The Pirates of Penzance | Cahn Auditorium, Northwestern University | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Pirates of Penzance Closing (Theater and Galleries) New Review (Theater and Comedy) The Short List (Theater)

When: Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays. Continues through Jan. 3 2010

Though it doesn't begin to match the glory of Lyric Opera's 2004 version, Rudy Hogenmiller's mounting of the 1879 Gilbert & Sullivan operetta for Light Opera Works is solid and entertaining. W.S. Gilbert's comic libretto—about Frederic, an apprentice pirate torn between loyalty to his buccaneer brethren and duty to his beloved Mabel--comes through with all its silliness (and sexism) intact, and the orchestra sparkles under the baton of Roger Bingaman. But the production's trump card is the singing of its romantic leads--rising young tenor Matthew Giebel as Frederic and LOW favorite Alicia Berneche as Mabel. Berneche's elegant renditions of "Poor Wand'ring One" and "Oh, Dry the Glist'ning Tear" are playful yet respectful of Arthur Sullivan's gorgeous melodies, and her duets with Giebel are a joy to hear. --Albert Williams

Price: $30-$88

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