Seth Bograd sings during a rehearsal for Elementary School Musical, a Pirate Theatre comedy presented by Ski Town Productions. The final show will take place at The Steamboat Grand on Saturday. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m.

Photo by John F. Russell

Seth Bograd sings during a rehearsal for Elementary School Musical, a Pirate Theatre comedy presented by Ski Town Productions. The final show will take place at The Steamboat Grand on Saturday. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m.

Theater Review: Pirate Theatre delivers laughs

Community comedy puts current events through satirical wringer

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Michael David Bauk (Ronnie Madoff), right, and Kelly Anzalone (Little Guy) act out a scene during a rehearsal for Elementary School Musical, a Pirate Theater comedy presented by Ski Town Productions. The final show will take place at The Steamboat Grand on Saturday. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m.

If you go

What: “Elementary School Musical,” a Pirate Theatre comedy presented by Ski Town Productions

When: 8 p.m. today; doors open at 7:15

Where: The Steamboat Grand

Cost: $20; tickets available in advance at All That Jazz

Call: 879-4422 for tickets

— There’s something about the costume choices in any Pirate Theatre show that says it all.

Trying to portray a future financial swindler? Put the character in five polo shirts and pop the collars on all of them. School jock? Football jersey. Law enforcement? Sheriff’s star.

The choices don’t have to be subtle because that’s not the point. In each thematic railing on local and national news events, personalities and issues, the Pirate Theatre production team takes everyday absurdity and blows it up.

At the opening night of “Elementary School Musical” on Thursday, Pirate Theatre and Ski Town Productions continued its 10-year tradition of making Routt County residents feel sort of bad, but mostly amused, about everything we take seriously.

The show — written by Todd Danielson and directed and produced by Brian Harvey, with music by Andy Pratt and technical work by Kelly Anzalone — opens on a fictional Steamboat Springs elementary school. There are popular children and a trio of less popular ones, with plenty of jokes thrown in about school lunches and children’s activities. All the children are played by adults.

One of them — “Ronnie Madoff,” a rich-and-getting-richer schemer played by Michael David Bauk— has plans to take advantage of the other students, while “Little Guy,” played by Kelly Anzalone, tries to win the affection of Dakota G., played by Holly Wilde. The plot moves along from there, through absurdities and wacky characters.

Reprising his caricature of Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall, Seth Bograd delivers some of the show’s best lines, poking fun at a local figure while maintaining a basically likeable character. Writer Danielson understands the possible challenge of making fun of events that happened one, two or 10 years ago. With Bograd’s “Sheriff Stonedwall Jackson,” Danielson takes the chance to break down the fourth wall — something Pirate Theatre does well — embracing the idea that the joke could get stale and then makes the joke funnier.

Other highlights include “Little Guy” actor Anzalone’s dance moves, eerily similar to the “Caddyshack” gopher’s shimmy; a mock “kiddie council” scene that has nothing to do with the plot but has great Steamboat 700 riffs; and a well-placed celebrity cameo that shouldn’t be spoiled.

“Elementary School Musi­cal” closes with a show at 8 p.m. today at The Steamboat Grand. Tickets are $20 and are available in advance at All That Jazz. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. The show is not suitable for children.

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