Theater Info for the Washington DC region

St. Andrew’s Episcopal School The Pirates of Penzance

By • Mar 3rd, 2010 • Category: Cappies

In an age with movies like Pirates of the Caribbean, pirates are often portrayed as heartless cut-throats. The pirates of Penzance are nothing of the sort. St. Andrew’s Episcopal School’s performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance showed the audience how pirates can be a lovable and motley crew.

The musical is not serious whatsoever and abounds with hilarity despite a potentially serious plot. The year is 1877 and the young Frederic has just finished his apprenticeship to a band of pirates. He has been alive for 21 years but due to having been born on a leap year, he has only had five birthdays. As he prepares to leave the pirates, he comes across the daughters of a Major-General and falls in love with one called Mabel. As the pirates and the Major-General contend with one another, Frederic must choose sides.

St. Andrew’s School’s performance was quite entertaining. Whether it was experienced for the first time with this show or their tenth time, it was a unique performance that had something for everyone. Perhaps the most unique part was Joey Schepis’s (Major-General Stanley) performance of “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General” which included inside jokes that hit home with some members of the audience.

Jonah Orr (Frederic) had a nice voice and portrayed his character as young and earnest, despite being raised by pirates, and showed his love for Mabel. Kati Richer (Mabel) had a beautiful singing voice, however the notes her character had to hit made it difficult to understand exactly what was being said.

Ben Mitchell (Richard the Pirate King) had a wonderful stage presence and voice and did a good job of portraying a king who could be both fierce and gentle. Astrea Somarriba (Ruth) had a beautiful voice as well and made a nice transition from a caring and desperate nursemaid to a tough pirate woman. Joey Schepis added comedy both with his physicality as well as his asides to the audience and helped bring energy to the cast. The ensembles of the pirates and the constables were both well knit and both had an array of unique characters which helped to make the show more believable.

The live music provided by the St. Andrew’s Stage Band was well done with no sound problems. The band also had a unique character as all had pirate headwear and became a part of the show, not just providers of music. The lighting was adequate and most notable at the end of the show when it was used to suggest the sun rising after the night-time setting of the second act.

This motley crew provided quality entertainment. St. Andrew’s School’s performance showed that maybe pirates aren’t so bad after all.

by Jacob Brisson of Hayfield Secondary School

Photo Gallery

Greg Michel, Ben Mitchell, Joey Schepis Jonah Orr, Ben Mitchell, Astra Somarriba
Greg Michel, Ben Mitchell, Joey Schepis
Jonah Orr, Ben Mitchell, Astra Somarriba

Photos by Sue Harris Phillips.

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