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  • 1.  Pirate Queen

    Posted 08-08-2017 08:21
    Anyone know anything about the musical The Pirate Queen? Sounds interesting, but it's hard to tell from an online synopsis. Does it have good roles? Is the writing (both book & music) of good quality? Is it remotely school appropriate?

    Cassy Maxton-Whitacre
    Theatre Department Coordinator
    Fishersville VA

  • 2.  RE: Pirate Queen

    Posted 08-08-2017 09:19
    It had a short life on Broadway, and I never saw it. It seems to only be available through MTI Europe. I'm not sure what implications that has for American production. Here is the link to the NY Times Review of the Broadway production. This might give you some insight into the merits of the show.
    The Pirate Queen Review

    Hugh Fletcher
    Performing Arts Coordinator
    IS 229 Dr. Roland Patterson Middle School
    Roosevelt NY

  • 3.  RE: Pirate Queen

    Posted 08-08-2017 22:43
    Just a follow up:
    I actually contacted MTI because I was curious as I didn't know that they had a European division with many different titles not part of their North American catalog. The representative said that such titles are not generally licensed in the US, as the terms and conditions for those titles are different, and they often don't even have perusals available for those titles. If you were interested in licensing a show that is only available in Europe, you can submit a request directly through your regional representative, and they can try to make special arrangements for your production.

    Hugh Fletcher
    Performing Arts Coordinator
    IS 229 Dr. Roland Patterson Middle School
    Roosevelt NY

  • 4.  RE: Pirate Queen

    Posted 08-09-2017 06:28
    We are actually producing it this year. Hugh is correct that it isn't readily available here in the states but I inquired and was eventually granted a contract. Though not as strong overall as their two mega hits "Les Miserables" and "Miss Saigon" (which we've also done previously) it is signature Boublil and Schonberg. The Broadway critics were unimpressed (as many were, interestingly enough, for "Les MIs" initially,) but it was reimagined for its regional debut at the Hale Center Theatre last year as a more intimate, arena production to much greater success. Besides the gorgeous score, it was the story that really drew me. In this age of Wonder Woman , Handmaid"s Tale and a national conversation about the empowerment of women and the forces working against that empowerment, a musical about two real historical women, Grace O'Malley and Queen Elizabeth I who dared to break free from the chains of limited expectations placed upon them by their male dominated world and beat those men at their own game to become legends, makes this the perfect show for our times--not to mention the large cast and many opportunities for kids to shine including supercool sword work and Irish dance (the show was actually produced by the creators of Riverdance.)
    There are a lot of unknowns-- MTI has to print the music for us since it's not a part of their American catalog yet--and our ship may go down quicker than the Titanic (another musical we've done 😊) but we"re going to give it our best shot. If you are interested, you can follow our journey on our website and Facebook page. We're very excited to be one of the first non-professional productions in the states. Hopefully it will be an educational, enlightening, and entertaining experience for our students and audiences--which is what theatre is meant to be after all! 😊

    Ron Parker
    Theatre Educator
    Appleton North High School north theatre/

    Sent from my iPhone

  • 5.  RE: Pirate Queen

    Posted 08-09-2017 10:09
    I did see it on Broadway. Two great female leads Grace O'Malley and Queen Elizabeth I. But that becomes part of the problem. The musical is the story of two women whose lives briefly intersect. The book can't decided which story it wants to tell, despite the title. Of the nine leads, though, four are women.

    This one of the last of the mega musicals. The story of Grace O'Malley, one of the only female captains of a ship in the time period, is fascinating. But the story is overwrought, epic in scale spanning decades. It is long on spectacle, short on heart.

    It relies heavily on Irish dance. Among the producers were the creators of Riverdance. The show had two choreographers: one for the Irish dancing and one for the other numbers.

    Good directing could overcome some of the problems. Rent a perusal script and listen to the music. This the link for a documentary about the making of the show: The Making of The Pirate Queen
    YouTube remove preview
    The Making of The Pirate Queen
    The making of The Pirate Queen, the 2007 flop Broadway musical by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil.
    View this on YouTube >

    Hope this helps.

    James Van Leishout
    Olympia WA

  • 6.  RE: Pirate Queen

    Posted 08-09-2017 10:29
    It's a HUGE (and long) show - I would think it would be really challenging for a high school unless you have a really strong technical theater program to build the huge sets and period costumes. It's also really demanding for the leading female- The original Grace was Stephanie J Block and I think she sings something like 20 songs and almost never leaves the stage. One ballad, Woman, is a great song, but BIG and belty and very SJB. But yeah, there are huge battles and fight scenes, a huge Irish wedding (lots of traditional Irish dance), Grace gives birth on stage...

    Andrea Canevazzi
    Pembroke MA