Sunday, July 06, 2014

Pirates of Penzance

Pirates of Penzance is a 1983 film adaptation of the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera. I love this! You can read the text of the original work online.

I remember the first time I heard the song "When Frederic Was a Little Lad":

I thought I would die laughing, and I still have fond memories of that and a soft spot in my heart for this film because of it. Also, the whole thing is just such great fun!

Here's the scene in which Frederic is told that since his birthday is on February 29th he is actually only 5 1/4 years old, and since his indenture runs until his 21st birthday, Frederic won't be free until 1940:

Frederic goes to his love Mabel (played by Linda Ronstadt) and sings to her,
"In 1940 I of age shall be. I'll then return and claim you, I declare it."
She responds, with appropriate drama,
"It seems so long."
But she promises to wait.

Oh, how can you not love this!

The Younger Son and I both generally enjoy Gilbert and Sullivan, and he likes this, too. The Husband and The Daughter had more of a meh attitude towards it. Finding something we all really enjoy is getting harder and harder.


DVD Talk gives it high praise, calls it "as enormously charming as the original stage production," and says,
Beyond the timeless, still-dazzling, dizzying music with its ingenious lyrics, patter, and lushly romantic melodies, here sprightly orchestrated with the same energy as Kline's swashbuckling pirate, is the show's perfectly balanced tone. It's not exactly camp - there's too much obvious affection for the material - but rather it acknowledges its Victorian qualities and staginess by committing to it and acknowledging it head-on, especially in the performances.
Time Out calls it "a near unqualified success". Rotten Tomatoes has a critics rating of 80%.

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