Sterling College’s Homecoming musical, “Pirates of Penzance,” will run at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 7-9 in Culbertson Auditorium. Tickets are available through the Sterling College box office and can be reserved by calling 620-278-4279. Box Office hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Oct. 4-8 and 7 to 8 p.m. Oct. 7-9. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students/children/seniors 65 and over. Reservations not paid for by 7:50 p.m. on the night of the reservation will be subject to release for general sale.
As “Pirates of Penzance” opens, the pirates are celebrating the promotion of their apprentice Frederic to the status of full-blown pirate. In his speech of thanks, Frederic startles them with the news that he is leaving them because he never should have been apprenticed to them at all. His nursery maid, Ruth, misheard his parents’ instructions to “apprentice him to a pilot” and instead took him to the pirates of Penzance.
Frederic and Ruth leave the pirates and meet Major-General Stanley’s large family of unwed daughters, which includes Mabel, who is of special interest to Frederic. All is going well until the pirates return, kidnap the daughters and inform Frederic that he is not truly free, since he was born on Feb. 29 of a leap year and his apprenticeship does not end until his 21st birthday. When Major-General Stanley appears and tells a lie to get the pirates to set his daughters free, the mix-ups and misunderstandings continue and are not sorted out until the closing scene.
This comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan premiered in 1879 in New York. Even before its opening, Arthur Sullivan wrote, “I think it will be a great success, for it is exquisitely funny, and the music is strikingly tuneful and catching.” His words came true. The show was an immediate hit and is today one of the most popular and enduring works of musical theatre.
The Sterling College production of “Pirates of Penzance” features Houston Smith as the Pirate King, David Ireland as Frederic, Samantha Davison as Ruth, Larissa Versaw as Mabel, Andrew Curtiss as Major-General Stanley, and Ryan Ehresman as the Sergeant of Police. Other cast members include Marcus Mull, Amanda Xydis, Kaedra Dixson, Tillie Wilbeck, Mike Love, Paul Brecht, Shiloh Duff, Stuart Parman, Mike Redondo, Kaleb Knighton, Ben Jones, Spencer Nolan, Grant Brintnall, Victor Smith, Mandy Lee, Rachel Gardner, Ashley Hasart, Greta Larson, Amanda Denning, Jackie Wilkerson, Lauren White, Emily Zerger, Nathan West, Travis Norton, Tim Kerr, Jordan Snow, Nathan Sullivan, and Tim Dinh. Cara Spencer serves as the stage manager, and Mandy Nichols serves as the assistant stage manager.