Berkshire on Stage has Reviewed this show: (link)
Whether your are a long time lover of all things Gilbert and Sullivan or have just been introduced to these Victorian-era creators of some of the theater’s cleverest musical moments, it is time to get excited again.
That’s because from February 9-19, 2012 Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance (or, The Slave of Duty) is about to take the stage at the legendary Cohoes, New York Music Hall. It is a reasonable distance from the Berkshires, and many G&S fans from Massachusetts make the journey. Filled with swashbuckling action and unrequited love, and first performed in 1879, it is one of the most popular and often performed musicals the creators ever wrote.
The story concerns Frederic, who, having completed his 21st year, is released from his apprenticeship to a band of tender-hearted pirates. He meets Mabel, the daughter of Major-General Stanley, and the two young people fall instantly in love. Frederic finds out, however, that he was born on 29 February, and so, technically, he only has a birthday each leap year. His apprenticeship indentures state that he remains apprenticed to the pirates until his 21st birthday, and so he must serve for another 63 years. Bound by his own sense of duty, Frederic’s only solace is that Mabel agrees to wait for him faithfully.
In 2010 C-R Productions did up a flawless production of another G&S Classic, The Mikado in which a star was born: John Farchione. Carol King of the Daily Gazette said:”Farchione had played the part only three times, but his handling of G&S’s staccato lyrics and complex phrasing was impeccable. No question about it, this young actor, with his gorgeous singing voice, confident stage presence and movie star good looks is going places.”
John Farchione returns
Leading the Pirates cast are not only John Farchione as Frederic, but also Jesse Coleman as The Pirate King, Jerry Christakos as Major-General Stanley, Kellie Cundiff as Mabel and Eleonore Thomas as Ruth.
Jim Charles is directing, with sets and lights by Mathew Fick and the pit orchestra under the direction of Miles Mandwelle.
Performance Schedule and Tickets
Performances are from February 9-19 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and with matinees on Saturday and Sundays at 3pm. Tickets are $25-35 and can be had by calling the box office at 518-237-5858 or visiting their website at www.cohoesmusichall.com
More about the key players
JESSE COLEMAN (The Pirate King) is tickled to be returning to Cohoes Music Hall for his second show! He was last seen as Sam Wainwright in A Wonderful Life. He’d like to thank his family for their continued support, without whom he would not be able to do what he loves, and Jim and Tony for their lovely theater and this opportunity. Previous credits include Franz in the “Keep it Gay” National Tour of The Producers, the Cowardly Lion in the National Tour of The Wizard of Oz, and Jacob/Potiphar in the Moonglow tour ofJoseph…Dreamcoat. Jesse is a proud graduate of Wright State University’s theatre department.
JOHN FARCHIONE (Frederic) is delighted to be back at Cohoes Music Hall for The Pirates of Penzance! Other Cohoes Music Hall credits include: Nanki-Poo in The Mikado, Jinx in Forever Plaid, and Gus/Growltiger in CATS. Other regional: Les Miserables (Ogunquit Playhouse, Northern Stage Co., and the Arts Centre of Coastal Carolina) High School Musical (Ogunquit Playhouse) A Christmas Carol (The Hanover Theatre), A Playhouse Christmas (Hunterdon Hills). NYC credits: Giuseppe Zangara in Assassins (5th Floor Productions),Show Choir! The Musical (NYMF 2010). John holds a B.F.A from The Boston Conservatory. Many thanks to Jim and Tony for letting me perform at their amazing theater! As always, all my love to my amazing and supportive family! www.johnfarchione.com
JERRY CHRISTAKOS (Major-General Stanley) has appeared here as Zangler in Crazy For You, Herr Schultz in Cabaret, Herbie in Gypsy, R.F. Simpson in Singin’ In The Rain, Roger Debris in The Producers, Julian Marsh in 42nd Street, Georges in La Cage Aux Folles, Captain/ Hennesey in Dames at Sea, Tateh in Ragtime, Fred Graham/Petruchio in Kiss Me, Kate, Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music, Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, the Starkeeper in Carousel, and Christy Vann deCamp in Lovely: A Musical Comedy. He has also directed the Music Hall’s Sweeney Todd and Dracula, and created the wigs and headdresses for La Cage Aux Folles, Beehive and 42nd Street. Mr. Christakos created the role of Gabriel in the Broadway and London productions of Kiss of The Spider Woman, appeared Off-Broadway in Forbidden Broadway: Special Victim’s Unit, and toured nationally in Les Miserable (Enjolras), Andrew Lloyd Webber: Music of the Night and A Swell Party: The Cole Porter Songbook. He also appeared regionally as Daddy Warbucks in Annie at The Little Theatre on the Square, Billy Flynn in Chicago at the TriArts Theatre, Rev. John Witherspoon in 1776 and Mr. Ovington in How To Succeed in Business…; both at the Goodspeed Opera House. Other regional appearances include Arena Stage, Florida Stage, Actors’ Theater of Louisville, Coeur D’Alene Summer Theater and Arizona Broadway Theatre.
KELLIE CUNDIFF (Mabel) is thrilled to be a part of this amazing show and incredibly talented cast. She recently moved to NYC from Chicago and is absolutely loving it! Credits include Jeff Nominated productions ofThe Light in the Piazza at Marriott Theatre, The Christmas Schooner at both Theatre at the Center and Bailiwick Repertory Theatre, among others. Favorite roles: Into the Woods (Cinderella), Carousel (Julie), and Sweeney Todd (Johanna). She has a degree in Vocal Performance from LSU. Many thanks for the love and support from all of her family and friends, and to Jim for this incredible opportunity! www.kelliecundiff.com
ELEONORE THOMAAS (Ruth) a proud alumna of Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, has sung with several world renowned orchestras including the NY Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, & Royal Concertgebow at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, & the Kennedy Center. NYC: Diet Monologues: The Musical (featured on BroadwayBullet.com), Fairy Tale (NYMF). Tours: “A Royal Christmas” with Dame Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer and Charlotte Church, “Andrea Bocelli’s Royal Christmas” with Bocelli & Denyce Graves. Regional: Bloody Mary in South Pacific (Arizona Broadway Theatre), V-Day The Vagina Monologues (Delaware Theatre Company), Mrs. Fezziwig in A Christmas Carol (Walnut Street Theatre), In My Body (The Painted Bride)www.inmybody.org