Ride a wave of music and laughter as romantic sailors, sisters, cousins, and aunts sing and dance their way across the deck of the fanciful British naval vessel with the improbable name. The very proper Captain Corcoran and ridiculously pompous Sir Joseph Porter preside, the villainous Dick Deadeye speaks the ugly truth, and Little Buttercup reveals the outrageous mistake that allows true love to overcome the problems of class distinction. Memorable signature tunes abound on board ship and the riotous “Bell Trio” sparks a celebration in Act II.
H.M.S. Pinafore, or The Lass That Loved A Sailor was first performed at the Opera Comique, London, on May 25, 1878, and has remained popular on both sides of the Atlantic ever since. The show’s satirical jabs at the vaunted British Navy and at rigid Victorian class distinctions remain as readily understand- able in the new millennium as they were over 100 years ago. Since the specific satire was meant to amuse and not provoke, the universal nature of human foibles shines through to any audience
Author Gilbert’s characters are sharply drawn, from the romantic hero Ralph Rackstraw and the pomp- ous Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B., to the villainous Dick Deadeye. Composer Sullivan provides indelible mu- sical introductions: “I’m called Little Buttercup”, “I am the Captain of the Pinafore”, “I am the Monarch of the Sea” —songs which are among the most famous in the English language. The choruses also have their share of unforgettable numbers including the sailors' “We Sail the Ocean Blue”, the ladies' “And We Are His Sisters, and His Cousins, and His Aunts” and the rousing full ensemble anthem “For He Is an Englishman”.
The New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players’ production of H.M.S. Pinafore features an elaborate setting of a ship’s deck, based on drawings by Gilbert himself, and beautiful Belle Epoch costumes. Besides the lush sounds of legitimate voices and a full orchestra, this production offers energetic action, lively choreography and broad comedy.