The NAU Lyric Theater is bringing Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic operetta, “The Pirates of Penzance,” to Northern Arizona University’s Ardrey Memorial Auditorium from Oct. 12-15, with the director promising a unique spin on the show that audiences will love.
Enjoyed by audiences across the globe for more than 125 years, the musical includes famous tunes such as “Poor Wand’ring One” and “With Cat-like Tread” (known as “Hail, Hail, The Gang’s All Here”).
The story is about Fredric, who believes his pirate days are coming to an end at his 21st birthday, but he soon discovers more swashbuckling adventure awaits.
“We’ve set it in the 1960s. It’s definitely different from anything you’ve seen before,” Lyric Theater director Eric Gibson said. “We don’t do anything to alter the script or the meaning of the show, but the updates to the look and the feel of it are hilarious.”
The set is an elaborate “Brady Bunch” looking living room of a seaside villa. Shag carpet, plastic rolling chairs, an old television and a gigantic liquor-stocked bar set the scene for more than 40 students to sing their hearts out. An additional 60-plus students are getting experience in other roles, such as playing in the orchestra, working with costumes or running the technical side of the production.
“We have a lot of wonderful freshmen joining us for the first time on stage in the chorus, and we’re proud of our upper-division students who occupy most of the principle roles,” Gibson said. “It’s a great group.”
Seniors Staci Dickens and Alan Williams star in key roles—a pirate named Ruth and the Pirate King, respectively.
“The Pirates of Penzance” shows at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12-14, with a matinee performance at 2:30 p.m. on Oct.15, in Ardrey Memorial Auditorium. Tickets are on sale at the NAU Central Ticket Office in the University Union, by phone at (928) 523-5661 and at nau.edu/cto. A community parking pass is available for the Thursday performance at nau.edu/guest.