H.M.S. Pinafore


The Southern Theater (21 East Main Street, Columbus)

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The New York Gilbert & Sullivan-“H.M.S. Pinafore”  

I was honored with an invitation to the final dress rehearsal for The New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players- “H.M.S. Pinafore” a The Southern Theater.  This opera/play was presented by one of the most talented group of actors, it was the perfect combination hope, hopelessness, love, conflict and of course, laughter! There were times when I was not sure if I should laugh or cry so I laughed until I cried!

The main Characters, The Rt. Honorable Sir Joseph Porter*Lord of the Admiralty*-played by James Mills and Captain Corcoran *Commanding Officer of the H.M.S. Pinafore*-played by David Auxier. What can I say to describe these two except BRILLIANT! There was the perfect combination of seriousness and banter among them…although the Admiral was usually oblivious the barbs thrown his way by the Captain. They perform scenes that will have you laughing out~loud! These gentleman are so comfortable on stage that they have no problem straying from the script, which at times, leaves you in stitches! BRAVO Admiral and Captain!

Ralph Rackstraw, played by Cameron Smith, a lowly able seaman, is in love with Josephine whom is the Captain’s gorgeous daughter, played by Laurelyn Watson Chase. Smith has a voice that could melt any woman’s heart! You can almost feel his pain through his song and it touches your soul. Josephine whose voice could make the Angels gather around and listen-these two could not be played by more perfect characters! They, again, embark on a perfect combination of despair and laughter that keeps the audience enthralled! Waiting on the ending-which I will NOT tell you about-and praying for the happy ending.

Two more characters that need mentioned are Dick Deadeye-played by Louis Dall` Ava and Little Buttercup, played by the beautiful Angela Christine Smith. These two characters play the exact opposites of one another-Deadeye, the cantankerous nay-sayer that is ready to shoot down any hopes and dreams, while Little Buttercup is a ray of sunshine, the breath of fresh air that holds the key to solving every problem on the “Pinafore”.

The supporting cast brings this performance full circle with beautiful voices and amazing dancing! The director could not have chosen a more perfect crew for the “H.M.S. Pinafore”


Synopsis of the play:

The story takes place aboard the British ship H.M.S. Pinafore. The Captain’s daughter, Josephine, is in love with a lower-class sailor, Ralph Rackstraw, although her father intends her to marry Sir Joseph Porter, the Lord of the Admirality. She abides by her father’s wishes at first, but Sir Joseph’s advocacy of the equality of humankind encourages Ralph and Josephine to overturn conventional social order. They declare their love for each other and eventually plan to elope. The captain discovers this plan, but, as in many of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, a surprise disclosure changes things dramatically near the end of the story.



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