I was disappointed in a couple of aspects of the MIT G&S Players' PIRATES, but was very pleased over all. All of the singers had fine voices, but I especially enjoyed the G&S debut of Richard Damaso as Frederic, and look forward to hearing him again. He needs to be more at ease and less jerky in his movements on stage, but his voice was wonderful. (He performs with other MIT music groups, most notably the Chorallaries.) Evelyn Smith was also wonderful, and played a Mabel more intelligent than usual. For example, she had the sense to try to stop the Major-General from spilling the beans about his military inadequacies in the last verse of his introductory number. I liked her accepting Frederic's badge, as he left to ally once more with his former companions, and pinning it to her nightgown as she went to rally the police.
The Pirate King (John Wilson) and Samuel (David Jedlinsky) were in fine voice, and effective, although it seemed strange that Samuel's costume was much more distinctive than the King's. The choruses were strong and clear, and showed the energy one expects of a college group. For example, the women's chorus (including our beloved NEGASSers Patricia Brewer and Sallyane Powers - Edith) seemed to bounce around throughout "Climbing over rocky mountain". "Sighing softly to the river" was staged as an hallucinogenic dream, which might have been a questionable decision but was vindicated by the expressive face of Major General Stanley (Peter Stark).
My two complaints were that the director should have provided better for Frederic to deliver his lines downstage, and the orchestra was inaccurate early in the overture (except for the strings, which were good throughout). But I attended opening night. Hopefully they were better subsequently.
-- RICHARD FREEDMAN