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Cumberland County Playhouse The Pirates of Penzance

Cumberland County Playhouse The Pirates of Penzance

Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2008 8:43 pm

Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, one of the most beloved, influential shows in musical theater history, joins the rotating rep of four complete productions at Crossville TN’s Cumberland County Playhouse on July 24, 2008. Sponsored by Mariner’s Pointe Resort and Tennessee Heart of Cookeville, Pirates features Baritone Nathaniel Hackmann, a CCP audience favorite as “Big Jack” in Lawnchair Man and the Beast in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, as the swashbuckling Pirate King. Playhouse leading lady Nicole Begue co-directs with Michele Colvin, and plays the beautiful and ravishing-voiced Mabel, greatly appealing but not the brightest bulb in the Major General’s chandelier of lovely daughters. Featured film and TV actor Steven Michael Ayers, seen at CCP as McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, returns as the “modern major general” himself. Pirates runs through Aug 31. The rocky Cornish seashore of Penzance first appeared onstage in the 1880’s, as the Gilbert and Sullivan team took London, America and the world by storm, reinventing and popularizing musical theater as never before. Their shows influenced later creators from Victor Herbert to Rodgers and Hammerstein. Director/star Nicole Begue toured nationally in the role of Mabel with Opera a la Carte, and was featured as Yum Yum in The Mikado at Knoxville Opera, in last season’s CCP Mikado, and in leading roles with Clarence Brown Theater and Cleveland Lyric Opera. An MFA grad from UT Knoxville’s Opera program, she is a Ph.D candidate at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, voice teacher at the Playhouse, and Director of Education. Baritone Hackmann recently completed the international Merola Young Artists program at San Francisco Opera, and will next be seen at the Playhouse as Emile DeBecque (“Some Enchanted Evening”) in R&H’s South Pacific. Tenor Paul Saylor, from the prestigious Catawba College in South Carolina performance program, makes his CCP debut as the young hero, Frederic. Major General Ayers, a veteran of many film and TV appearances with major stars, is beginning a Playhouse residency with the company, performing and observing the theater’s programs and opportunities for pre-college, university, and post-graduate students aspiring to professional theater careers. For two decades he has been tenured Professsor of Stage and Screen at Western Carolina University. Co-director/choreographer Michele Colvin, who staged CCP’s current hit, Beauty and the Beast, also directs the upcoming revival of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Also in rotating rep at CCP are Beauty and the Beast, sponsored by Looney & Chadwell Title Services and Kenneth & Carol Ann Chadwell; First Baptist of Ivy Gap, sponsored by Crossville Ford-Lincoln-Mercury; and Smoke on the Mountain Homecoming, sponsored by First National Bank of Tennessee. Tickets can be purchased from the Box Office at (931) 484 – 5000. Visit the Playhouse at to view the schedule and information. Posted 7.22.08


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