Frederic is the best pirate of the bunch, but that's not saying much. They're a soft-hearted lot, allowing any victim who claims to be an orphan to go unharmed. Frederic — himself an orphan — takes everything much more seriously, to the point that when he's released from servitude on his 21st birthday, he vows to destroy his now-former comrades by any means necessary. His plan is foiled by two occurrences: First, the meets Mabel, the lovely daughter of the major-general, and is suddenly terribly distracted; Second, the Pirate King discovers Frederic was born on February 29, which means he's only had five birthdays, and is thus still bound to the crew. What's a poor orphan have to do to escape a life of piracy and enjoy life with the girl of his dreams? In Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance, the answer is always found through silly songs. The Union Avenue Opera opens its sixteenth season with its first ever fully staged production of The Pirates of Penzance at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday (July 9 through 17) and once more at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 18, at Union Avenue Christian Church (733 North Union Boulevard; 314-361-2881 or www.unionavenueopera.org). Tickets are $30 to $52.
Fridays, Saturdays; Sun., July 18. Starts: July 9. Continues through July 17, 2010