Join the music and laughter as a romantic cast of characters sings and dances their way across the deck of the fanciful British naval vessel with the improbable name, when the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players brings its production of “H.M.S. Pinafore” to the Moss Arts Center on May 5 at 7:30 p.m.

Lively action and choreography is complemented by a full orchestra in the pit of the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Moss Arts Center’s Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall.

“H.M.S. Pinafore,” or “The Lass That Loved a Sailor,” was first performed at London’s Opera Comique on May 25, 1878, and has remained popular on both sides of the Atlantic. With music by Arthur Sullivan and a libretto by William S. Gilbert, this early satirical sendup helped the duo chart a new course for modern musical theatre.

The story takes place aboard the ship H.M.S. Pinafore. The daughter of the ship’s captain, Josephine, is in love with low-class sailor Ralph Rackstraw, although her father intends her to marry Sir Joseph Porter, the First Lord of the Admiralty. She abides by her father's wishes at first, but Sir Joseph's advocacy of the equality of humankind encourages Ralph and Josephine to overturn conventional social order.

They declare their love for each other and eventually plan to elope. The captain discovers this plan, but, as in many of the Gilbert & Sullivan operas, a surprise disclosure changes things dramatically near the end of the story.

The New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players’ production features an elaborate setting of a ship’s deck, based on drawings by Gilbert himself, and beautiful Belle Epoch costumes.

Founded in 1974, New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players is a professional Gilbert and Sullivan repertory ensemble. Under the dynamic leadership of artistic director Albert Bergeret, the company has created its own special niche in the cultural mosaic of New York City and the nation. The ensemble has presented over 2,000 performances of the Gilbert and Sullivan masterpieces throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Prior to the performance of “H.M.S. Pinafore,” company artistic director Bergeret will speak on the history, themes, satire, and vocabulary of the production and interact during a question-and-answer session. Presented in collaboration with the Lifelong Learning Institute at Virginia Tech, the maximum capacity for this event has been reached and registration is closed.


Tickets for the performance are $40-75 for general public and $10 for students and youth 18 and under. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Moss Arts Center's box office, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300 during box office hours.

Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Kacy McAllister at 540-231-5300 or email during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to an event.