Quaker Valley's 'Pirates of Penzance' readies for stage
When Quaker Valley High School's student actors open their spring musical next week, some theatergoers might recognize the operatic sounds.
About 50 performers, under the direction of Lou Valenzi, will revive “The Pirates of Penzance” — a show performed at Quaker Valley in 2004.
“It's a pretty outrageous production,” said Peter Heres, a junior, who portrays the Pirate King.
The story is based on the coast of Cornwall, where pirate apprentice Frederic (played by senior Patrick Hughes) prepares for his 21st birthday and a chance to leave the pirate gang. His plan is to destroy the group once he leaves. He eventually falls in love with a woman.
The show originally opened in 1879, and was created by Arthur Sullivan and W. S. Gilbert. It has been modernized over the years.
Heres called his role of the Pirate King “manic,” adding that Frederic is like a son to the king.
Heres said he is excited to revive a show the school did a decade ago.
“I don't think people will know the show, but it was done 10 years ago here,” he said. “A lot of people who saw it 10 years ago are thrilled to come back and see it. It's kind of like a remake.”
For senior K.J. Devlin, the show marks his seventh and final production at Quaker Valley.
“It's a pretty big sense of absolution,” said Devlin, who portrays the Major General. “I've watched the seniors graduate and hand off the reigns, and now it's me.”
Devlin said he'll miss his time as a student actor at Quaker Valley, but is thankful for the experience.
“I've amassed a lot of skills that can help toward being a successful person in life,” he said.
One of Devlin's early roles at Quaker Valley was a picture frame in a middle school production of “Honk,” he said.
“I had to stand still for 12 minutes — that's been the hardest role of my career,” Devlin said, laughing.
This year's show has been demanding.
“We've faced different challenges each year,” Devlin said. “Musically, this is a very challenging show.
“Early on, I had thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I have so little lines this year, it's going to be so easy.' But you make up for it with the amount of lyrics. So that hit me a little bit.”
For Nicholas Medich, the show marks his final production at Quaker Valley.
“It's definitely a sad moment when you realize you're never going to be doing this again,” said Medich, who portrays the role of Sergeant of Police.
“But I think one of the most interesting things that I did not expect was the realization that most of the people I've done the show with the past three years aren't in the show anymore because they've graduated. Every year has been so different.”
What sets this year's show apart from previous productions is footwork, Medich said.
“The difference this year is that this show doesn't have as much dancing as last year,” he said. “For me, it's always been about the dancing. It's a lot of singing.”
Bobby Cherry is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 email@example.com.
Add Bobby Cherry to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Leetsdale store disallows Legion fundraiser
- Fern Hollow Nature Center puts out feelers for additional funding
- Arthritis Foundation to honor Pirates announcer Brown
- Quaker Valley residents will pay $43.80 more a year
- Brave young student at heart of ‘Kiss Cancer Goodbye’ celebration
- Sewickley grants earmarked for library, community center, swimming pool
- Sewickley Valley vote winners set stage for November
- Planning commission gives nod to Sewickley theater project
- Sewickley theater gets council’s green light