As in the past, August is the month when Lamplighters Music Theatre begins a new season as the Bay Area’s prime source for full-scale productions of Gilbert and Sullivan (G&S) operettas (with occasional digressions, as was the case with last season’s venture into Die Fledermaus, composed by Johann Strauss II but using a source that Gilbert had drawn upon for one of his plays). The new 2014–2015 season will be the company’s 62nd, and it will begin with one of the most popular selections from the G&S canon of all time; The Pirates of Penzance. This is a typical example of the “topsy-turvy” logic that gave Gilbert so much pleasure, since it hinges on the 21st birthday of a young man unfortunate enough to be born on February 29. If the plot plays to Gilbert’s strengths, the need for multiple choruses (pirates, daughters, police) gave Sullivan a chance to unleash the full power of his capacity to invent highly imaginative counterpoint. The staging will be by Jane Erwin Hammett, and Resident Music Director Baker Peeples will conduct.
The San Francisco performances of The Pirates of Penzance will take place on Thursday, August 14, Friday, August 15, and Saturday, August 16 at 8 p.m. with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday, August 16, and Sunday, August 17. The venue is the Lam Research Theater at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) at 700 Howard Street. General admission prices are $59, $49 and $44. Prices for seniors 62 and older are $54, $44 and $39, and the rates for educators, students (25 and under) and those aged 17 and under are $20. Tickets may be purchased online through an event page on the YBCA Web site. Further information may be obtained by calling 415-978-2787 or by visiting the Lamplighters home page.