‘The Pirates of Penzance’ Review

February 26, 2020

The comic opera “The Pirates of Penzance” by Gilbert and Sullivan was something all of Millikin has been hyped to see. 

After seeing the show and all the energy, love, attention to detail, humor, time, and effort that was put into it, I can confidently say the show was worth the hype. 

After months of rehearsal, Dr. Greenlaw and all of the wonderful talented people involved with the show, have completely transformed it into a modern phenomenon. 

Although the plot was hard to follow throughout the show, the characters made up for it with their humor, amazing rich singing, and dancing.

Pirate of Penzance tells the story of a young pirate apprentice named Frederick who has come to the end of his indentured period. Fredrick, as it turns out, was indentured by mistake and is stuck with the Pirate King as his master.

Everyone involved with Pirates has truly put so much time and effort into the show and it definitely shows.

Julien Harris absolutely stole the show with his performance as Major-General Stanley. He was absolutely hilarious and had the audience on the edge of their seats. He was definitely the crowd favorite.

Justin Dayley was the perfect Pirate King. He fit the character perfectly and sang with such emotion and power. He played his character so well he practically had the audience rooting for him!

The main female lead Mable was played by Anneliese Reichart and Margot Frank. I attended the Friday night performance so I saw Frank take the stage. She blew everyone away. She has an amazing voice that was soothing to the audience which made her perfect for the role as the love interest.

The main male lead Fredrick was played by Spencer Domer and Nicholas Orth. The night I saw the show he was played by Spencer Domer, a freshman vocal performance major. There is no doubt about it, this man is talented from head to toe. 

“The modern adaptation of the script turned out phenomenal,” Domer said. “When we first started rehearsals, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it, but after seeing the final product, it’s hard to think of it in any other way.”

 “The show was unique because it’s a new adaptation of a story that’s classic,” Mary Cleary, one of the sorority girls, said.

She enjoyed the importance of the ensemble and feels she learned a lot through this experience. 

I asked some of the cast members what they would change about the show if they had the chance. The most popular answer was dancing. 

“Dancing and singing opera is a tough break!” Cleary said.

And I completely agree. Bryce Bayer did a wonderful job choreographing the show. The dancing definitely added another layer to the show that made it so enjoyable.

One thing that really stuck out to me was that there were no small roles. Everyone was a huge part of the show and directly influenced the performance. As Dr. Greenlaw said, “performance learning at its finest!” 

There were so many people involved in the show and I could go on and on about how well everyone did, but I just don’t have the pages to do so. 

Millikin has once again put on an amazing show!

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