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Gilbert & Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore DVD
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Eligible for 2 for $29 Details >
Item No.: PHMS601
Single DVD

Gilbert and Sullivan's first blockbuster is among the most crowd-pleasing comic musicals in history, loved for its dynamite songs, gleefully entertaining story and saucy satire. Filled with Sullivan's memorable melodies - infused with fresh musical arrangements ranging from big band swing to classic pop - H.M.S. Pinafore is pure joy and sensational entertainment for everyone, young or old!
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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
PBSGilbert & Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore DVD
 
3.8

(based on 9 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

Reviewed by 9 customers

Displaying reviews 1-5

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

We Are Not Amused

By TLC

from Williamsport, PA

Verified Reviewer

Comments about PBS Gilbert & Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore DVD:

Classics are classics for a reason: they are timeless and transcend passing fads. Pinafore is one of those timeless classics, so when I bought this, I was expecting a classic performance spruced up with the Guthrie's state of the art technology and production know-how. What I received was a pastiche of camp and claptrap; G&S should be spinning in their graves. Sullivan's score has been reduced and re-orchestrated into a kind of quasi-pop melange replete with electronic instrumentation. In addition, it has also been subjected to tasteless dance arrangements intended only to showcase the modern dance sequences that have been spliced into the story to extend the music. Gilbert's libretto has also been savaged (and that's as polite as I can say it) with unnecessary interpolations that set new levels for tastelessness: the re-writing of the finale at the end of Act II would have shocked G&S to the core. It reduces Gilbert's wit and political satire to sappy farce and demeans the very institution they both loved dearly even as they poked fun at some of its pretensions. The production itself is uneven and sloppy. As an example, Buttercup sings her opening aria in an affected Cockney accent, yet her spoken lines are purely mid-western American English; the accent disappears until her final recitative, when it is not the same accent it was at the top of the show. Most of the singing is good, and the dancing is well done, but sadly out-of-place in such a classic piece. Soft-shoe is not G&S, and tacky tapping is more consistent with Busby Berkeley and Warner Brothers; again, not G&S. Post-production is also sloppy. There is the expected acknowledgement of patrons and sponsors at the beginning and end of the performance--standard for PBS. BUT, there are also "Talk with the director/choreographer/costume designer, etc. at PBS.org" overlays during the performance which are nothing less that intrusive; and, if you go to PBS.org on a computer, those links have been taken down, which isn't a great surprise, since the production is from 2012. And if you follow the link on the DVD for pbs.org, it simply tells you to "visit shopPBS.org" and returns you to the main menu. BOTTOM LINE: if you like your classic shows done classically, buy the Opera Australia set from PBS, as I did: you'll get Pinafore and Trial By Jury, The Mikado, The Gondoliers, and Patience: all for the same price as this turkey; and, you're still supporting the network, which is a good thing. But leave this production alone, which is all it deserves.

 
1.0

Seriously stodgy and disappointing

By VAtheatreteacher

from Harrisonburg, VA

Verified Reviewer

Comments about PBS Gilbert & Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore DVD:

If you are a die-hard G&S fan who enjoys their wonderful music no-matter-what, then you'll be fine with this old-fashioned and confined approach to Pinafore. If you're someone whose tastes expect at least some flashes of ingenuity, a more modern living and breathing and less self-serious approach, then you will find this production as huge a disappointment as I did. One has the feeling that the director's approach was, "By gosh, we're going to absolutely exactly duplicate the score and it will be amazing." However that 'exactitude' sucked the life right out of the show and does not translate into good entertainment. The characters may exist in the performers' minds or rehearsal rooms, but they don't connect with each other or the viewer.

(12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Great production, except the music

By WisconsinEric

from Ripon, Wisconsin

Verified Reviewer

Comments about PBS Gilbert & Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore DVD:

I saw this production live at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis (which produced it) last summer, and also recorded it (DVR) when it was telecast.
Positive side: as is typical at the Guthrie, production values are superb: great sets, fine singing and acting, excellent choreography, and a bit of not-disrespectful updating by Jeffrey Hatcher here and there.
Negative side: you notice I said nothing about the music above. Note the cryptic statement in the DVD description "infused with fresh musical arrangements ranging from big band swing to classic pop." In other words, they rearranaged the entire score for Broadway-musical electronically equipped pop band, and in the process rendered some of the songs barely recognizable. It works moderately well for some of the ballads, ruined it for all 3 of us attending in much of the rest. Obviously this opinion is not shared by all (cf. other reviews), but as I told friends, we heard Gilbert but not Sullivan. Yes the production is terrific, but if you rewrite the score in a musical production, that's pretty important, and you'd better have a darned good reason (and a really talented composer); IMHO the Guthrie had neither in this case.
Three stars: average of 5 for the production and 1 for the music. If Sullivan's witty music is important to you, I suggest you give a listen before buying.
[Disclaimer: I'm an active amateur classical musician, so the music is really important to me. And a faithful Guthrie subscriber for a number of years, so I'm generally biased in their favor.]

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Gilbert & Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore DVD

By Sue

from Minneapolis, MN

Verified Buyer

Comments about PBS Gilbert & Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore DVD:

I was thrilled PBS filmed H.M.S. Pinafore!
The Gilbert and Sullivan production was filled with excellent singing, dancing, costumes, scenery, and acting. I enjoyed the performance so much, I saw it six times at the Guthrie and twice on PBS. Now, with the DVD, I can enjoy the musical and share the fun with all!

 
5.0

Great Buy!

By Don

from Hot Springs Village, Arkansas

Verified Buyer

Comments about PBS Gilbert & Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore DVD:

Purchased handled in a very professional manner. Very satisfied with purchase process and product.

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