Aberdeen Community Theatre is turning its main stage over to a Young People’s Theatre production in order to showcase the area's talented young people.
That's a worthy goal, but there is a side benefit to presenting “The Pirates of Penzance Jr.” A cast of 6- to 18-year-olds will attract a lot of proud parents and grandparents. It's easy to tell, looking at the audience, which patrons are related to someone onstage.
They're the ones who are emotionally invested in the show.
Young People’s Theatre productions are presented on the same stage as ACT shows. But, symbolically at least, 52 young actors moved, as sportswriters like to say, to the big stage for “The Pirates of Penzance Jr.”
From the opening moments — when 20 people burst onstage — one is reminded how much energy young people possess. If you multiply the energy of one youngster times 52, you'd come up with enough force to interest an astrophysicist. After doing this show, director Brian T. Schultz would probably find it easy to herd cats.
The show, of course, is very well-written, which is what you’d expect from two guys who were knighted. This is a shortened version of the operetta written by Sir William Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan.
You are more familiar with the show than you realize. You will recognize two songs, “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General” and “Paradox,” even if you don’t think you know Gilbert and Sullivan.
The production stars Austin Vetter as Frederic, the young man who hopes to interest young maidens in spite of his alarming wardrobe. “Ladies, do not shun me,” he beseeches. Vetter and Morgan Morrissey, who plays his childhood friend, Ruth, have good singing voices.
The show's most beautiful voice, though, belongs to Moriah Turick, who plays Mabel.
Two acting standouts are Nicholas Brandt as the Pirate King and Brodigan Morton as Samuel.
Worthy of special mention is Chase Roesch, who does a marvelous job on “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General.”
Another actor who stands out is the red-haired Jacob Womack as a police sergeant. Dancing and acting in his police uniform, he even looks like an Englishman.
By the end of the hourlong show, you will have grown familiar and fond of the whole cast.
There is a little treat in the show's final number. Wednesday’s audience enjoyed watching how close one little boy would get to kissing one little girl. That moment — like the whole show — can be enjoyed even if you're not related to a cast member.
‘The Pirates of Penzance Jr.’
What: Hour-long version of Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, with a cast ages 6 to 18.
Remaining performances: At 7:30 tonight through Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
Where: Capitol Theatre, 415 S. Main St.
Tickets: In advance, tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for children 12 and younger. The cost is $2 more at the door. The box office is at Kathleen's, 401 S. Main St. To order with a credit or debit card, call 605-725-2697 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.