Every convention that you’ve ever learned about going to the theater must be abandoned for PIRATES OF PENZANCE, currently performing at the Pasadena Playhouse. For the first time ever, the layout of the Playhouse has been changed, and if you’ve ever wondered what things look like from the stage, this is your chance to find out. It is first a shocker to see the orchestra seats buried under a huge deck, and even more so to find yourself sitting, promenade style, in a world of plastic swimming pools, rubber duckies, ukuleles, and with a tiki bar right on stage!
PIRATES OF PENZANCE is not a new show. It was written by Gilbert and Sullivan in 1879. But The Hypocrites, the Chicago theater company presenting the show at the Playhouse, have turned it upside down, basically eliminating “the wall” between the actors and the audience. They managed to do so, however, while keeping the original storyline and its score intact.
Between the ruckus of bouncing beach balls and actors in tiny short pants, the story of an orphan named Freddy is told – of how he was raised by pirates and how he leaves them behind to start a life with a woman named Mabel.
There are often hilarious moments, both intended and unexpected (sometimes brought about by the audience rather than the actors), and you will be free to laugh at your heart’s content. Yet, make no mistake, while the artists are as silly as can be, they also own impressive and powerful voices. Dana Omar, who plays Ruth and Mabel, and the Major General (Matt Kahler), have multiple opportunities to prove it.
PIRATES OF PENZANCE is an experience unlike any other you’ve had before at the Playhouse. See it as a great chance to unplug and enjoy yourself for 80 entertaining minutes. The show is perfect for the entire family and has now been extended through Feb. 25, 2018.
If you buy a promenade ticket, you’ll be seated in the middle of the action. Pirates may ask you to move as they walk on top of your seat singing and playing their instruments. But, if you rather have a less interactive experience, buy a ticket for the numbered seats that surround the promenade.
The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Ave., in Pasadena 91101. Find tickets and additional information at PasadenaPlayhouse.org
Photo: Doug Pawlik as Freddy in Pirates of Penzance at Pasadena Playhouse / Credit: Jenny Graham