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December 10, 1982 - Image 34

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-12-10
This is a tabloid page

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As-. - V




James Woods lashes out in

community of the privateers. Be-
fore the planned attack on the pi-
rates can commence, however, the
Pirate King and Ruth inform Fre-
deric that since he was born on
February 29th (which only falls
every leap year), he has not yet
had 21 birthdays. Frederic's sense
of duty prompts him to rejoin the
buccaneers, meaning that he must
now aid them in thwarting the
police onslaught that he helped
organize. This conflict eventually
sets the scene for all of Penzances
characters to find happiness...
Modern interest in the Gilbert
and Sullivan classic was inspired
when Manhattan theatrical impre-
sario Joseph Papp, head of the
New York Shakespeare Festival,
launched a Central Park staging of
the play in July of 1980. Its
enormous success led to a move to
Broadway, where Pirates is still
running, accompanied by
affiliated productions taking place
in many parts of the country.
As with most successful Broad-
way shows, interest in Penzance's
film rights was almost immediately
displayed by numerous studios
and producers. Papp rejected
those offers until he agreed to
produce a film rendition in associ-
ation with Ed Pressman, whose
past credits (including Old Boy-
friends, Heart Beat and Conan)
proved that he possessed a shrewd
combination of commercial and
artistic sensibilities.
"Ed was the only person who
seemed genuinely interested in
presenting our adaptation in its
original form," explains Papp. "Ed
wanted to reflect the nature of the
show by retaining the original cast
- and keeping Wilford Leach as di-
line. rector
Obviously, Pirates' casting deci-
sions had already been made, but
what made Leach choose his initial
"I wanted actors whose voices
would keep their individuality,"
the director responds. "I also like
his ser- pop singers, which made it natural
for us to think of Linda Ronstadt
ate ship for Mabel. The Gods were with us,
d where because not only did Linda have
women the voice to do the show, but she
General wanted to be in it. It turns out that
ng. Fre- Linda had wanted to be in a Gil-
at Ruth bert and Sullivan show ever since
ng him she was in the sixth grade, when
caneers, her older sister sang "Sorry Her
is also Lot" from H.M.S. Pinafore. Ac-
of the tually, that's why we added that
nstadt). song to Pirates."
re busy Leach filled the bulk of Pen-
ladies. zance's additional starring parts
e sailors with seasoned stage performers.
police, Kevin Kline had trained under
inctious and worked for John Houseman,
d their and won a Tony Award (Broad-


"The style of The Pira
zance," says Wilford
rector and screenwriter
coming multi-million d
cal, "derived from ou
that we had to create
which all that happens i
would logically happen.'
is that Penzance offers
what really is another p
that is smaller, m
fashioned, optimistica
ous than our own, but
The Pirates of Penzance
from the Gilbert and
operetta first produced
concerns a roving ban
Century privateers, l

The Pirates of Penzance
tes of Pen- dashing Pirate King (Kevin Kline). birthday, th
Leach, di- Among the sailors is young Fre- vitude is to
of the up- deric (Rex Smith), indentured to On that b
ollar musi- the pirates as a boy when his sails into Co
r knowing nurse, Ruth (Angela Lansbury), a group of I
a world in misheard his parent's instructions - all wards
n the story to apprentice him as a pilot. Ruth (George Ro
The result - now plain looking and middle deric imme
a view of aged - has stayed with Frederic has lied t
lanet: one throughout his servitude. She has renounce n
ore old- also fallen in love with him. Since but Ruth a
and gener- Ruth is the only woman whom the instantly at
no less hu- young buccaneer ever remembers girls, Mab
seeing, she makes him believe that Meanwhile,
is adapted she is beautiful and convinces her trying to
I Sullivan charge to marry her. Despite Fre- Frederic ph
in 1879. It deric's relationship with Ruth, he by helping
id of 19th hates his life at sea, and he intends commande'
ed by the to leave the privateers on his 21st seargent (I

he time when1
be terminated.
irthday, the pir
ornwall, Englan
beautiful young
of the Major
se) - are wadi
ediately sees th
o him, makin
ot only the buc
s well. Frederic
tracted to one
el (Linda Ro
the pirates a
woo the other
ots to defeat th
the Cornwall
d by a rambu
Tony Azito), ri



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