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  The Pirates of Penzance at Chopin Theatre

The Pirates of Penzance

Chopin Theatre
1543 W. Division Chicago

Sappy pirates, dewy-eyed damsels, bumbling bobbies and a stuffy Major General. Gilbert and Sullivan's hilarious, hopeful farce follows young Frederic, an orphan who has mistakenly been apprenticed to an ineffectual but raucous band of pirates. He disavows the pirates' way of life and falls for the beautiful Mabel. However, as Frederic was born on leap year, the Pirate King claims Frederic must remain an apprentice until his 21st birthday, when Frederic will be 84. Artistic Director Sean Graney brings his singular sense of humor to one of the most beloved operettas of all time.

Thru - Jan 30, 2011

Price: $14-$28

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 773-278-1500

Nearby Restaurants

  The Pirates of Penzance Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...this is not some egregiously moderne take-down. It is an irreverent and fresh homage and entirely safe for Gilbert-and-Sullivan fans — and you know who you are — to attend and enjoy. Indeed, it would be an article of faith to do so. I kept thinking about how much Gilbert would have liked it. And of all Graney’s many non-traditional creations in this town over the last few years, this is certainly among my favorites."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...In his giddy, ever-buoyant, freshly reinvented revival of the show for the Hypocrites (yes, the same company that did such a knockout job on “Our Town” a couple of seasons back), director Sean Graney has stepped up to the helm of this goofy classic and distilled it down to a salty 80 minutes. In the process — with the expert assistance of musical arranger Kevin O’Donnell — he has turned it into the very model of a thoroughly hip and playfully modern piece of musical theater. Happily, he also never loses sight of the show’s Victorian world view, with its devotion to the queen, its preoccupation with orphans and bumbling policemen and wedding etiquette. And the result is a zany delight from start to finish."
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Hedy Weiss

Centerstage - Highly Recommended

"...While every element of the show works together to promote general good cheer, special mention should be made of Jared Moore’s lighting. Big yellow bulbs and tiny blue fairy lights shine overhead, adding a sweet touch of romance to this robust production."

Laura Kolb

Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"... Musically, it’s not a show for purists; while Stulik displays a vibrant soprano, vocal impact and even tuning at times fall by the wayside in the piece’s mad onrush. Particularly in such full-cast numbers as “With Cat-Like Tread,” it might have been nice to have the support of a separate music section. But the production offers an exceptionally fun evening, featuring a literal showstopper by Matt Kahler. Truly the model of a modern Major-General, Kahler deploys Gilbert’s infectious patter with precision and diabolical wit."
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John Beer

ChicagoCritic - Somewhat Recommended

"...The 80 minute one act contains too much needless movement that forces the audience to move about creating poor sight-lines for many. I’m not a fan of promenade staging. The story has too much mumbling and campy acting making for a confusing storyline. I believe if your going to mount an operetta, please cast experienced musical comedy performers and musicians. You can do parody and over-the-top satire of a classic – just use expert singers and musicians. Why make such a melodic score and such witty libretto suffer? If you see this show, remember it is NOT a typical production but a deconstruction. To many, it’ll play as a funny mock of G & S. Just be warned."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Somewhat Recommended

"...In my opinion I do not think this is how Gilbert and Sullivan wanted their work to be handled.  Too many mistakes are made to a show that is considered one of the best satirical operettas.  I love “Pirates of Penzance”, the music is excellent and the story is funny and enjoyable.  I just do not think this production is presented well enough in the manner it should be.  For those die-hard Gilbert and Sullivan fans out there, I cannot recommend this be your top priority to see. "

Tyler Tidmore

Around The Town Chicago - Recommended

"...This is not a show for opera lovers or even light opera devotees! It is a show designed to be a diversion from everyday life and to allow 80 minutes of fun where you will have no time to think about your job, your bills, your anything- just to have fun!"
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Alan Bresloff

Reviews You Can Iews - Highly Recommended

"...The real glory of this show belongs to the ensemble. The musicianship is unparalleled on non-equity stages and features the talents of Nikki Klix, Ryan Borque, Emily Casey, Shaun Pfautch, Becky Poole, and Doug Pawlik. They have to run and jump and dive and swim all over that weird place and still play instruments. The harmonies are dope and the chreography is pretty quick and cute as well. I particularly like Nikki Klix, because she wears this really cute bathing suit and has the best smile ever."
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Eric and Andy

Chicago Theater Beat - Highly Recommended

"...Each of the actors involved in this production is given an enormous amount of work to do: playing, singing, and dancing, all while trying to remember blocking in a space filled with audience members. That the production moves smoothly without a single hitch is a testament to the effort put in by the entire creative team, spearheaded by the consistently innovative Graney. It may not look or sound like any Gilbert and Sullivan opera you’ve ever seen, but it will probably be the most fun."

Oliver Sava

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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