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Theater review: “The Pirates of Penzance” comes to San Francisco and Livermore this month

From Captain Jack Sparrow to Captain Hook, pirates have found their niche in the modern arts. But before “Pirates of the Caribbean” and even before “Peter Pan,” there was “The Pirates of Penzance,” which premiered in New York in 1879 to critical acclaim.

Now, after almost 135 years, the Lamplighters Music Theatre is presenting its interpretation of the classic comedy opera throughout the Bay Area. Having already made stops in Walnut Creek and Mountain View, the show will go to San Francisco on August 14-17 and Livermore on August 23-24.

The Gilbert & Sullivan show follows a young pirate named Frederic (Samuel Faustine) who falls for Mabel (Kaia Richards), the daughter of Major-General Stanley (F. Lawrence Ewing). The Major-General and the Pirate King (Charles Martin) obviously do not get along, as one protects the sea and the other ravages it. Frederic plans to abandon his life of piracy as he is allowed to leave his apprenticeship on his 21st birthday, but he learns that he was born on February 29, which thus creates a loophole.