Mimi West Wins Praise as Mabel in Pirates of Penzance

by   |  September 13, 2012

Mimi Contemplative

My performance of Mabel in Pirates of Penzance won critical acclaim as “a stand-out both in terms of vocals and comedy” by the Utah Theatre Bloggers Association.   Callie Oppedisano, who received her PhD at Tufts University, published her review about my interpretation of the comic coloratura soprano role.   Dave Stanley, who also saw the performance at the Draper Historic Theater, told UTBA that I was a “very strong actor” with an “amazing voice. [Her] training was impressive.”

This was actually the first role in which I cried on stage.   As an actress who often fills comic roles, I had never been required to shed real tears on stage before.   Although this was yet another comic role, I wanted to make it real.   Even though the scene in which Mabel bids farewell to Frederic is supposed to be funny, I wanted to play it in a completely serious manner.   To Mabel, the situation is tragic, though it ends in a triumphant declaration of eternal love.   I believed the audience would be intelligent enough to find the hyperbole of the scene hilarious.   Thus, I chose to play my part realistically and let the comedy take care of itself.

I didn’t know I could make myself cry on demand until the final dress rehearsal of the ‘All Is Prepared’ duet.   To my surprise, the tears came instantly.   I had discovered that I could make myself cry, and it was a huge moment of victory for me, so I just had to point it out to everyone in the room.

The weekend performances of Pirates of Penzance sold out at the Draper Historic Theater.   Despite popular demand for more performances, the operetta gave its closing show on September 8th due to lack of funding.

More on: Fine Arts
About the Author:

Mimi West is a consummate entrepreneur, brand and marketing expert. This retired opera singer and Founder of My Dream Teacher is now pursuing her MBA at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business Administration. You can follower her on Twitter: @MimiGuynnWest.
Publshed: September 13, 2012  | 
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