Pirates capture audience, plunder outdoors, under

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    By MICHELLE TOLMAN

    The SCERA Shell Outdoor Theater is presenting “The Pirates of Penzance,” a delightful musical comedy sure to enchant family members of all ages.

    Written by W.S. Gilbert, with music by Arthur Sullivan, “Pirates of Penzance” has everything from ravaging pirates with a conscience, to clumsy policemen, beautiful maidens and love and war.

    This Gilbert and Sullivan play features a complicated plot with Frederic, who became a Pirate of Penzance when his nursemaid Ruth was told to apprentice him to be a `pilot’ but mistook the word to be `pirate.’

    Frederic, now 21, is determined to leave the unlawful life as a pirate and devote himself to pirate extermination. But events don’t turn out as Frederic would hope, as he falls in love with the beautiful Mabel and must choose between her and his duties to the pirates.

    Not only is the play unpredictable, but in keeping with the Gilbert and Sullivan tradition, the music and lyrics are clever and very entertaining.

    “It’s more a comedy than I thought,” said George Merrill, a four-year patron of the Shell from Mapelton. “What a spectacular cast. I’m impressed.”

    Jon Armstrong, one of the pirates, said this is one of the better plays the Shell has put on.

    “There is an exciting cast and the choreography is great,” Armstrong said.

    The vocal talent and enthusiasm of the cast is impressive as shown by Dacia Spann, who plays the part of Mabel, and Gordon Miner as Frederic.

    Tina Cragun, supervisor of the cast, said the cast are all volunteers.

    Along with great entertainment, The SCERA Shell offers audiences the chance to enjoy nature with the theater. The theater, at 699 S. State, Orem, is an outdoor park and not limited to a single stage.

    Merrill said he enjoyed seeing the actors coming from all around the stage.

    “People like the relaxed atmosphere, bringing blankets and sitting under the stars,” said Robert Barham, front house manager.

    Barham said the only drawback of putting on a production outdoors is unpredictable weather.

    For more information, call the SCERA at (801) 225-ARTS.

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