photo credit: Arienne Davey
The Hole in the Wall Theater (HITW) in New Britain, will present Gilbert & Sullivan’s classical masterpiece, The Pirates of Penzance, as its’ fifth show of the 2015-2016 season. Performances run Fridays & Saturdays May 20th through June 11th at 8:00pm with two Sunday matinees on May 22nd and June 5th at 2:00pm. The Pirates of Penzance is directed and choreographed by Emily Trudeau of Cheshire who helmed HITW’s successful 2015 summer production of Enron. Tickets are $25.00 (General Admission) and $20.00 (students & seniors). Tickets can be purchased at the door and online at www.hitw.org. The May 27th performance will be our Pay-What-You-Can performance where you name the price of your ticket.
“This show was written over one hundred years ago,” said Emily. “It is still funny and enjoyable. It really is one of those shows where three generations can enjoy it for different reasons. It is timeless. We are performing it as written.”
A show suitable for children, parents and grandparents alike, Gilbert & Sullivan’s hilarious, hopeful farce follows young Frederic (Peter Bailey of Bristol), a duty bound young man who has mistakenly been apprenticed to an ineffectual but raucous band of pirates. He disavows the pirates’ way of life and falls for the beautiful Mabel (Johanna Regan of Killingworth), Major General Stanley’s songbird daughter.
Johanna and Peter, musical theatre veterans, are making their Gilbert and Sullivan debut this production. Both saw it as a great challenge. “It is insane,” said Johanna. “I’m studying a new vocal technique with my teacher. I’m discovering my Coloratura Soprano side. Working on this show has given me the confidence to sing in this range.”
“Those not familiar with Gilbert and Sullivan will be surprised with how relatable and funny Pirates is,” said Peter. “It really is a very silly piece.”
Frederic’s melodious tones win over the heart of Mabel, but when the Pirate King (Hal Chernoff of Simsbury) discovers General Stanley (David Schancupp of Guilford) has lied and preyed upon the pirates “incredulous simplicities”, to keep the pirates from carrying off his bevy of beautiful daughters, and “ingenuous paradox” may prevent the budding romance and lead to the death of “The very model of a modern Major-General.”
“Again, this is a light-hearted comedy,” said Emily. “It is not something that has a profound moral or something that will make you evaluate your life choices. It is going to make you leave the theater smiling and feeling entertained.”
The HITW cast includes: Peter Bailey (Bristol), Johanna Regan (Killingworth), Hal Chernoff (Simsbury), Susan Smith (Middletown), David Schancupp (Guilford), Alex Kirstukas (Avon), Erin Campbell & Stephen Michelsson (both from New Britain), Ksiten Norris (Berlin), Doug McCarthy (Torrington), Remy McCoy & Stephen Maher (both from West Hartford), Nate Rumney (Manchester), Kathleen McKay-Pine (Ashford), David Unsworth (Cromwell), Angelina DeLorenzo (Southbury), Lauren Hyne (Bloomfield) and Cassandra Pease (Tariffville).