Gilbert and Sullivan’s “HMS Pinafore” will be the next offering from College Light Opera Company. This is CLOC’s 15th production of “HMS Pinafore,” which premiered in the first CLOC season in 1969 and was last done in 2009.
“HMS Pinafore” is the story of the sailors of the HMS Pinafore, who are preparing the ship for inspection by Sir Joseph Porter, first lord of the admiralty. The atmosphere is marred only by the peddler Little Buttercup’s hints of a dark secret she is hiding, and by the lovelorn plaints of Ralph, a sailor, and Josephine, the captain’s daughter. Class pride keeps Josephine from sharing her feelings with Ralph, while Captain Corcoran has been arranging a marriage between her and Sir Joseph, who is in a social class even above the Corcorans. Sir Joseph appears, attended by a train of female relatives, and Josephine finds him insufferable. When Ralph pleads his case she rejects him, but when he threatens suicide, she agrees to elope. They rejoice as Dick Deadeye croaks a warning that their hopes will be frustrated.
Buttercup attempts to comfort Captain Corcoran, whom she loves, in his despair at the coldness of his daughter toward Sir Joseph. Dick Deadeye informs Captain Corcoran of the planned elopement. Captain Corcoran, intercepting the lovers, is so incensed that he cries “Damme!” Sir Joseph, horrified at the swearing, sends Captain Corcoran off in disgrace. When he learns of the elopement, Sir Joseph orders Ralph put in irons. Buttercup now reveals her long-withheld secret, which results in a sudden reversal in social status, thus allowing all of the lovers to be happily united.
This production is led by stage director David Ward and music director Mary Marcell. This is Mr. Ward’s first CLOC production as a stage director. Ms. Marcell also music directed “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” this season.
The cast is full of new CLOC vocal company members. Talents to look forward to are Joshua Gronlund as Ralph, Will Hawkins as Sir Joseph, Mike McCann as Captain Corcoran and Erin Reppenhagen as Little Buttercup.
Returners to look for include Jens Jacobson as Dick Deadeye and Maggie Langhorne as Josephine.
“HMS Pinafore” will be performed at Highfield Theatre in Falmouth. The show will run Tuesday, August 12, through Saturday, August 16, at 8 PM, with a Thursday matinee at 2 PM. Tickets are $35 and are available by calling the CLOC box office at 508-548-0668 or by visiting the box office, 58 Highfield Drive, Falmouth (open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 12:30 PM, from 2 to 5 PM, and from 7 to 9 PM).