Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Laurel Mill Playhouse The Pirates of Penzance

By • May 27th, 2008 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Laurel Mill Playhouse’s The Pirates of Penzance [MP3 4:53 2.2MB].

The Pirates of Penzance
Laurel Mill Playhouse
Laurel Mill Playhouse, Laurel, MD
$15/$13 Students and Seniors
Through June 14th

Laura: This is the ShowBizRadio review of The Pirates of Penzance, performed by the Laurel Mill Playhouse in Laurel, Maryland. We saw the performance on Saturday evening, May 24, 2008.

Mike: The Pirates of Penzance is a comic opera in two acts. Music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W.S. Gilbert. The show focuses on a young pirate Frederic, who is finally being released after turning 21 years old. He falls in love that very same day. Unfortunately, a loophole is discovered that he will not be freed from the pirates until his 21st birthday. Since he was born on a leap day, his 21st birthday is actually 60 years in the future.

Laura: I enjoyed Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta The Pirates of Penzance. I was pleased by the balance on the stage. It was never over crowded. They had the right number of policemen/pirates. I liked the set. One thing that was difficult was the orchestra was behind the set in the back. The conductor was unable to see the singers. Sometimes the timing got off. The beat was sometimes at a different pace than what the actors were singing. Overall however, it was enjoyable.

Mike: I did have a good time at this show. The house was packed. There were only two empty seats. Probably the most full I’ve seen a show at LMP. I had a good time. There were a couple times when the music was overpowering, most noticeably in the second act. It seemed to get louder and drowned out some of the singing. Overall I had a good time.

Laura: The Pirate King was played by Brian Binney. I liked his use of gestures; he was very much the swashbuckling pirate. He had a pretty good voice and I enjoyed his performance.

Mike: Frederic, the newly freed pirate, was played by Matthew Magayna. He had kind of a sheep dog attitude that I think worked really well for the part. Especially being shy when he had to confront the pirates and tell them that he loved them, but was going to have to hunt them down after he left their service. He also had a strong relationship with Mabel, played by Tania Rosa Bindhoff. I liked the glances that they exchanged with each other even though they had to stay very innocent. They still had a not quite smoldering, but there was a spark between them.

Laura: One of the other sisters who had a good strong voice was Kate Stanley, played by Carolyn Grodt. She was one of the daughters of the Major General and could really belt it out. I also like her presence on stage as well.

Mike: In the performance we saw there were only three daughters on stage. Four were cast, but one was not able to be at that performance. If there had been many more the stage would have gotten really crowded. I’m glad it was a smaller numbers of daughters than usual.

Some of the scenes I don’t think the voices blended real well together. For example in the scene with Major-General Stanley played by Greg Coale and the Pirate King discussing “Often” vs. “Orphan” the words blurred together. They were not clear. Then in the song “I am the Very Model of a Modern Major General,” Coale got a little confused and got out of step so he did not finish one of the verses. That is a case where it would have been nice if they could have had a conductor able to see the performers, but it is such a small stage that is just not possible. I think the way it was set up worked well, the music was not distracting and the music was already pretty loud. So any closer and it would have been unbearable.

Laura: I thought the set for Pirates was well done. Set Designer were Jeff Maurer and Marvin Rogers. In the first act you had a nice beach scene. The second act took place outside a chapel where the Major-General was lamenting that he had lied to the pirates. He was actually not an orphan.

Mike: The costumes were very appropriate. Costume Designers were Maureen Roult and Diana Simmons. I liked that the pirates were not very cartoony. They were very realistic. The policemen were the traditional British Bobby look to them. I liked that they doubled up some of the pirate/policeman roles. Again, if they had not, the stage would have gotten far too crowded for the dancing.

Laura: This show ran two hours and fifteen minutes with one intermission. It is playing through Saturday, June 14th. Fridays and Saturdays at 8. A Sunday matinee on the 8th at 2 pm and a Thursday night performance on the on the 12th at 8 pm at the Laurel Mill Playhouse in Laurel, Maryland.

Mike: We’d like to invite you to join our free mailing list. Stay informed with community theater in the DC region.

Laura: And now, on with the show.


  • Pirate/Policeman: Mike Baeder
  • Pirate/Policeman: Tim Baeder
  • Samuel/Policeman: David Berkenbilt
  • Mabel Stanley: Tania Rosa Bindhoff
  • Pirate King: Brian Binney
  • Isabel Stanley: Kathryn Stanley
  • Pirate/Policeman: Robert Cicconetti
  • Major-General Stanley: Greg Coale
  • Kate Stanley: Carolyn Grodt
  • Sgt. of Police: Paul Grodt
  • Edith Stanley: Emma Jensen
  • Sophia Stanley: Jocelyn Knazik
  • Frederic Matthew Magayna
  • Pirate/Policeman: Zach Ratcliffe
  • Ruth: Maureen Roult


  • Conductor: Joe Biddle
  • Piano: Elisa Poole, Phyllis Stanley
  • Flute: Steve Haaser, Ted McCadden
  • Clarinet: Matt Elky, Larry Brown
  • Trombone: Erica Bright, Jon Bright
  • Midi Engineer: Steve Hudgins


  • Directors: Kendra Maurer and Joe Biddle
  • Musical Director: Joe Biddle
  • Producer: Diana Simmons
  • Choreographers: Shelley Austin, Cast
  • Stage Manager: Diana Simmons, Kendra Maurer
  • Set Design: Jeff Maurer, Marvin Rogers
  • Set Construction: Jeff Maurer
  • Fight Choreography: Kendra Maurer
  • Set Painting: Jeff Maurer, Kendra Maurer
  • Light and Sound Design: Kendra Maurer
  • Costumes: Maureen Roult, Diana Simmons
  • Hair and Makeup: Cast and Crew
  • Props: Kendra Maurer, Diana Simmons, Maureen Rogers, Maureen Roult, Cast
  • Light and Sound Operators: Jeff Maurer, Kendra Maurer, Diana Simmons
  • Box Office: norm Gordon, Patti Knazik, and volunteers
  • Program: Jeaneo Binney
  • Publicity: Maureen Rogers
  • Posters: Diana Simmons
  • Head Shots: Brian Binney
  • Announcements: Alex Campbell
  • Website Design and Maintenance: Stewart Wills
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