Whether your are a long time lover of all things Gilbert and Sullivan or have just been introduced to these Victorian-era creators of some of the theater’s cleverest musical moments, it is time to get excited again.
That’s because from February 9-19, 2012 Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance (or, The Slave of Duty) is about to take the stage at the legendary Cohoes, New York Music Hall. It is a reasonable distance from the Berkshires, and many G&S fans from Massachusetts make the journey. Filled with swashbuckling action and unrequited love, and first performed in 1879, it is one of the most popular and often performed musicals the creators ever wrote.
The story concerns Frederic, who, having completed his 21st year, is released from his apprenticeship to a band of tender-hearted pirates. He meets Mabel, the daughter of Major-General Stanley, and the two young people fall instantly in love. Frederic finds out, however, that he was born on 29 February, and so, technically, he only has a birthday each leap year. His apprenticeship indentures state that he remains apprenticed to the pirates until his 21st birthday, and so he must serve for another 63 years. Bound by his own sense of duty, Frederic’s only solace is that Mabel agrees to wait for him faithfully.