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January 20 - March 11, 2017

Set sail with Gilbert and Sullivan’s most popular comic opera, The Pirates of Penzance, a hilarious farce about sentimental pirates, bumbling policemen, dim-witted young lovers, and an eccentric Major-General.  This updated version of The Pirates Of Penzance took New York by storm when it premiered in Central Park in 1980, leading to a subsequent smash-hit Broadway run.

The original The Pirates of Penzance premiered at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in New York City on December 31, 1879.  It was the fifth collaboration between Arthur Sullivan and William Gilbert, who had already come to some fame following the success of H.M.S. Pinafore the year before in London.

Following its premiere, Pirates went on to became a staple performed by opera companies around the world for the next century.  In 1980, a revised version of the show was presented by Joseph Papp and the Public Theatre at the New York Shakespeare Festival.  Following that initial run, the production transferred to Broadway the following January where it ran for two years. 

The cast of both the Shakespeare Festival production and Broadway transfer included Linda Ronstadt as Mabel, George Rose as the Major General, Rex Smith as Frederic, Tony Azito as the Police Sergeant, and Kevin Kline as the Pirate King.  The role of Ruth was first performed by British stage star Patricia Routledge, but when the show transferred, the part was taken over by Estella Parsons.

The Broadway production won a number of awards including three Tonys (Best Actor - Kline; Best Direction - Wilford Leach; and Best Revival), five Drama Desk Awards, and one Theatre World Award.

In 1983, a film adaptation of Papp's production of Pirates was released with all of the show's original stars reprising their roles.  The role of Ruth however, was played by stage and screen star Angela Lansbury.  

A fun, adventurous romp, The Pirates of Penzance is the perfect show to open Way Off Broadway's 2017 Season.