On Saturday evening we saw the Savoy Company's production of Gilbert & Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance" at the outdoor theater at Longwood Gardens. The extremely silly tone of the evening was set as soon as we walked into the amphitheater and heard shrill police whistles and disturbances in the audience. The actors playing police officers were warning the audience that there were pirates in the crowd -- horror! -- but assuring us that the constabulary had everything under control. One officer spotted an audience member in a bow tie and a seersucker jacket and summoned his fellow policemen, calling out, "Preppy pirate!"
The production was great fun, with a lot of laughs and familiar songs like "With cat-like tread" (better known as "Hail, hail the gang's all here"). Highlights for me were the amazing soprano Alize Rozsnyai as Mabel, Ethan M. Cadoff as "the very model of a modern major-general" and Guillermo L. Bosch as the sergeant of police ("a policeman's lot is not a happy one"). As for the plot, suffice it to say that it hinges on a misunderstanding between the words "pilot" and "pirate."
After a hot day, the evening could not have been more pleasant, with a lovely light breeze.
The only blot on the evening was a photographer who dashed back and forth in the aisle between the front and rear sections taking photos. During the finale she stood right in front of us, taking photos and then reviewing them on her camera's screen. It was distracting. Couldn't this have been done during the dress rehearsal?