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Lyric Theatre presents “H.M.S. Pinafore” March 23 & 25

|Gilbert and Sullivan’s “H.M.S. Pinafore” first opened in London

Furman University Lyric Theatre will stage two performances of Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore Thursday, March 23 and Saturday, March 25 at 8 p.m. in McAlister Auditorium on campus.

Grant Knox, Professor of Voice and Director of Lyric Theatre

Open to the public, the performances are presented by the Furman University Department of Music. Tickets for the event are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 for students. The production is part of Furman’s Cultural Life Program.

Directed by Professor of Voice, Grant Knox, the popular operetta (a.k.a. The Lass That Loved a Sailor) will be performed with the Furman Opera Orchestra, led by Music Professor Hugh Ferguson Floyd.

The Gilbert and Sullivan Lexicon by Harry Benford, says H.M.S. Pinafore “remains a joy as well as a landmark in the history of musical theater.” The operetta ran for more than 570 performances after its premiere in 1878, and is touted as “Gilbert and Sullivan’s first great joint success, [bringing] them outstanding fame on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Grant Knox offers this description:

Since its London premiere, Gilbert and Sullivan’s wildly popular operetta H.M.S. Pinafore has delighted audiences with a nautically-tinged story of star-crossed lovers. The gentlemanly Captain Corcoran of the good ship Pinafore has a daughter, Josephine, who is in love with a lowly but gallant sailor named Ralph Rackstraw. The Captain forbids the marriage, wanting to match Josephine instead with the well-bred Sir Joseph, First Lord of the Admiralty. In the meantime, the Captain finds himself in nearly the same situation: his former nanny, Little Buttercup, falls in love with him, but he hesitates to reciprocate due to his higher social rank. The whole situation is turned on its head when Little Buttercup reveals a secret she has kept for decades. A rollicking farce with endearing characters, memorable tunes, and a hilariously happy ending, Furman University’s fully-staged production of H.M.S Pinafore is a classic, time-tested delight not to be missed.

In addition to Knox and Floyd, the production team includes Furman Collaborative Pianist Dewitt Tipton, who prepares music; Julia Woodward, who serves as assistant to the director; Mary Parisi, whose role is production stage manager; and Matthew Leckenbusch, Robert Knox, and Kyra Bishop who design lighting, sound, and scenes, respectively. Costume Curio provides costume design.

Twenty-five ensemble members join the cast, which includes:

The Rt. Hon. Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B., TJ Turner
Captain Corcoran, James Douglas
Ralph Rackstraw, Bergsvein Toverud
Dick Deadeye, Mason Lambert
Bill Bobstay (Boatswain), Matthew Christopher
Bob Becket, Sully Hart
Josephine, Lilla Keith
Cousin Hebe, Kerby Baier
Little Buttercup, Margie Casella

For more information about the event, contact the Furman Music Office at (864) 294-2086, or email the department at General admission tickets may be ordered through Eventbrite (a small processing fee applies).

Last updated March 19, 2017
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director