Pirates! — with Foa, Alvin, McCartney and McIntyre — Sets Sail at the Paper Mill June 7

News   Pirates! — with Foa, Alvin, McCartney and McIntyre — Sets Sail at the Paper Mill June 7 Pirates! — an adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan's classic operetta The Pirates of Penzance — begins performances at the much-in-the-news Paper Mill Playhouse June 7.
Andrew Varela is The Pirate King in Paper Mill's Pirates!
Andrew Varela is The Pirate King in Paper Mill's Pirates! Photo by Diane Sobolewski

Directed by Gordon Greenberg with choreography by Warren Carlyle, Pirates! will play through July 8 with an official opening at the financially troubled New Jersey theatre June 13.

The Paper Mill production is a theatrical concert version of the musical, which was previously seen at the Goodspeed Opera House. Director Greenberg recently told Playbill.com that the Paper Mill production will be "in the spirit of Encores! — with full costumes, much staging, the orchestra on stage, and a limited set. We're rehearsing just a bit more than a week, but everyone is thrilled to be back in this world — putting together a raucous and smart production that helps out historic Paper Mill and honors a comedic classic with a brand new take."

The cast features Farah Alvin (Mabel), Ed Dixon (Modern Major General), Barrett Foa (Frederic), Liz McCartney (Ruth), Gerry McIntyre (Sergeant) and Andrew Varela (The Pirate King). The ensemble comprises Timothy Alex, Katie Babb, Julia Burrows, Kristin Carlson, Michael Daly, Matt Ferraro, Michael Scott Harris, Morgan James, Robyn Kramer, Michael McKinsey, John O’Creagh, Julia Osborne, Lucas Richter, Tory Ross, Michael Rossmy, Roger Preston Smith and Daniel Spiotta.

This newly reworked version of The Pirates of Penzance was conceived by Gordon Greenberg, Nell Benjamin and John McDaniel. The production features book and lyrics by Sir William S. Gilbert, music by Sir Arthur S. Sullivan with additional book & lyrics by Nell Benjamin, music supervision, new arrangements and orchestrations by John McDaniel.

The creative team also includes Rob Bissinger (set designer), Jeff Croiter (lighting designer), David C. Woolard (costume designer) and Randy Hansen (sound designer). Shaun Gough is musical director. The plot of Pirates! is described as such: "After a hard-of-hearing nurse mistakes the word 'pilot' for 'pirate,' young Frederic finds himself apprenticed to a band of swashbuckling buccaneers. Now a young man, and with his final days of servitude rapidly approaching, he longs for a return to respectable life. But in true Gilbert and Sullivan style, mishap after mishap arises, and it will take a fair maiden, a fair amount of double-crossing, and the very model of a modern major general to reach a happy ending."

Show times are Wednesdays at 7:30 PM, Thursdays at 2 and 7:30 PM, Fridays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 2 and 8 PM and Sundays at 2 and 7:30 PM. Tickets, priced $19-$68, are available by calling (973) 376-4343 or by visiting www.papermill.org.

The <i>Pirates!</i> cast in the Goodspeed production, which transfers to the Paper Mill Playhouse.
The Pirates! cast in the Goodspeed production, which transfers to the Paper Mill Playhouse. Photo by Diane Sobolewski