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Kenmore West – Pirates of Penzance

It is a high school production after all. I do not say that to be mean, rather that it is a high school production and must be judged as such.

Vocal Direction By
Paul LaDuca

Choreography By
Cathleen Riso

Technical Direction By
John Aramini

Musical Direction By
Kenneth W. Belote

Lighting Design By
Amelia Kraatz

Directed By
Philip Jarosz

OK, March 5th was opening night, and as with many productions amateur and professional a like there were some opening night jitters. I think that since their pre-shows were to juvenile audiences and they of course are a very tough and typically dead audience it made it difficult for the cast to find its energy. After intermission the cast came alive, which shadowed its slow start to the degree that it was all but forgotten. I am positive that these young talents will be at their best for the next two shows for they do have the right stuff.

As for the main characters Fredrick, the Pirate King, the Sergeant, Edith, Kate, Isabel, and Samuel played by Cody Dollendorf, Michael Wachowiak, David Galick, Miranda John, Amanda Dornan, Elena Kopty, and Jake Harter respectively were very adept.

Superior performances were displayed by Jonathan Charles Beck and Kelly Ball (it is no surprise here that she displayed skill advanced beyond her years, she never dissapoints) playing Major-General Stanley and Ruth Respectively.

As for the roll of Mabel, I had foreknowledge that Meghen Burke was suffering from a head cold and congestion which weakened her singing performance BUT she is a true example of the dedication one must have as an actor giving her all for “the show must go on!” She compensated for her illness in her enthusiastic acting. Well done Meghan you should be proud.

The Pirates also had a slow start but came alive for the responsive audience. The Daughters were perky and lively from the get go and crescendoed all the way to the end.

My personal favorites were the police. One could not help but chuckle every time they made an appearance this mainly due to their exuberance. They obviously realize that there are no small parts just small actors. My hats off to the Police.

All in all the show is well worth the price $7.00 for adults, $6.00 for seniors and students, and $5.00 for less than ten years old. Lord knows that I majored in Theatre at great expense and miss live theatre productions dearly because of the professional prices. I attended Niagara University and have bragging rights of being taught English and Theatre by a higher education school second to none in the upstate area. With that being said you can trust my critique.

My sole disappointment (no fault of the players) was the sword fight choreography. In this case for what I understand the kids raised quite a tidy sum of money for a “professional” coach, it is my opinion that the juice was not worth the squeeze.

Let us not forget all the techies and orchestra, without whom the production would not have been possible. Many often forget these behind the scene miracle workers.

These students worked very well with their low budget and provide entertainment worth more that the ticket price.

Go see it, you will have a good time.


\\\///\\\/// UPDATE \\\///\\\/// 03/07/2009 22:54hrs

It is my understanding that the Opening Night Jitters coupled with the responsive adult audiences did inject energy into this fine amatures as I predicted.


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