4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
fabulous production of a G & S classic,
This review is from: Pirates of Penzance (VHS Tape)
Anyone who enjoys the wit and merriment of Gilbert and Sullivan will adore this marvelous production. The cast is superb, with Kevin Kline giving us one of his most delectable performances, playing the Pirate King with bravura and remarkable athletic ability. Rex Smith is wonderful as the handsome Frederick; he has a gorgeous tenor voice, with a charming vibrato and fine timbre.
Linda Ronstadt is a cute and demure Mabel, and as her father, the Major-General Stanley, George Rose is a riot. His of course is one of the most famous fast-patter songs ever written, "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General", and he makes the most of it. Other notable performances are by Angela Lansbury as Ruth, and Tony Azito, who is a terrific dancer, as the Sergeant.
The staging and choreography are top-notch, and I'm especially fond of the sets, which look like three-dimensional paintings, contrasted by usually having running water in each scene. Lovely cinematography (Douglas Slocombe) and excellent direction by Wilford Leach make this one of the best G & S films ever.
The official premiere was in 1879 in New York City, and the opera still sparkles with cleverness, its silly plot devices are still inanely funny, and the characters still lovable.