Well, shiver me timbers but the gang at Peter and the Starcatcher are going all out for “International Talk Like A Pirate Day”.
On this Wednesday, September 19, the first 100 people to show up at the Brooks Atkinson Theater before 10am wearing real or fake mustaches will get a free single ticket to that night’s performance. In addition, three lucky and follicularly fancy folks who are judged to have the best staches will win two seats and a backstage tour. Sounds better than walking the plank, to be sure.
Which, as usual, got me thinking about some of the other pirates to have invaded Broadway. Let’s take a look at the video, matey…
The Pirate: Starring the theatrical legends Lunt and Fontanne, this 1942 comedy by S. N. Behrman was ultimately adapted into an infinitely more famous movie musical starring Judy Garland and Gene Kelly with a score by Cole Porter. The movie itself is insane…nothing like bold colors and questionable ethnic stereotyping to brighten your day…but it’s hard to imagine Judy Garland looking more beautiful and letting loose more than in this film (whatever her offscreen troubles at the time). Not to mention Kelly’s legs. Ahoy there!
The Pirates of Penzance: 1981’s smash revival of the Gilbert and Sullivan classic was a star-studded affair headlined by Kevin Kline and Linda Ronstadt (it’s still a kick to hear her unexpectedly controlled soprano if you’ve only heard her pop records). The show was such a long-running smash that it was adapted into a very stagey film with much of its original cast in tact — with the addition of Angela Lansbury for good measure. And, once again, we discover one of the fringe benefits of pirate-themed entertainments — Rex Smith in those pants (check this video at 6:38). Raise the skull and crossbones, indeed.
The Pirate Queen: A 2007 misfire from the folks behind Les Miserables, the tale of a female pirate on the Irish seas did bring Stephanie J. Block (and Riverdancing) back to Broadway after famously stepping in to Wicked as a replacement Elpheba. Listening to her astonishingly belted vocals, I can see why she’s taking on the insanely high Betty Buckley role in the upcoming revival of Edwin Drood.