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By William Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan (Washington University Performing Arts Department)

The production of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance, which Washington University's Performing Arts Department opened last weekend, will be offered again next weekend. It has not only the charm of the work itself going for it but the charm of a vigorous young cast having a wonderful time as well. Wash. U.'s Pirates, with three excellent voices, crafty clowning and wily absurdity, is a funny, enjoyable evening.

Of the plot, it's enough to know that boy gets girl foolishly, loses girl more foolishly and regains her most foolishly. The boy in this case is sweet-voiced tenor David Koch, whom Opera Theatre of St. Louis fans will remember from last summer's production of Joshua's Boots; the girl a wonderful young soprano, Susannah Tillson; and the comic soubrette mezzo Rachel Sandy, whose diction and action are an absolute joy.

Jeffery Matthews' stage direction involves admirable speed, music director Bill Whitney sets a presto tempo wherever possible, and trombonist Adam Streed provides tunefully organic sounds at appropriate times.

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More by Harry Weber

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