Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Pirates of Penzance



Late last week I found out that a young friend of ours was playing in Pirates of Penzance in Menomonie. Since she had been graduated from UW Stout, I assumed that the performances were held at the campus and went online with my Google search to find out where I could purchase tickets. It was not at UW Stout, but at the Mabel Tainter Theater, and we were able to get tickets for Sunday afternoon.

Of course, the performance was more fun than I'd had in a long time. First of all, our friend was playing one of the dozen daughters of the Major-General. With her very blonde hair and pink parasol, (which she deftly used to keep advancing pirates at bay), along with her wicked use of eyebrow, she was one of the cast who made the performance a true delight. It was hilarious and such great entertainment.




From Wikipedia:

'The Pirates of Penzance; or, The Slave of Duty is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W.S. Gilbert. The opera's official premiere was at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in New York City on 31 December 1879, where the show was well received by both audiences and critics. Its London debut was on 3 April 1880, at the Opera Comique, where it ran for a very successful 363 performances, having already been playing successfully for over three months in New York.

'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.'

***

Originally I hadn't planned on taking photos in the theater, for I assumed it was forbidden. However, since we had arrived early to collect our tickets, I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask permission to take photos in the theater before the performance began. Permission was granted, and I went to the car to get my camera.

Mabel Tainter Memorial Center for the Arts

From the program:

'The Mabel Tainter Memorial was built in 1889. The Pirates of Penzance or The Slave of Duty premiered in New York just ten years earlier in 1879. The thought of doing a nineteenth-century play in a nineteenth-century theater was too good to pass up. In fact, it was so exciting that the idea of using nineteenth-century theatrical techniques as much as possible was our guiding vision for this show. tonight you will see this vision reflecting in the choice of costumes, sets, props, posters, lighting, and acting styles. Our goal is that the sights and sounds that you experience while at the Mabel Tainter will transport you back to a simpler time when the air was clear[sic] and the stories were good. I daresay that if we hope to advance the arts in the future, it is well worth looking at the successes of the past.'

There's nothing like a live performance!

Next post:  more photos of the gorgeous Mabel Tainter Memorial Theater - inside and out.


'Let's Usher in Spring' SALE
Natural, Homemade Vegan Soaps
Now through March 21

 Check out all our handcrafted soaps at

24 comments:

Denise said...

Nice post.

Trace4J said...

How cool. I love live shows .
And someone you know.
So exciting.
Woolie hugs
Trace

Eileen said...

Sounds like a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Terri Weems said...

How fun! That theater is awesome! I can't wait to see photos of the inside!

Paulette said...

Living in between Chicago and Milwaukee gives me the opportunity to attend theater productions, but I also enjoy the production in my own town especially the high schools. Last weekend I took my grandkids to see the musical production of Shriek at our local high school, fun time. Looking forward to viewing the inside of the theater, the outside is stunning.

Parsley said...

Oh how fun!

Amy Burzese said...

Live performances are fun! Looking forward to seeing more of that wonderful building.

Cherry's Prairie Primitives said...

What a super fun time!! Can't wait to see the rest of the photos!!

Bossy Betty said...

What a treat to go to a lovely place and see a great show!

Marcia Pilar said...

Oh my, I'm so glad they allowed photographs so you could share that beautiful picture of the theater with us. Gorgeous. I agree that there is nothing like a live performance.
Glad you had a lovely time.
XOXO's

Marcia Pilar said...

Oh yes, you are more than welcome in the room with the French doors. ;) We love it so much we moved our dining table to it even though it's not a dining room. :)

Debra Hawkins said...

What a beautiful theaters. I love plays, but this is one I have never had the chance to see. Sounds amazing.

Heide at ApronHistory said...

The Mabel Tainter is amazing! We got to go through it once, beautiful.
I did hear about the play. Thanks for the synopsis, it looks fun! We always enjoy our local high school plays. They are always infused with so much energy!

Yenta Mary said...

I love Gilbert and Sullivan! Oh, what a grand time that must have been ... :)

Chatty Crone said...

I have never seen that story. I have been to Stout University - in my college days we would drive up there as someone I know went there. Now I kind of know where you are. Sounds interesting...
sandie

Sandra said...

glad you had a great Sunday afternoon, that is really an impressive building.

Empty Nester said...

What a fantastic building! So glad you got to go. I'm the only one in my family who can't stand to sit through those things though. Even when Birdie was in something, I went, but spent most of the time wishing it was over. LOL It just drives me crazy to sit still for that long in a place where I feel like that's my only option. And then there's the whole attention span of a gnat thing. :) But exploring that building? Now that I would love! Can't wait to see the inside!

Carla said...

Lucky you! We got to tour the building with our homeschool group. It was a wonderful, well worth doing.

I would love to sit back and enjoy a performance.

Ruth Kelly said...

That was fun. It was nice to know the words he was singing too.

Willow said...

I was over at Meggies' post and saw your blog was entitled Cranberry Morning, well as our farm is across from cranberry bogs so of course I had to come visit ...glad I did! Lovely post.

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Oh what fun, a play and permission to take photos...

Sounds like fun, and what a great looking building.

Jen

Terri D. said...

How very exciting, and what a beautiful historic building!! Can't wait to see more. What fun you must have had!

Judy S. said...

Fun post, Judy, especially since we have tickets to see this locally during the coming summer! A thousand years ago, or so, I was in this show and can't for the life of me remember what it's about. Sigh.....

Henandchix said...

I went out of my sense of duty and then went again because it was so brilliantly done. This is no pathetic group of amateurs - there was a sparkle and dash to this that a professional company would be happy to produce. And yes, this Mama Hen is proud of that Chick.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails