Let’s face it – 2010 has already been a challenging year for many, and we’re not even one-quarter through it. To add to a still unstable economy, Mother Nature served the East Coast more snow than we’ve seen in recent years, whiting out school regimens, arts events and family plans. Now that spring is near, we deserve a break from it all with a "first-rate opportunity" to take in a healthy dose of pure fun.

So on April 17 and 18, Boheme Opera New Jersey offers one of the area’s most rambunctious and liberating stage events of the season, taking place in the attractive Patriots Theater at the Trenton War Memorial. With hope for rejuvenating weather and a desire to put unpleasant news items behind us for a brief few hours, you won’t want to miss these endearing Pirates of Penzance, compliments of Gilbert and Sullivan.

You will be entertained by Sir William Gilbert’s clever tongue-twisting lyrics and Sir Arthur Sullivan’s tuneful melodies that unfold with great ease. The absurd plot makes lighthearted mockery of the Victorian sense of duty, as everyone on stage goes through some sort of social metamorphosis with surprisingly rewarding consequences in the end.

Whether or not you are familiar with the style, music or lyrics of Gilbert and Sullivan, it is interesting to note that prior to its move to Broadway, The Pirates of Penzance was an initial hit at the New York Shakespeare Festival in 1980. When the casting genius of visionary Joseph Papp took hold – with Broadway veteran Kevin Kline as The Pirate King, smoky-voiced Linda Ronstadt as Mabel, and sexy teen-idol rock star Rex Smith as Frederick – the results were no less than intoxicating. Kevin Kline won both a Tony Award and an Obie Award for his role, and Linda Ronstadt received a Tony Award nomination for her role.

With tickets ranging from $73 down to $28, Boheme is pulling out the stops at the box office with several ticket incentives. Groups of 10 or more receive 15% discount – great for couples, employees, staffs, adult communities and civic organizations. Middle/high school and college students can purchase tickets anywhere in the hall for $10 with mention of school in advance or with ID at the door. JerseyArts Gift Card holders receive 15% discount. Triple AAA members receive a 10% discount on all orchestra seats.

The most attractive Boheme discount is a new one entitled "Special Family Offer." With purchase of two full-price adult tickets anywhere in the hall, up to two children ages 6 to 12 attend free! This offer is in place only through April 15 in advance of performance weekend.

This Boheme production is staged by Director Jamibeth Margolis in her Boheme debut. She and Boheme Artistic Director/Conductor Joseph Pucciatti have assembled a cast of characters that will turn audiences on from the very first note. All making their Boheme debuts are baritone William Andrew Stuckey as The Pirate King, tenor David Gagnon as Frederick, soprano Samantha Grenell-Zaidman as Mabel, baritone Keith Jurosko as Major-General Stanley, mezzo Renee Claire Bergeron as Ruth and baritone David Macaluso as Samuel and production choreographer. Sets are provided by the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players, lighting design is by Jerry Jonas, costume design is by Janell Berte, and wig/makeup design is by J. Jared Janas and Rob Greene.

Join Boheme Opera New Jersey for a truly rollicking time with The Pirates of Penzance, Saturday, April 17 at 7:30 PM or Sunday, April 18 at 3:00 PM. Free pre-curtain talks one hour and fifteen minutes prior. Pre-show dinners are being offered at the Trenton Marriott Downtown and at Peasants Italian Restaurant in Hamilton.

Call the Boheme Opera Box Office for your tickets and information at (609) 581-7200. For more background on this production, or to order tickets using our easy downloadable request form, visit bohemeopera.com.

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