Homer High School choir director Kyle Schneider and choreographer Jill Berryman coach students in preparation for Pirates of Penzance.-Photo by Axel Gillam

Homer High School choir director Kyle Schneider and choreographer Jill Berryman coach students in preparation for Pirates of Penzance.-Photo by Axel Gillam

Pirates of Penzance

“…When I sally forth to seek my prey

I help myself in a royal way.

I sink a few more ships, it’s true,
Than a well-bred monarch ought to do;
But many a king on a first-class throne,
If he wants to call his crown his own,
Must manage somehow to get through
More dirty work than ever I do,

For I am a Pirate King!

And it is, it is a glorious thing

To be a Pirate King!…”

from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance

 

E

xpect a lot of fun, laughter and an insane amount of fantastic music this weekend at the Mariner Theatre.

It’s a spring tradition, and this particular show should exceed expectations. “Pirates of Penzance,” the famous Gilbert and Sullivan musical which premiered Dec. 31, 1879, in New York City, was selected for this year’s spring musical.

August Kilcher, a junior, plays the lead role of Frederic, a pirate who has just come of age. As a young child, Frederic’s nanny misunderstands his father’s instructions. Instead of apprenticing him to a boat pilot, she apprentices him to a pirate. The following tale is one that has endured for nearly a century and a half.

Megan Kirsis, also a junior, plays the female lead of Mabel, daughter of the general and Frederic’s love interest. Mabel and her sisters are kidnapped by the pirates, who intend to marry all of them until the general tells them he’s an orphan, and would be alone without them. 

Seniors Evan Boyer, Iustina Kuznetsov and Patrick Latimer  round out the leads as the modern major general, nanny Ruth and pirate king.

“The show is an absolute blast,” said Latimer, who plans to pursue composition after high school. And, although it’s always stressful getting ready for a production, he notes that this has been one of the less stressful ones.

“It’s really fun to work on it,” he said. “I think everyone’s enjoying it.”

Latimer describes his character, the pirate king, as an over-the-top, ridiculous caricature.

“He’s not the sharpest, you might say. But he’s very important and he’s a lot of fun,” said Latimer. “Important to himself, as well as to everyone else — but mostly to himself.”

His favorite part — he won’t give away the story — is a scene in act two where Ruth, Frederic and he are singing together. 

“It’s the epitome of over-the-top drama and ridiculous hijinks that embodies this play,” said Latimer, adding, “It’s the most fun I’ve ever had with a play.”

Members of the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra, along with some high school students, will provide the music for the show, which was selected from three possible choices.

Homer High School choir director, Kyle Schneider, said that the selections were based on the voices he had to work with. Pirates of Penzance gave him the most possibilities – and it hasn’t been performed in Homer since the ’90s. 

With approximately 60 students in the choir, it’s a fairly large cast, and Schneider said he’s amazed at how much talent exists in the group.

“It’s been a wonderful experience,” he said. 

Although the spring musical is always a Broadway-themed one, Pirates of Penzance was written before Broadway’s beginnings. Technically an operetta, Schneider said that balancing between the large choral pieces and solo and recitative (sung dialogue) has been a challenge for the students. 

“Seeing the detail-oriented focus that they have is just amazing,” he said, noting that the students have been the driving force behind the show — staying positive and challenging themselves with the music.

Fabulous costumes and choreography by Jill Berryman have also brought the show to life. This is Schneider’s third year working with Berryman and he said that not only is she a blast to work with, she brings out energy in the kids.

“She just lights them up,” he said. 

 

Pirates of Penzance 

WHEN

Friday:  7:30 p.m. 

Saturday:
3 p.m. and
7:30 p.m. 

Tickets

Available at the Homer Bookstore or at the door. 

Admission

General admission is $12,
students $10 and
families (limited to two
adults plus kids) $35.

Cast:

Johanna Allen, Kimberly Bales, Camai Bass, Evan Boyer, Landon Bunting, Nolan Bunting, Christopher Caley, Lauren Cardwell, Kyle Carroll, Emily Coble, Zoe Cramer, Crystal Crane, Taylor Davis, Damon Del Toro, Hannah Fraley, Axel Gillam, Falcom Greear, Tara Hueper, Lauren Jones, August Kilcher, Megan Kirsis, Haley Knott, Iustina Kuznetsov, Patrick Latimer, Michelle Lee, Chloe Loop, Cassidy Lush, Shenandoah Lush, Jadzia Martin, Miranda Martin, Jalee Martushev, Jayce Miller, Samantha Moonin, Serena Morey, Jaron Morris, Alexandrea Moseley, Remi Nagle, Zachary Nelson, Jonas Noomah, Aunia Ormond, Ella Parks, Hoxie Parks, Mychaela Pitta, Chloe Pleznac, Marina Reyes, Aurianna Richtback, Audrey Russell, Candice Sargeant, Juan Sarmiento, Lindsey Schneider, Rachel Seneff, Rebecca Seneff, Nathan Simpson, Ashley Stone, Claire Swanson, John Vanek, Alyssa Vanliere, Lynea Vollmann-Fank, Elise Webber, Hale Wilkinson, Zane Wilkinson.

Pirate King Patrick Latimer, top, and pirates Nolan Bunting, Zach Nelson and Shenandoah Lush, from left to right.-Photo by Axel Gillam

Pirate King Patrick Latimer, top, and pirates Nolan Bunting, Zach Nelson and Shenandoah Lush, from left to right.-Photo by Axel Gillam

August Kilcher as Frederic, left, and Megan Kirsis as Mabel, right, perform a duet.-Photo by Axel Gillam

August Kilcher as Frederic, left, and Megan Kirsis as Mabel, right, perform a duet.-Photo by Axel Gillam

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