PIRATES OF PENZANCE
January 20 - March 11,
Set sail with
Gilbert and Sullivan’s most popular
The Pirates of Penzance,
hilarious farce about sentimental pirates, bumbling policemen,
dim-witted young lovers, and an eccentric Major-General. This updated
version of The Pirates Of Penzance took New York by storm when it
premiered in Central Park in 1980, leading to a subsequent smash-hit
The original The Pirates of Penzance premiered at the Fifth Avenue
Theatre in New York City on December 31, 1879. It was the fifth
collaboration between Arthur Sullivan and William Gilbert, who had already
come to some fame following the success of H.M.S. Pinafore the year
before in London.
Following its premiere, Pirates went on to became a staple performed
by opera companies around the world for the next century. In 1980, a
revised version of the show was presented by Joseph Papp and the Public
Theatre at the New York Shakespeare Festival. Following that initial
run, the production transferred to Broadway the following January where it
ran for two years.
The cast of both the Shakespeare Festival production and Broadway transfer
included Linda Ronstadt as Mabel, George Rose as the Major General, Rex
Smith as Frederic, Tony Azito as the Police Sergeant, and Kevin Kline as the
Pirate King. The role of Ruth was first performed by British stage
star Patricia Routledge, but when the show transferred, the part was taken
over by Estella Parsons.
The Broadway production won a number of awards including three Tonys (Best
Actor - Kline; Best Direction - Wilford Leach; and Best Revival), five Drama
Desk Awards, and one Theatre World Award.
In 1983, a film adaptation of Papp's production of Pirates was released with
all of the show's original stars reprising their roles. The role of Ruth
however, was played by stage and screen star Angela Lansbury.
A fun, adventurous romp, The Pirates of Penzance is the perfect show
to open Way Off Broadway's 2017 Season.