Alhambra's Pirates of Penzance

Alhambra’s The Pirates of Penzance

The fourth collaboration between the Alhambra and the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra delighted audiences for three performances on October 1,2,3 at the Robert E. Jacoby Symphony Hall with Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic operetta The Pirates of Penzance.

It’s a light and frothy show about a pirate apprentice named Frederic (Wonderfully done in excellent voice by New York tenor Matt Morgan, who had the best styled hair of any Pirate I have ever seen). Frederic who on his 21st birthday has completed his indentured servitude and is free to join civilization and free society. This upsets his mild manner pirate friends, led by Pirate King (Roy Johns), but they let him go, sending his nanny, Ruth (Millicent Sylvester) with him. Shortly, Fredric chances upon a group of lovely ladies, all sisters, and falls in love with one, Mabel. (Kelly Atkins, in her best vocal performance ever, and that is saying a lot.) The lovely females, led in major supporting roles by Erin Gawera as Edith and Malone Thomas as Kate, include Brittany Bingham, Regina Torres, Bethany Howard, Rebekah Price and Alyssa Higginbotham.

Fredric’s pirate buddies, led in glorious voice by Randall Delone Adkinson as Samuel include, Mark Mansilungan, Jacob Rothman, Leelyn Osborn, Jim Goodell, Hector Gonzales and Zeek Smith. As quick as you can snap your fingers each pirate falls in love with one of the ladies and wants to marry. They are all the daughters of a Major General (who was played properly contemptuous and pompous by Tony Triano); He convinces the pirates that he is an orphan and not someone to be left alone by stealing his daughters. The pirates learn that the Major General is NOT really an orphan and then the fun really begins.

All the pirates double back to play the policemen chasing the pirates and led by Sergeant of Police played by Kenneth Uibel with his remarkably rich bass singing voice.

About Dick Kerekes & Leisla Sansom

The Dual Critics of EU Jacksonville have been reviewing plays together for the past nine years. Dick Kerekes has been a critic since 1980, starting with The First Coast Entertainer and continuing as the paper morphed into EU Jacksonville. Leisla Sansom wrote reviews from time to time in the early 80s, but was otherwise occupied in the business world. As a writing team, they have attended almost thirty Humana Festivals of New America Plays at Actors Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky, and many of the annual conferences sponsored by the American Theatre Critics Association, which are held in cities throughout the country. They have reviewed plays in Cincinnati, Chicago, Miami, Sarasota, Minneapolis, Orlando, New York, Philadelphia, Sarasota, San Francisco, Shepherdstown, and The Eugene O’Neill Center in Waterford, Massachusetts. They currently review about one hundred plays annually in the North Florida area theaters, which include community, college, university, and professional productions.
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