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What I Watched Last Night

I watched some pre-electricity television last night at the Cadillac Palace Theatre here in Chicago; I went and saw The Pirate Queen. Typically, I enjoy watching a play, and last night was no exception.

If you're into some very creative stage design and even more extravagant costumes, this is the musical for you. The Pirate Queen is set on the high seas of Ireland and England. There are cannons and ropes and scaffolding and all other types of ship-related things on the stage. Fight scenes follow between the English and the Irish, and the Irish win. Apparently this piece of theatre is not completely historically accurate.

Anyway, the story is about a woman who poses as a man in order to get on the vessel. She saves the ship from a storm and is an instant heroine. Her heroine status propels her into acceptance, even though women were thought of as bad luck on ships in those days. Unless they were naked. Seriously.

Eventually her father dies and she is declared Queen of Ireland, and the Queen of England wants her dead and on and on. Gender roles are broken and redefined and on and on and a love story blossoms between a poor boy and the Queen of Ireland and on and on and then the Queen of Ireland marries an Irish diplomat and on and on, she is betrayed, she falls back on love with the poor boy, more fighting, and things work out in the end.

This is the part where I should flex my literary muscle and tell you what Shakespearean plot is used here, but I will leave that to you. Happily ever after and on and on and everyone is glad and sings and dances.

Typical play, great music and great costumes, what more could you ask for? Milk Duds and Twizzlers! Yes, at the Cadillac Palace Theatre you can purchase your favorite candy for the show. That surprised me; I thought the cultured life would look down on such peasant indiscretions. Also what surprised me were the unexpected technical difficulties half-way through the first act, something that I have never seen before. Those little difficulties did not distract me from the musical,
however, so no harm no foul.

I would recommend this show to anyone. I liked it and it was definitely entertaining. The only thing that was a little hard to swallow was the ending. But see for yourself and decide. You shouldn't watch television every night.


Posted on October 27, 2006

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