Mabel (Emily Biermann), left, talks to the Pirate King (Reese Wolf) while Samuel (Emma Hansen) chimes in with another opinion during a scene from “Pirates of Penzance” performed during Ag Days.
Mabel (Emily Biermann), left, talks to the Pirate King (Reese Wolf) while Samuel (Emma Hansen) chimes in with another opinion during a scene from “Pirates of Penzance” performed during Ag Days. DAVID PHILLIPS/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE

“Pirates of Penzance” is back for an encore in Wykoff.

“The way Eva Barr has designed this production made it possible to do in both Spring Valley for Ag Days and Wykoff for Fall Fest.  The idea was to have a show that could serve both communities this year,” stated Maria Klingsheim, speaking of the Brave Community Theatre (BCT) production of “Pirates of Penzance,” which was first performed as the Spring Valley Ag Days production marking BCT’s 45th anniversary. The play will now be performed at the newer gymnasium at the former Kingsland Intermediate School building in Wykoff for Fall Fest, on Saturday, Sept. 23, and Sunday, Sept. 24.

“The content of the show is going to be the same as the Ag Days production of ‘Pirates.’  We all enjoyed it so much that we wanted to do it again, in a different community and venue and to a different audience.  It’s a fast-paced show suitable for all age groups, and it’s a real delight,” explained BCT thespian Jeff Thauwald.

The storyline of “Pirates of Penzance,” a musical about a piratey conundrum, concerns Fredric, who is released from his apprenticeship to a band of tenderhearted pirates after his 21st year.  He meets Mabel, the daughter of Major General Stanley, and the two young people fall instantly in love.  Fredric soon learns, however, that he was born on Feb. 29 and so, technically, he has a birthday only once each leap year.  His indenture specifies that he must remain apprenticed to the pirates until his “21st birthday,” meaning that he must serve for another 63 years.  Bound by his own sense of duty, Fredric’s only solace is that Mabel agrees to wait for him faithfully.

“This production of ‘Pirates’ has original openings of both acts that set the stage for a truly creative and whimsical interpretation of Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic tale,” said  Klingsheim. “The chorus is tasked with all the vocals, and the students take over the stage with all the acting.  Eva Barr’s concept for the show is fresh and fantastic and will hypnotize audiences of all ages.” 

Rehearsals of the well-known show were begun during the first part of June, and the chorus and actors worked separately until July 31, at which point they combined their efforts.  The cast includes vocal soloists, actors and actresses and a chorus, with Wykoff area residents among them, such as Cole Bouska, Adele Stacken, musician Daniel Hayes-Hall and stage management by Bretta Grabau.

“It’s the same body of the same play, a play within a play, and it’s just good to have a show that we can play both in Spring Valley and here in Wykoff,” said Barr. “There are Wykoff people in it, and the show will be in the new gym.  It’s very different than performing at the Spring Valley Community Center…there’s going to be some creativity necessary, but it’s the same play.”

Klingsheim observed there are challenges and rewards involved with tackling a show such as “Pirates.”  For example, the classical musical repertoire has taken time to learn and master.  However, working on this style of music is completely rewarding, she added. 

“It is not often this show is produced because of the difficulty of the music.  I consider being in this production a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I couldn’t be more grateful for it,” she said. 

Some of the songs that the chorus and cast will perform include “Pour, O Pour the Pirate Sherry,” “I Am a Pirate King!,” “Poor Wandering One,” “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General,” and “With Cat-like Tread Upon Our Prey We Steal.”     

“Pirates of Penzance” is a family-friendly show that will engage audiences. However, it is rare to see the performance these days.

“ Eva Barr came up with a way to include multiple generations in a campy and accessible way to delight audiences of all ages,” said Klingsheim. “Families should come together.  It’s very kid-friendly because of all the action and exciting music, and very adult-friendly because of…all the action and exciting music.  Audiences will like all the action, seeing so many young people, and also seeing so many BCT regulars.  It has great music, fantastic energy.  And it’s lots of fun!” 

Barr hopes that Wykoffians make time for theatre in their hometown where there is greater capacity and all the seats will be good.

“People who saw the show in Spring Valley but sat in seats on the flat can come and watch again from bleacher seating if they had to lean a little to the side to see everything,” she added.  “And they can bring their kids, and their kids can bring blankets to sit on, because during the Spring Valley performance, we had kids on blankets right up front on the floor.” 

Admission to “Pirates of Penzance,” taking the stage at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23, and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 24, is $50 per family of four or more, $15 for adults, $10 for students 18 and under and for senior citizens 65 and older.  Concessions will be available, including bottled water, A&W root beer and “pirate booty popcorn,” as well as BCT t-shirts being sold for $12 each or two for $22. 

Additionally, Barr invited small pirates to put their swords in their scabbards and get ready to walk the plank down Gold Street during the Pirate Parade on Saturday, Sept. 23, at 10:30 a.m., right before the Fall Fest grand parade at 11 a.m.