The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan – Ross Valley Players – Gilbert and Sullivan’s most popular show, The Pirates of Penzance, is a rollicking, delightfully funny tale of a band of soft-tempered pirates. Mistakenly apprenticed to a pirate (instead of a pilot) by his nursemaid Ruth at the age of eight, the handsome Frederic is now twenty-one and, though quite fond of the group of joyous and fun-loving pirates, chooses to abandon his profession and “lead a blameless life henceforth,” dedicating himself instead to their eradication. Shortly after leaving them, he encounters a gaggle of beautiful maidens (one of whom, Mabel, steals his heart) and their father, the eccentric Major-General. The whole group has a run-in with the pirates themselves before escaping on the false premise that the Major-General is an orphan — a fact these tenderhearted pirates simply cannot help but take into account, given the fact that the majority of them are orphans themselves and “know what it’s like.” Just as Frederic is ready to lead a band of lily-livered policemen to take out the Pirate King and his men, a secret is uncovered that will change his fate forever, but, naturally, all comes out right in the end.

With: Percy Phillip Williams, Cordell Wesselink, Sibel Demirmen Henry, Norman Hall, Christina Jacqua, Bobby Singe
Directed by James Dunn. Originally produced in 2015.

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Merman’s Apprentice by Stephen Cole and David Evans – Sonoma Arts Live – It’s 1970 and the Golden Age of Musical Theatre is drawing to an end. But twelve-year-old Muriel Plakenstein doesn’t know that. So she runs away from home to become a Broadway star, and meets the Queen of Broadway Ethel Merman, who takes her to a Hello, Dolly! rehearsal where they sing together. When legendary producer David Merrick hears the kid, he decides to star Muriel in the first all-child cast of Dolly! Naturally, Merman takes her under wing to teach her the ropes of being a star…making little Muriel MERMAN’S APPRENTICE!

With Emma Sutherland, Dani Innocenti Beem, Patrick Barr, Julias Holsworth, Sean O’Brien, JT Soares, George Bereschick, Ron Lamb, Madison Lewis, Michael Lumb, Madison Griego, ScharyPearl Fugitt, Jerome Sadhu, Cat Smith
Directed by Jamie Love & Larry Williams. Originally produced in 2019.

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