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Pirates land at Playhouse Merced
Playhouse Merced is opening up 2015 with a production of Pirates of Penzance, starring Brad Reed, Tracy Jones, and Ron Daily. - photo by Photo Contributed

Playhouse Merced will usher in their 2015 season with a production of the comedic opera “The Pirates of Penzance,” beginning tonight and running through the next three weeks.

A comic opera by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, The Pirates of Penzance has graced the stage for more than 100 years and features a young pirate, Frederic, released from his apprenticeship on his 21st birthday, who falls in love with the beautiful Major-General’s daughter, Mabel. All is well, until Frederic realizes he was born on February 29 – a leap year – which requires him to serve his pirate family for another 63 years. A love-stricken Mabel agrees to wait for his hand.

“The Pirates of Penzance” is directed by Noelle Chandler, musically directed by Dennis Brown and stars Jeshamon Volkerts as Stanley, Ronald Daily as the King, Jacob Williams as Frederic, Brad Reed as the Major-General, Jasmine Swalef as Mabel and Tracy Jones as Ruth. It also stars Rachel Rodrigues, Jesse Stofle, Stephanie Rogers and others.

“The Pirates of Penzance” features the famously fast-paced song “Modern major General,” as well as “What Ought We To Do?” and “A Rollicking Band of Pirates We.”

The show is rated E for everyone.

“The Pirates of Penzance” opens tonight and plays through Feb. 1. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $15 to $22 and are available online at, or calling 725-8587, or visiting the box office at 452 West Main Street in downtown Merced, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.