-236-4692 to request assistance with your accommodations.
REFUNDS AND EXCHANGES
Ticket sales are non-refundable. Tickets purchased through a subscription package may be exchanged for another show in the same season. Tickets are transferable to friends or family. Donations for the value of tickets are appreciated.
BEWARE OF SECONDARY TICKET SELLERS
Tickets to Norton Center performances are sold exclusively through the Box Office in person, by phone at 859-236-4692, or online at www.nortoncenter.com. If you purchase tickets from any other source, including Ticketmaster, StubHub, or an individual, we cannot guarantee your seat. The prices of tickets obtained from unauthorized sources are often greatly inflated. The Norton Center is not responsible for tickets purchased from other sources. Tickets purchased from secondary sellers are not eligible for replacement if tickets are lost or stolen, or if the event is canceled or rescheduled.
For more information, please call the Box Office at 859-236-4692 or visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.