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Pirates of Penzance land at Boulder Creek High School

STAFF REPORT ~ 4/4/2012

ProMusica Arizona (PMAZ) brings pirates, fair maidens, and a plot laden with misunderstandings, love, and humor to the stage in a concert version of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance. The ship lands on April 20, and continues through the weekend at Boulder Creek High School in Anthem.
In this Leap Year of 2012, this most appropriate comic opera features Frederic, a young sailor who through a misunderstood word is mistakenly apprenticed to a “pirate” instead of a “pilot” (or ship’s navigator) until his 21st year. On the day that he is to be released from his apprenticeship, he falls desperately in love with Mabel, the daughter of Major-General Stanley, but sadly, also learns that he was born on Feb. 29th, and so technically only has a birthday each Leap Year. Duty-bound to pirate service for another 63 years, Frederic's only solace is that love-smitten Mabel agrees to wait for him faithfully until he is 84.
The show will be presented as a “concert version” of the operetta -- not fully staged, but
with all the original dialogue, music, and action. According to PMAZ founding director
and conductor Kevin Kozacek, “The concert version gives us the opportunity to involve
our entire chorale and orchestra in the show, but still lightly stage it with sets and
costuming in order to provide a production for our audience that uses all the music and
dialogue, and tells the story in a very interesting way, rather than just singing or playing
excerpts from a show.”
For this production, ProMusica welcomes local area professional guest performers. Lead actor Ryan Glover plays Frederic; a tenor from Mesa, Ryan has performed with Phoenix Opera and the Utah Festival Opera. Playing his love-smitten Mabel is Allison Stanford, who recently premiered a selection with the Bolivian National
Symphony, and who has an extensive resume of performances throughout the Valley with Arizona Opera, Symphony of the Southwest, and the Phoenix Symphony.
Thomson joins the cast in the role of Ruth, the homely nursemaid who begins the
whole comic mess by wrongly apprenticing Frederic to a pirate in the first place.
ProMusica’s own Brad Routh steps into the large shoes of the comic Major General, and
Charles Westfall plays the nefarious Pirate King. Filling out the remaining lead roles are
Wayne Taylor as the sidekick pirate Samuel, Greg James as the Sergeant of Police, and
Ann Emelie Tjorhom (Kate), Kimberly Woods (Edith), and Sandra Jessop (Isabel) as
Mabel’s three sisters.
Gilbert & Sullivan operettas are known for comic subplots, rapid-fire lyrics, and engaging characters. Kevin and the PMAZ artists are delighted to bring this concert version of The Pirates of Penzance to the Anthem stage. “It has all the elements in music, characters, and sub-plots that make this a very fast-paced production -- definitely a good show for all ages. The music is very well known -- the song “I am a Major General” has been parodied numerous times in movies and commercial advertisements, and the audience will laugh at the witty lyrics and patter throughout the production.” For this production, Kevin Kozacek is serving as the overall artistic director and conductor, and co-artistic director Adam Stich is providing the stage direction and vocal coaching.
ProMusica Arizona will be partnering with the Foothills Food Bank to collect nonperishable
items at all three performances of The Pirates of Penzance. Audience members who bring a food donation will be entered in a drawing to win a $50 gift card. For information about the Foothills Food Bank or to view their wish list of needed items, go to foothillsfoodbank.com.
Performances of The Pirates of Penzance are at 7:30 p.m., April 20 and April 21 and at
4 p.m. on April 22 at the Boulder Creek High School Performing Arts Center
located in Anthem at 40404 N. Gavilan Peak Parkway. Tickets are $15 for adults,
$12.50 for seniors (60+), and $5 for students (18 and under). For tickets and
information, contact PMAZ at pmaz.org or call 623-889-7144. Tickets are also
available from any member of PMAZ, at Andrew Z Jewelry and the Deer Valley Credit
Union.