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Arts & Culture

Alex Mustakas to play Pirate King in Fall Production

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Twenty-five years ago, Drayton Entertainment’s Artistic Director Alex Mustakas played the infamous Pirate King in the Drayton Festival Theatre’s inaugural 1991 Season production of The Pirates of Penzance.

Now, a quarter century later, he is returning to his theatrical roots with one of his personal favourite roles in musical theatre.

Mustakas today confirmed that he will be on the boards as the proud and dashing swashbuckler in the theatre company’s anticipated fall production of The Pirates of Penzance at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse, October 7 to October 25. Mustakas will also assume directing duties.

“It’s pretty neat to come full circle at this moment in my career,” says Mustakas. “The timing is perfect.”

Mustakas has carved out a niche in recent years playing dastardly villains, starting with the smarmy boss in 9 To 5: The Musical in 2012 and continuing with Captain Hook in Peter Pan in 2013.

“I may be the only actor who enjoys getting booed on stage,” he jokes.

No stranger to the role of the comic operetta’s iconic antihero, Mustakas was introduced to the legacy of the Gilbert & Sullivan canon as a teenager, performing in various productions with the Waterloo Regional Gilbert & Sullivan Society under the stewardship of mentor and lifelong friend John Kerr. Fittingly, this production coincides with the 40th Anniversary of the Waterloo Regional Gilbert & Sullivan Society.

“The material resonates as much today as it did back in Victorian England,” Mustakas says. “The Pirates of Penzance is a brilliant parody of political and social convention, backed by razor-sharp wit, physical humour, and a sparkling score chock-full of memorable melodies and catchy tunes.”

The show is enjoying a renaissance of sorts, as a summertime run at the English National Opera by filmmaker Mike Leigh drew record crowds (Leigh also directed the acclaimed 1999 G&S film Topsy-Turvy, which explored the relationship between librettist W.S. Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan).

The Pirates of Penzance tells the topsy-turvy tale of young Frederic, apprenticed to some soft-hearted pirates by mistake of his hard-of-hearing nursery maid. When he grows up and falls in love with a local maiden, he renounces his pirate heritage and swears to rid England of the scourge of bad guys, thus setting in motion a spirited musical comedy filled with outrageous twists and turns.

The Pirates of Penzance is proudly sponsored by St. Jacobs Furniture House and Commercial Print-Craft Limited. The Orchestra Sponsor is Waterloo Regional Gilbert & Sullivan Society. Media Sponsors are AM 740 and the Wellington Advertiser. The Design Sponsor is Robert Sager, TD Wealth Private Investment Advice. The 2015 Season Media Sponsor is CTV.

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