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La Scena Musicale - Mises jour / Updates
E-mail: | Web: (c) La Scena Musicale 1999

McGill University's Hilarious Pinafore

March 12, 1999 : The McGill Savoy Society’s current production of H.M.S. Pinafore gives one real bang for buck, the perfect high spirited tonic to beguile a winter evening. I missed McGill’s 1998 production of Yeomen of the Guard, and now I kick myself for it. Seeing H.M.S. Pinafore this week reminded me of how much I enjoyed Pirates of Penzance in 1996. The common denominator between then and now is actor Paul Vandenberg, back as Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty. Vandenberg is an incredible physical comedian, with preternatural quickness and flexibility. With his perfect British accent and dandy manner, he is an Aubrey Beardsley drawing come to life. If he hasn’t played at Stratford yet, it is their loss. Also remarkable was Andrew Comrie-Picard as Captain Corcoran, combining excellent natural acting skills with a decent baritone voice. Last but definitely not least was the hilarious and truly scary Dick Deadeye of Joel Cottingham. His biography indicates he intends to go into acting professionally. Success will surely be his, since he is already a riveting presence. As the heroine Josephine, soprano Alison Thorne brought a welcome dose of real operatic vocal quality. The chorus sang very well, and choreography, by Shauna Feldman, was a non-stop visual delight. Set on the deck of a battlecruiser, the production was imposing and tasteful. These McGill students are real pros, full of energy and imagination. Bravo to them. They put Montreal’s moribund professional theatre and opera companies to shame.

[Performances of H.M.S. Pinafore continue through March at Moyse Hall, Arts Building, McGill University.

Call (514) 398-6826 for details).


(c) La Scena Musicale 1999