There’s the Pirates of the Caribbean, Blackbeard the Pirate, Outer Banks Pirate Fest and then there’s the Pirates of Penzance one of the very best of the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas and it’s coming to the Outer Banks Friday September 18.

Brought to the Outer Banks through a cooperative effort of the Outer Banks Forum for the Lively Arts and the Don and Catharine Bryan Cultural Series, the play will be presented by the touring company of the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players. That’s pretty impressive; the NYGSP is generally considered the finest Gilbert and Sullivan theater group in the country.

Pirates of Penzance is Gilbert and Sullivan at their absolute whackiest best. It may seem strange to pronounce opera as whacky but how else to describe a plot that includes a boy being apprenticed to a “pirate” because his nanny was hard of hearing and mistook pilot for . . . pirate.

It’s ok, though, because he’s 21 and his apprenticeship is over—except as we discover he was born on February 29 and he’s really only five years old. Marriage was in his future, but that won’t happen now, although his sweetheart has told him she’ll wait for him.

Unforgettable characters, great music including what may be one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s finest songs, “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General”, proving that sticking pins in pompous icons has been around since at least 1879 when it debuted in New York.

The performance will be at the First Flight High School Auditorium, which has the stage and acoustics to handle this level of performance. 

Tickets are available from online from either the Outer Banks Forum or the Don and Catharine Bryan Cultural Series, or at Duck's Cottage Coffee & Books in Duck, Downtown Books in Manteo, Grays Department Store in Kitty Hawk and Sea Green Gallery in Nags Head.