‘Pirates of Penzance’ brings the audience into the action

  • Wed Mar 14th, 2012 1:57pm
  • Life

By Theresa Goffredo Herald Writer

“The Pirates of Penzance”: In this Village Theatre Kidstage version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic, there’s silliness, wind-up robots and a steam-punk alternative reality.

But a major highlight of the show about a modern major-general might be its interactive approach.

“The cast goes into the audience and they will feel like they are part of the action,” director Samuel Pettit said. “It’s a very interactive show and one where you might have one of the general’s daughters sitting in your lap.”

Village Theatre’s Kidstage has reinvented “Pirates” in a sci-fi fantasy, industrialized way, that still has a Victorian look and keeps its wackiness and irreverence, Pettit said.

Now instead of a pirate ship there’s an airship. There are also some characters that are robots powered by gears who resemble the Keystone Kops.

And because this is a family show with kids of all ages in the audience, it ain’t no “Les Miz,” Pettit said.

“There’s lots of silliness, lots of robots, so it’s a lot of fun,” Pettit said. “And it’s an hour and 45 minutes so it’s very palatable.”

The “Pirates’” cast is family friendly as well with about 28 Kidstage kids who are mostly junior-high age.

The plot of “Pirates” involves young Frederic who has been indentured to a band of pirates but who is supposed to be released from his service when he turns 21.

Not wanting to lose Frederic, the smartest one among the pirates finds a loophole in the contract and Frederic must rejoin the band.

Too bad he has to leave the woman he just fell in love with. But duty calls.

This comic opera may have first opened in 1879, but the songs continue to make it into pop culture, such as the most famous, “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General,” which has been parodied on “The Simpsons.”

“Pirates” is being performed in Village Theatre’s new classroom and theater space, Second Stage, in the same block as Village Theatre’s mainstage performance space, the Everett Performing Arts Center on Wetmore in downtown Everett.

“It’s a fun new space, very intimate, and the kids are right there,” Pettit said.

“The Pirates of Penzance” opens at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Second Stage Theatre, 2730 Wetmore Ave., Everett. Shows are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through April 1.

Tickets are $14 and $12. Call 425-257-8600 or go to www.villagetheatre.org.

Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424; goffredo@heraldnet.com.