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University of Puget Sound Tacoma’s “Pirates of Penzance” is a riot – in the best possible way.

Post by Rosemary Ponnekanti / The News Tribune on Feb. 11, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
February 11, 2012 10:33 pm
The cast of UPS' "Pirates of Penzance." Photo: Sharon Styer.

There’s a lot on in Tacoma theaters this weekend – Tacoma Opera, the Northwest Sinfonietta, Les Ballets Trockadero – but if you want laughs, great singing and sheer value for money all in one show then head to the University of Puget Sound to hear the student production of “Pirates of Penzance,” with a last performance 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

Lovers of Gilbert and Sullivan’s hilarious 19th-century operatic comedies will rejoice – at last, a local production! – and those who’ve never heard of these English gems with their ridiculously loquacious verbiage, completely silly antics and parody plots will still have a blast. This production, though minimal set-wise, is extremely strong on singing (highlights include silvery-voiced Elizabeth Kittel as the ditzy heroine Mabel, a sassy Jennifer Kulby as her rival Ruth and a powerful female chorus) and acting (the gullible-yet-hunky Samuel Faustine as the hero Frederick, and a bemused Brian Ernst as Major-General Stanley).

The silly plot of an apprentice pirate who falls in love to a background of soft-hearted pirates, faint-hearted policemen and giggling girls is relished with every hammed-up choreographic trick, and director Dawn Padula has brought out the best comedic talents with some added jokes. The faults are few – enthusiastic chorus feet drowning solos, some weaker voices – and everyone, from kid to veteran, will have a jolly good time.

2 p.m. Feb. 12. $12/$8/$5. Schneebeck Hall, UPS, 1500 N. Warner St., Tacoma. 253-879-3419, tickets.pugetsound.edu


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