‘The Pirates of Penzance’ is thrilling and hilarious

The “Pirates of Penzance” is the first live theater performance to light Crowell auditorium in nearly two years.

Kate Bomar, Staff Writer

The Pirates of Penzancepremiered last night on Feb. 11, leaving only three more opportunities to watch the show. Director Jeanne Robison double-casted the show for safety measures to bring life back to the stage after two years of silence.


Robison based the production almost entirely on her staging of the opera in 1992 at John Brown University. Her admiration of 1930s musicals resulted in the production of the show.

Robison will be retiring at the end of this school year, giving the show a special impact. 


Due to COVID-19 complications, the orchestra was cut in January due to health and safety concerns as well as  conductor Marlin Owen’s health. The only accompaniment was the piano, played by Alice Song, the rehearsal accompanist and music coach. 

Many people from this cast, including junior vocal performance and music composition major Kobe Burton, have not been able to perform since 2020 because of the pandemic. 

“I can’t believe we are here,” Burton said. “I was getting so nervous, it was the first time I acted in over two years and that’s the longest time I’ve gone without it.”


Parents, grandparents, students and friends gathered around Crowell Hall of music 20 minutes before opening night and ended with a standing ovation and shows of praise.

“The show was so funny, so fun, so good,” said sophomore music major Isabella Perez. “Everyone did such an amazing job, they were incredible. I had a lot of friends in it and I know they’ve been working so hard for months.” 

Despite an ominous plot line, enriching humor left the packed house laughing. Ruth, a pirate maid-of-all-work and Frederic’s nursery maid, swept the audience away. Despite her age, she was in love with the main character, and grew bitter over him falling for Mabel. 

On opening night, senior vocal performance major Hadassah Meneses gave character to the role. 

“She is the older woman here [at] 47 and she just wants to fit in and fall in love,” Meneses said. “I’m one of the older students here in the cast. It’s pretty funny to just draw from my personal thing. I’m older and want to be young again.”

“The Pirates of Penzance” will have three more showings throughout the weekend, and tickets can be purchased here.

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