Theatre Mirror Reviews - "H. M. S. Pinafore"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

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note: entire contents copyright 1998 by Beverly Creasey

Leaden "Pinafore" Sinks

by Beverly Creasey

The lovely captain's daughter, who loves a lowly sailor, assumes their union is impossible because of their difference in rank, and sings a gorgeous lament about "Love [being] alive when hope is gone..." Well, almost all hope was gone the BAM's sorry production of "Pinafore" at the Emerson Majestic. That particular aria was gone, gone: you couldn't make out a word Debra Rentz was singing.

The BAM's "Beggar's Opera suffered the same affliction: opera singers who can't act or enunciate are especially painful when performing in English. (It's easier to hide in French or Italian.) BAM did have a few --- Very few! --- G & S specialists onstage; alas, only One in a major role: the fabulous Keith Jurosko as Sir Joseph Porter "the ruler of the Queen's Navy".

When will they learn that it's far better to have singing actors than singers who stand like statues and aim those high C's to the balcony! As another G & S heroine would chide, "For shame, for shame, for shame."

"H.M.S. Pinafore" (till 29 November)
BOSTON ACADEMY OF MUSIC
Emerson Majestic Theatre, 219 Tremont Street, BOSTON
1(617)824-8000(telTTY)

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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