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07 June 2004 @ 01:10 am
The Pirates of Penzance  

Susan took me to the Guthrie production of The Pirates of Penzance Friday night. It was quite wonderful! I hear it's been extended, so I'll recommend that any of you who live in the Twin Cities area and who enjoy such things might just want to take an evening to see it. I'm going to encourage Susan's mother, perhaps, to take Gavi, since I'm pretty sure Gavi would love it.

I say this even though, as you may know, I have some sort of "processing" disability — I cannot, for the life of me, parse the words of a song or poem the first time I hear it. Or the second time. Or the third, fourth, fifth&hellip. Tenth or twentieth, maybe. Anyway, since the … plot, such as it was, was … er … "advanced" primarily in song, it was a little harder for me to follow the proceedings than it might otherwise have been. Even so I can certainly say that everything was wonderful. The acting was inspired, the singing great, and the dancing and choreography delightful. The costuming was most excellent. (The Pirate King very much reminded me of our friend Steven Brust, even though Steven's hat doesn't have a rim of feather-boa-stuff around the crown.) I also, as usual, came down with a mad crush on one of the actresses. (One of the non-lead sisters … the thin, dark one who reminded me a bit of Elizabeth Hall (speaking of mad crushes…).)

I will also note that they had added to some of the the songs here and there to incorporate a number of local references; I recognized some of the people and places, but couldn't parse their context. Susan tells me that some were quite witty while others, alas, fell a bit flat. Even so, I heartily recommend the production.

Current Mood: goodgood
Current Music: Judy Collins: Whales And Nightingales
Annenetmouse on June 7th, 2004 06:46 am (UTC)
yay for Susan, taking you out on such a fun date!

I wonder, do you think it would hinder your enjoyment of the show to read the songs first? (though in this case I guess they changed the lyrics a bit). I ask because Bill, knowing that he has trouble following the plots of some shakespear, always reads the storybook version before going to one of the plays, and finds this helps tremendously. So I've seen pre-studying to help.

Imagining Steven in a hat with a feather-boa-rim brings a smile to my face, as does thinking of you having such a nice evening.

dd-bdd_b on June 7th, 2004 08:47 am (UTC)
Second the recommendation! Pamela took me recently.

It's one of the three Gilbert&Sullivan works I know well, having had LP records of it since I was a kid. It was interesting to discover just how much of my "easy comprehension" of the lyrics was from familiarity and how much was real; I had to work *much* harder to follow the parts they'd changed (the Major General's patter song, and the entire ending), as it turned out.

I've rarely missed a chance to see G&S performed, if it came to my attention. I never even knew this one was happening until Pamela fell into some tickets, though. The Guthrie isn't one of the places I think of as likely to perform G&S.
starstraf on June 9th, 2004 01:53 pm (UTC)
I'm much happier hearing music the first time when I can read along the lyrics in the liner notes or be at a small concert and lip read. I have a huge problem with Gilbert & Sullavan for just the same reason - I read a synopsis before we went. I can usually get the parsing on the 3rd or 4th time i hear and concentrate.