Monday, August 24, 2015

Review: The Pirates of Penzance by Class Act Productions

For the milestone of their 15th musical production, Class Act Productions recently presented 'Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance' to enthusiastic audiences. The four shows which ran from August 21st - 23rd were an overall huge success for the local theatre company, which was launched in 2001. This swashbuckling adventure follows the young duty-bound Frederic who is approaching his 21st birthday and nearing the end of his long apprenticeship to the infamous Pirates of Penzance. His efforts in adjusting to a more normal life are made easier when Frederic falls instantly in love with the beautiful Mabel. However due to a technical oversight he must unfortunately remain with the pirates much longer than he originally thought. Thankfully Frederic is able to take solace in knowing that his love Mabel agrees to wait for him faithfully.
I attended the opening performance on Friday night, and much like the previous shows I've seen from this fine company, I was highly impressed by the level of production and the amount of local talent. The tireless efforts of show's director, Michael Mendez who has been at helm for the past several years, has elevated Class Act Productions far beyond what is considered to be the typical standard of armature theatre. The level of professionalism he strives for is staggering. Not to mention Musical Director, David Williams and Choreographer, Mandie Black; two devoted individuals of equally high standards who are both pivotal to the overall success of the annual productions. An array of vibrant colours dazzled throughout from the detailed costumes and quality set design, of which the minimal style approach proved to be a great example of less being more. However, it would be nearly impossible to outshine such a talented and overtly dedicated cast with any amount of paint or fabric. Vocal efforts combined with precise choreography during the extensive and equally spectacular musical numbers was a testament to the months of hard work by the young talent. While's it's difficult to single out one individual performance, attention should be brought to 17-year-old, Leo Ma as The Pirate King who's often clumsy swagger combined with sharp comedic timing further enhanced the level entertainment. 

Class Act Productions have delivered another fun-filled and surprisingly interactive weekend of local musical theatre. Attendance was at it's peak during opening night; the closing number being met with a standing ovation by an awe-struck audience. Congratulations to everyone involved and may next year's production be just as successful!

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