Saturday, December 6, 2014

Review of The Hypocrites' H.M.S. Pinafore

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called H.M.S. Pinafore. It was written by Gilbert and Sullivan. It was adapted and directed by Sean Graney and the musical arrangement was by Matt Kahler and Andra Velis Simon. It was about a common sailress named Ralphina Rackstraw (Dana Omar) who fell in love with a much higher man named Joseph (Doug Pawlik). But the ranking in between them was just too much for his mother Captain Cat Coran (Emily Casey) to deal with. But she thought it was okay for him, even though he was of a lower rank, to marry Admiral Dame Jo-Ann (Christine Stulik). I really had a lot of fun at this show. The atmosphere was just electric and very fun. I knew that it was going to be promenade but I was still like "Woah!" when I walked into the space. People were literally throwing stuffed kittens at my face and there was a pillow pit and a slide to slide into the pillow pit, and bunk beds, which is basically what I want my room to be like! This show made me feel like I was at someone's birthday party and hanging out in their room. And there were no mean girls at this party!

The lovers were named Joseph and Ralphina and one of my favorite scenes included both of these people. I really loved the love song with the flute and the clarinet. But after it, the mother Captain Cat Coran was like, "No more woodwinds, ok?" and she just put them away because they were just playing them and looking into each others' eyes. And her reaction was just so funny and perfect. And one of my other favorite scenes was when they were talking to each other when Ralphina was confessing her love for Joseph. But they were climbing around in the pillow pit and, as everyone knows, it is pretty hard to climb just on piles of pillows, because of the friction. Pillows are soft and everyone's feet or shoes are harder and every time you take a step you just sink down. They are trying to make this romantic scene, but it turns out not very romantic at all because they are trying to maneuver themselves through pillows. And I thought that was hilarious. I really liked it how whenever anybody slid down into the pillow pit they had this old-fashioned movie-like sound that was a slide whistle. It just was very comical and old-fashioned and then Ralphina would slide into the pillow pit and try to get up, and that was another funny part.

I really liked the song where Dame Jo-Ann talked about how she became the ruler of the navy because her reasons didn't really make any sense. She said, "Just don't ever go out to sea and you'll get my job"! She also had a song about her brothers and her uncles and her cousins and her kin. I really liked that song because it basically was saying that her family was her crew. She is very proud, trying to look sophisticated, and the ruler of the royal Na-vy. But I don't think that she actually loves Joseph; she's just like, "OK, I'll marry him." Her spunkiness and her gestures and her costume (by Alison Siple) were just so ridiculous and amazing that you just couldn't take your eyes off her. Dame Jo-Ann was being very show-offy and was really into it, and then her banjo broke. And then Matt Kahler went off stage and came back with the fixed banjo and she kept on playing. It was just impressive how into it she was that she could break her own banjo with her own hands by playing so hard and fast. It was also impressive that they fixed her banjo so fast.

Buttercup (Robert McLean) is funny because you wouldn't think that this man would be playing Buttercup who is a little bumboat woman. But in this he was a bumboat man who was in love with the Captain-ess Cat Coran. I thought the swapping of the genders was a great idea because usually women don't get to be the sailors and men don't get to play the young people who are held back from love by their parent. You really knew that it was supposed to be a girl when they said, "Hello, Buttercup!" because most people in their right mind would not give a man such a womanly name as Buttercup, unless they really really really wanted a girl. I really liked Buttercup's song about being an obstetrician and switching two babies at birth. I liked it because the shocking thing was not that he switched the two babies at birth but that he was an obstetrician. An obstetrician!

Captain Cat Coran was one of my favorite characters even though she was somewhat evil because she kept the lovers apart. But I think she also didn't want to say goodbye to her son, so she wanted to delay it sort of. But then she decides to make a match with a big time ruler of the royal navy. And my favorite song was her song "What never? No never. What never? Hardly ever!" I liked that one because it was just so catchy that I still have it in my head. I like how she says "hardly ever" after she says "no never" because she doesn't want to lie to her crew. She backtracks to hardly ever and I thought that was very funny because like she says she's never ever sick at sea, but then she is.

People who would like this show are people who like pillow-pit love songs, literal slide-whistles, and going back on your promises that you never get sick at sea. I think people should definitely go see this show. I had so much fun having kittens thrown at my face while I watched a great musical. I think that is a great way to spend your night!

Photos: Evan Hanover

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