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Elliot Norton Reviews; Pirates of Penzance


Preservation Dub from 2” Master ; transferred 8/27/99

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Elliot Norton Reviews
Pirates of Penzance
Program Number


Series Description

Boston theatre critic Elliot Norton interviews prominent actors, directors and producers on their craft. (Aired from October, 1958 to 1982. Winner of both Peabody and Tony Awards.) Series release date: 1958

Program Description

Elliot Norton interviews actors Peter Noone (Frederic), Marsha Bagwell (Ruth), and Caroline Peyton (Mabel) about their production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s 1875 comic-opera, Pirates of Penzance, at Shubert Theater. This version of the musical was produced in 1980 by Joseph Papp at the Delacorte Theatre in as part of the annual Shakepeare in the Park festival. Afterwards the show moved to Broadway and is now playing in Boston and London, among other places.

Peyton talks about leaving the theater program at Northwestern University for her former rock and roll band, The Screaming Gypsy Bandits. Noone also started singing rock music at the age of twelve and went on to perform in the British pop band, Herman's Hermits. Both actors talk about how they had to learn to scream and sing loudly without hurting their voices, including taking breaks and warming up before performing.

The actors talk about how loud this production of Pirates of Penzance is. The reason why it is so loud is because it was orchestrated to be performed in Central Park. Noone thinks that young people’s ears are ruined from rock music, so it has to be so loud enough for them to hear, especially since they are not paying full attention to the show. They talk about how many young people are coming to see this production, but that it also is enjoyable to the older, more conservative crowd.

They talk about the director, Wilford Leech, who told them to remain true to the work of Gilbert and Sullivan.

DIrector: Marcia Hulley. Taped 5/20/1982.

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Talk Show
Performing Arts
Chicago: “Elliot Norton Reviews; Pirates of Penzance,” 05/20/1982, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed January 24, 2019, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_FE47FB584F4A4655BDF18122716B13AF.
MLA: “Elliot Norton Reviews; Pirates of Penzance.” 05/20/1982. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. January 24, 2019. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_FE47FB584F4A4655BDF18122716B13AF>.
APA: Elliot Norton Reviews; Pirates of Penzance. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_FE47FB584F4A4655BDF18122716B13AF
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