It is possible, in Grand Junction, to take in one or two stage events each week, yet feel like you have not really been to the theatre in a long time once you see a production like “The Pirates of Penzance” at Colorado Mesa University.
Perhaps it is Gilbert and Sullivan that make “The Pirates of Penzance” seem like real theatre. The premise is totally outrageous, mocking, caricaturing every thing society holds dear. A Shakespearean conviction that marriage is the ultimate necessity of a society. A firmly entrenched perspective that men make absolute fools of themselves when falling in love; women will consistently fall for a bad boy when the opportunity presents; or that high-rank equals narcissistic buffoonery. But my, isn’t Gilbert and Sullivan entertaining? Isn’t the Colorado Mesa University student cast fabulous?
Perhaps it is the pirate theme that is so endearing; men who are bad, yet not totally bad and somehow winsome - especially since they can sing so well and are played by handsome young college students. Oh, and then there were the puns; not even good ones, really. The cast moved to the corny beats of head snaps and gasps in the same direction. The comic leads milked the comedy. But was there any doubt the actors were talented, the directors, producers and musicians accomplished? This was theatre at its best, right here in Grand Junction.
Hard working college students have painted on their faces, attended to the blocking and, for two weekends in a row, present event goers with rollicking energetic musical comedy.
Your last opportunity to to see theater at its best without straying a block from the iconic western slope landmark intersection of 12th and North Avenue is Saturday, March 9. If you love cultural events and you love theatre, buy your ticket now. Dress up and go applaud the joint efforts of the music and theatre departments at Colorado Mesa University.