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Pirates and parasols

Lakeridge High School presents Gilbert and Sullivan's musical comedy 'The Pirates of Penzance'
by: Vern Uyetake, It didn’t take long for Frederic (Austin Cummings) to fall in love with Mabel (Hannah Goodman) once she started singing to him.

The irony of the challenging opera-style music mixed with the silliness of 'The Pirates of Penzance' is what makes this a great choice for Lakeridge's fall musical. 'The music is challenging and the kids are talented so we wanted to do something to showcase it,' said director Andrew Stoltenberg. 'We could take (the silliness) a lot further but we're taking the middle ground.'

In the musical, the dutiful Frederic (Austin Cummings) completes his 21st year and the end of his apprenticeship to the Pirates of Penzance and announces that he must now leave the pirates and devote himself to their end. And he invites them to come with him, but they refuse to leave their life of piracy. They also insist upon sending his maid Ruth (Brynn Tran) along with him. Frederic, who is in want of a wife, believes her to be beautiful since she is the only woman he has seen.

Upon arriving on a nearby island, he soon learns that Ruth has lied to him when he sees a group of beautiful sisters on the beach. They sing to him, and he falls in love with Mabel (Hannah Goodman). He, out of his sense of duty, feels he must warn them of the pirates nearby, but the pirates arrive capture the girls and want to marry them.

Their father, however, is the Major-General, a man with the gift of rhyme. In order to get them to release his girls, he tells them one lie - that he is an orphan. The pirates' one weakness is that they are all orphans and allow anyone to go free who claims that they are orphans themselves.

A silly scene that involves a misunderstanding of words. The Pirate King, played by Brian Ernst, at first thinks the Major-General, played by Rutger McKenna, is saying the word 'often' instead of 'orphan.' It's both of the actors' favorite scene.

Devon Gates, who plays the police sergeant, agrees: 'The chemistry in it is so funny.'

The three of them, all seniors, said it is the hardest music they've done for a show, but as a result the most rewarding. 'It's the most fun I've ever had on stage,' said Ernst. 'The costumes and set are fun to work with and the improv you can do between characters is a lot of fun.'

'As the choir director, the style of music is a challenge, and it's good for the kids to learn the structure of an operetta, an aria and a recitative,' said Bill Campbell.

The musical continues as the pirates and the police on the island work out their differences.

'It's kind of melodramatic, but the kids are invested in the inherent silliness of the musical,' said Stoltenberg.