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Posts Tagged Peter Pan

Presenting Victoria Price

Making her debut at Park Square Theatre in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance is Victoria Price. As part of the nine-member ensemble, she plays multiple roles–one moment a pirate; another, a daughter; yet another, a police officer–in this wild and zany operetta.

“Everyone involved, are all hilarious,” Victoria said. “It’s been so much fun to see how we come together to make magic with nine people’s ideas. At rehearsal we were doing a lot of improv, in a sense, especially with the choreography. We were constantly thinking on our feet, figuring out how these characters would react.”

With her triple-threat talents of acting, singing and dancing, Movement and Dance Director Brian Sostek made Victoria the dance captain, which required her to know not just her own moves but also those of everyone else. That was a big challenge in a musical that’s already an overall challenge to do, but Victoria embraces all opportunities to grow as an artist.

L to R: Victoria Price, Elizabeth Hawkinson and Brian Sostek in rehearsal
(Photo by Connie Shaver)

“The singing is very difficult,” Victoria reflected. “There are so many words in the songs, and they’re sung so fast. We have to be able to get the words out so as to be intelligible yet sound beautiful. We’re trying to enunciate and get the best sound; and on top of that, memorize choreography. But the music is really beautiful and fun to sing.”

Victoria has loved musicals since early childhood but didn’t realize until later in life that making a career of being in them could be an option. She’d attended one year of high school at the New Orleans Center of Creative Arts before moving to Chicago, where she completed high school. After taking two gap years upon graduation, she eventually came to Minneapolis to train through North Central University and with other instructors outside of school.

Victoria (far right) as part of the police brigade
(Photo by Petronella J. Ytsma)

“A windy road brought me here,” said Victoria, “but I’m enjoying it. There are great opportunities here, and diving into this theatre community is exciting. I am passionate about live theatre and can’t wait for people to see my show. I’m especially looking forward to see young adults in the audience and to spark more interest in them to see live theatre.”

Asked if she’d ever wanted to be a pirate, she replied,” I was in Peter Pan in the fourth grade, playing Tiger Lily as well as a pirate in some instances. I wanted more to  be on the Peter Pan side, flying around. But it’s fun playing a pirate now. What I like is that they’re silly and take one moment at a time. One moment, they’re angry; the next moment, they’re happy again.”

Throw off those winter blues, and join in on the silliness with Vicki and “the gang” through March 25 at Park Square Theatre.

Cast members take their bows
(Photo by Petronella J. Ytsma)

 

Tickets and information here.

(In)Famous Pirates of Stage and Screen!

In rehearsal at Park Square now is the ageless musical comedy, The Pirates of Penzance, by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. Fans of musical theatre and classic drama will no doubt be familiar with the opera; it has been making people fall in love with dimwitted pirates since it premiered in 1879 in New York City, and it accompanies H.M.S. Pinafore and The Mikado as Gilbert and Sullivan’s most produced works today.

All of my research into this show now, has stirred my latent fascination with pirates – especially those buccaneers we see in film and on TV. Of course, Pirates of Penzance was turned into a movie in 1983 starring Kevin Kline and Angela Lansbury. This film was based on the acclaimed 1980 Broadway production, produced by Joe Papp.

But who else makes up our motley crew of fictionalized swashbucklers? Who did I leave out and who shouldn’t I have included?

1. Let’s go back to the beginning, when pirates made their first big splash on the screen. Errol Flynn as the debonair renegade, Captain Blood, in the 1935 film that launched his stardom. Now that I think about it, why did it take over a hundred years to make a Pirates of Penzance film?

2. Of course, before film there was literature and coming out only a few years after Pirates of Penzance, was the dastardly Long John Silver of Treasure Island. This is absolutely the character that set the template for all the pirate-isms we know and love today. The peg-leg, the eye-patch, even that squawking parrot! Thanks Robert Louis Stevenson…. Naturally there have been dozens of depictions of Captain Long John and even a tasty fast-food joint. Famous actors such as Charlton Heston, Wallace Beery, Orson Welles and Jack Palance have all had a turn with the black spot, but who doesn’t love Tim Curry’s portrayal in Muppet Treasure Island?

3. Another infamous pirate has to be the one and only Captain Hook. While made famous the world-over by Disney’s 1953 animated classic, the character first appeared in the play Peter Pan (1904) by J.M. Barrie and the subsequent novel in 1911. The archenemy of the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, Captain Hook attributes his name to the sinister iron hook that has replaced his hand (bit off by a very persistent crocodile). I would say that he and Long John Silver would certainly get along well!

4. Well, I think we’ve had enough of villainy for the time being, haven’t we? Let’s get back to the lovable-rogue archetype that Flynn perfected so well. Next up…. that captain of the Black Pearl and scoundrel of the Caribbean, Jack Sparrow! Thanks to Johnny Depp’s chameleon-like transformation in Disney’s 2003 classic, Pirates of the Caribbean, this pirate not only became famous but a world-wide phenomena, launching a multi-billion dollar franchise and four subsequent sequels (for better or for worse…) The only question we have now is – why is the rum gone?

5. Finally, I figured we would end this whole escapade where we started it, with 1983’s The Pirates of Penzance and Kevin Kline’s performance as the Pirate King. Kind-hearted and gentlemanly, the Pirate King is not your typical brand of bloodthirsty buccaneer, and that’s what makes the character so endearing!

(Now we have someone even better stepping into the role for Park Square: the multi-talented Bradley Greenwald.)

Bradley Greenwald (Photo by Petronella J Ytsma)

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