Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Dance Party: PIRATES!!

I love this clip from The Pirates of Penzance production in Central Park, a show so successful, it moved to Broadway for a multi-year run. They made a film of the show, too, but I've chosen the clip below to share, though it is grainier than the corresponding clip in the movie. I chose it because the presence of the audience is clearly exciting the performers to higher heights. Almost without exception, when I see a stage production taped live before an audience, then a film of the same piece taped in a studio, the stage production wins out. Though it necessarily has cheaper production values, the excitement generated by the audience infects the performers, and the viewers. I also enjoy this clip for the presence of Tony Azito (the chief policeman) and especially, Kevin Kline. I wrote a while ago about seeing Kline for the first time in On the Twentieth Century, and here, he's a dynamo.

Naturally, as I'm occupied this week with the preview and opening performances of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (see entry below), this clip came to mind because it includes pirates. Tom Stoppard has cleverly interpolated piracy into his riff on Hamlet, and they play a small but pivotal role in the proceedings.

Sort of.

Anyway, for this week's Dance Party (and finally, there is a bit of dance in this one, or at least, marching), enjoy Kline and Company as they belt the hell out of "With Cat-Like Tread" from Shakespeare In The Park's The Pirates of Penzance:

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