1948 - 1949
The Pirates of Penzance
Cornwall, England c 1870
When Frederic was a boy, his nurse Ruth was told to apprentice him to a pilot. Instead she apprenticed him to a pirate. Realizing her mistake, she also joined the pirates as a "piratical maid-of-all-work". Although Frederic loathed piracy, he dutifully served; and, as the curtain rises, his indentures are up and he is preparing to leave the pirate band and devote himself to their extermination.
He urges the pirates to join in embracing a more lawful calling, but they refuse. Ruth, however, wishes to become his wife. Having seen but few women he does not know whether she is really as pretty as she says she is; but he finally consents to take her.
Just then, the daughters and wards of Major-General Stanley happen upon the scene. Frederic sees their beauty—and Ruth's plainness—and renounces Ruth. Mabel takes a particular interest in Frederic, and he in her. The other girls are seized by the pirates and threatened with immediate marriage. When the Major-General arrives, he dissuades the pirates by telling them that he is an orphan — knowing that they don’t capture orphans.
Meanwhile the Pirate King and Ruth have discovered that Frederic’s indentures were to run until his twenty-first birthday, and—as he was born on February 29—he has so far had only five birthdays. Obeying the dictates of his strong sense of duty, Frederic immediately rejoins the pirates and tells them that Major-General Stanley is not an orphan so the pirates seize the Major-General.
But the police come to the rescue and charge the pirates to yield, "in Queen Victoria’s name". This they do. Ruth explains that the pirates are really all "noblemen who have gone wrong", and they are pardoned by the Major-General and allowed to marry his daughters and wards.
Producer: Ted Nicholson
Musical Director: H. Bramwell Bailey