Here’s a headline you probably never thought you would hear: Pirates hijack theater department at Cal State San Bernardino. Aye,’tis true. One of IE’s beloved college thespian collectives is now flying the flag of the Pirates of Penzance. And while the re-creation of Gilbert and Sullivan’s unforgettable comic opera may not seem like cause for alarm, we wouldn’t blame theater junkies for getting worked up over this swashbuckling production. On the surface, it’s got everything an opera could ask for: action, tangled love stories, a lot of singing and a sea robber with an identity crisis. The story revolves around young Fredrick (great first name for a pirate, eh?), a man who was raised as a pirate since childhood, only to be told on his 21st birthday that this was never the route his life was supposed to take. A barrage of 19th Century twists and turns ensue, leading Fredrick to a dilemma between the life of a noble policeman and a fearless member of the Pirates of Penzance. Oh, yeah, and to top it all off, turns out the guy’s birthday is on a leap year making him only 5 years old. And you thought your luck was bad? Fortunately, however, the opera is quite good. Enjoying the status of a time-tested comedic classic since its first unveiling in 1879, the production is sure to capture a sea-worthy audience for its two-week engagement at Cal State SB. Sure, the $15 general admission might border on piracy, but you certainly get plenty of laughs in return.
Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance at Cal State San Bernardino, Performing Arts Building, 5500 University Pkwy. San Bernardino. www.theatre.csusb.edu, (909) 537-5884. June 5, 6, 11, 12 & 13 at 8PM; June 7, 14 at 2 PM. $5 CSUSB students, $10 other students, seniors, military, CSUSB employee, Alumni Association members (with card), $15 general admission.