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Previews and Reviews

The 2013 production of The Pirates of Penzance garnered great media attention. Here are excerpts from articles appearing in the local media, along with links to the full articles:
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Sail Ho Ho Ho: Durham Savoyards Delight with Gilbert & Sullivan’s ‘The Pirates of Penzance’: “[S]cenic designer Richard Dideriksen’s splendid recreation of various locations along the coast of Cornwall… lively song-and-dance routines for the tender-hearted gentlemen pirates of Penzance… Major-General Stanley (a sublimely silly impersonation by comic baritone Stuart Albert)… Jim Burnette, Jr. is amusing as the braggadocio swashbuckling Pirate King… Ray Ubinger tickles funny-bones as the feckless local Sergeant of Police…”Robert W. McDowell, Triangle Arts & Entertainment [full review]

Durham Savoyards bring out the big dog with The Pirates of Penzance: “Derrick Ivey’s nimbly staged but sometimes uneven production works best—and is gleefully funny—when the actors approach the material with gravitas… Stuart Albert is hysterical as the sibilant Major-General Stanley… Kenny Cruz fully commits to his role as the wide-eyed but duty-bound Frederic, and Mary Elisabeth Hirsh showcases a beautiful voice…” Emma Miller, Indy Week [full review]

THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, swashbuckling and singing once again as The Durham Savoyards celebrate 50 years of frolicking fun at the Carolina: “In need of some unalloyed entertainment with singing, dancing, bold costumes, and a happy ending? … Directed clearly and deftly choreographed this year by Derrick Ivey, with Alan Riley Jones conducting a cogent, well-rehearsed orchestra, it’s a strong show… the lead characters were all in good voice, with Kenny Cruz as Frederick and Mary Elisabeth Hirsch as Mabel singing particularly well… Elizabeth Artemis Clark repeatedly threatened to run away with the show as Pirate Ruth… battalions of cheerful, talented men and women who spend untold hours playing hard so that we may laugh.” Kate Dobbs Ariail, The Five Points Star [full review]IMG_4455

Troupe brings the zany in ‘Pirates’: “The Durham Savoyards theater troupe’s single-minded dramatic mission began half a century ago…And for its anniversary, the group will present the Gilbert and Sullivan musical that Durham Savoyards first performed, “The Pirates of Penzance.”” The Durham News [full preview]

“Our Picks – Recommended – The Pirates of Penzance: “(T)he Savoyards really, really like their Gilbert and Sullivan; they’ve performed nothing but the duo’s 14 comic operas since the group’s inception in 1963… you’ll finally understand all those pop culture references to Pirates’ oft-parodied patter song, ‘I am the very model of a modern major-general.'” Emma Miller, Indy Week [full preview]

UNC-TV filmed some interviews and a rehearsal. The resulting show was on North Carolina Weekend (UNC-TV) March 8 & 9. You can now see it on the web at www.unctv.org/ncweekend.

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performance photos by Joe Cohn

The Herald-Sun did an article on Carol and Jim Sackett, who met as members of the cast of Pirates of Penzance during the Durham Savoyards’ first production in 1963, and are in this year’s production as members of the royal chorus.
‘Pirates of Penzance’ launched Durham Savoyards: “Couple Jim and Carol Sackett have been involved with the Durham Savoyards off and on for half a century. In 1963, Jim Sackett was in the chorus for “Pirates,” which was a performance by the Durham Theatre Guild. ‘It didn’t become Durham Savoyards until after the performance. We decided it would be a good idea to do more of them…'” The Herald-Sun[full article].