By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
“The Pirates of Penzance” will be staged this year at Chase County Schools, according to 7-12 vocal music director Randy Hayes.
The musical will be presented Oct. 24-25 in the school auditorium with a 7:30 p.m. performance on Saturday and a 2:30 p.m. show on Sunday.
According to Hayes, the musical is one of the most popular of the Gilbert & Sullivan productions. It’s a comedy, filled with typical Gilbert & Sullivan humor and challenging music.
“Pirates of Penzance” was actually written and first produced in 1879 and remains a classic of operatic parody.
Playing the major solo characters are Paul Gaschler, Frederic; Lexee Reichert, Mabel; Lucas Bauerle, Pirate King; Chevy Smith, Major General Stanley; and Jilanne German as Ruth.
The supporting cast of daughters, girls, pirates, the sergeant and police are from the high school’s mixed chorus. Hayes said about 34 students are involved in the cast, with others assisting backstage and on committees.
All students in high school choir have a part in the show, Hayes said.
In “The Pirates of Penzance,” main character Frederic, as a child, was apprenticed to a band of tenderhearted, orphaned pirates by his nurse who, being hard of hearing, had mistaken her master’s instructions to apprentice the boy to a pilot.
Frederic, upon completing his 21st year, rejoices that he has fulfilled his indentures and is now free to return to respectable society.
But it turns out that he was born on Feb. 29 in leap year, and he remains apprenticed to the pirates until his 21st “birthday.” By the end of the opera, the pirates, a Major General who knows nothing of military strategy, his large family of beautiful but unwed daughters, and the timid police all contribute to the discord that can be silenced only by Queen Victoria’s name.
More on the production and ticket sales will be released in the coming weeks.