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A Joy! Oh Rapture Unforeseen! 

Mr. Night's manservant (the long-suffering Charlemagne) has but two standing orders to fulfill: A large tumbler of Tabasco shall be thrown in the face of anyone who asks, "Hot enough for you?" in our presence, and the original cast recording of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company's production of H.M.S. Pinafore shall be ready to receive the needle at a moment's notice. Gilbert & Sullivan's first big successful collaboration holds a dear place in our hearts. A farcical send-up of the Royal Navy and the English class system, Pinafore is a masterful exercise in the topsy-turvy style of wordplay that is Gilbert's gift to the musical oeuvre, as well as being an enjoyable romp full of natty and somewhat prissy sailors. Small wonder that it remains a Mr. Night favorite.

Ah, but tonight and tomorrow night (Friday and Saturday, April 28 and 29) the Victrola shall be silent, as the Union Avenue Opera Theatre presents a concert version of H.M.S. Pinafore at 8 p.m. at the Union Avenue Christian Church (733 North Union Boulevard; 314-361-2881 or www.unionavenueopera.org). Tickets are $25.
Fri., April 28; Sat., April 29

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