If I may be permitted a personal post-play reflection, a few words on Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College’s production and adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance this last weekend, which went beyond even the optimistic preview of the local Madawaska Valley Current. Combining the memorable songs and lyrics with vivid costumes and well-choreographed dancing, the musical was a resounding success, with about seven hundred in attendance over the three shows, and a standing-room-only crowd by Sunday’s matinee.
Our College – as modern colleges go – is small, but the talent large, and this writer – who, full disclosure, was asked to take on the role of the Major-General – could scarcely believe that so many could sing, and dance, so well. The crowd was overwhelmed, responding with standing ovations, and effusive in their praise.
Our primary gratitude is that the play brought so much joy and mirth to so many in the doldrums of winter, which is what kept this writer going through all the months of rehearsal. God be praised, and His gentle and gracious mother, for this whole thing was borne on the wings of grace.
Art is one of the great treasures of life, and all good art is – and should be – difficult to produce, requiring diligence, patience and effort. I applaud all the staff and students who poured so much into the production. It is incumbent upon us, as a public, to support virtuous, noble and elevating art, so that we are not reduced to a humdrum philistine efficiency – or worse – but take time to reflect and to enjoy all that is true, good and beautiful, so that we may return to the ‘world’ – and all the interminable battles therein – refreshed and renewed.
After all, as the Pirate King sings, what is life, without a touch of poetry in it?