H.M.S. Pinafore, or, The Lass That Loved A Sailor, takes place on ship somewhere off the coast of England. While the piece was written in the late 19th Century, the costumes and the presence of a radio places it in the 1940s. A Captain reigns over a crew of sailors, one of whom, the bright and earnest Ralph, has fallen in love with the Captain's daughter Josephine. She has also fallen in love with him, but is betrothed to Sir Joseph, "the ruler of the Queen's navy." Ralph and Josephine decide to marry despite the difference in their stations and her father's disapproval, when a long-held secret is revealed that turns the situation on its head. It's a whole lot of silliness that allows for many great songs with Gilbert and Sullivan's trademark repetitive pitter-patter lyrics. As director Lesley Hendrickson notes in the playbill, "Don't ask how old Little Buttercup is supposed to be. Don't even think it." Just go with it and enjoy the fun and frivolity.
|the young lovers Josephine and Ralph|
(Victoria Valencour and Kai Brewster)
Also thrilling is this huge orchestra, perhaps the largest orchestra I've ever had the pleasure of listening to at a music-theater production. Way too big for a pit, they're crammed backstage out of sight, but I knew were there because Music Director and Conductor Randal A. Buikema was introduced before the show and shook hands with the first violin, like a real orchestra. As a former member of the pit orchestra, I'm quite happy to see the orchestra so prominently featured and sound so wonderful.
While it's my first time seeing this company, they obviously have a loyal audience as performances frequently sell out. Order your tickets now if you're interested in seeing this wonderfully performed and entertaining classic.