As I had suspected, playing Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance is FUN!!! I don't get to sing "Pour, oh pour the pirate sherry", but as I pour said sherry, I tweak "my" pirates' collars and such, pull one's shirt closed, pat Frederic on the cheek and generally treat them all as my boys. Yes, I have to 'fess up to having messed up big time when I apprenticed Frederic to a pirate instead of a pilot, but then I get to be indignant when Fred tells me I'm plain & old, and clueless that while I'm a "fine woman", at 47 I'm just a wee bit older than he's looking for. And while I'm the only cast member not on stage for "Hail, Poetry" (so I sing it in the wings, along w/ the musicians), and yes, I spend more of Act I offstage than on, my 30 seconds at the end of the Act I finale let me get all upset when Fred & the other pirates reject me, so that I exit practically in tears.
Then comes the good part! In Act II I get to swagger and play w/ a sword and (very nice replica!) ivory-handled pistol, laugh my head off w/ the Pirate King at the paradox of Fred's being only 5 1/4 yrs old, and march with the rest of the pirates in Cat-like Tread. I even get to fight a policeman in the Act II finale, then drop a curtsey when the Sergeant charges us yield in Queen Victoria's name.
My Act I costume is a rather prim nursemaid sorta rig - a mobcap, a blouse w/ a collar, very full-shouldered sleeves, full apron, and a nearly ankle-length skirt that even has a pocket! Imagine - a costume with a pocket! Very handy for stashing my watch w/ the light-up dial so I can check our running time. Every bit of my Act II pirate costume is out of my closet - the full, flowy shirt (a RenFest purchase), the stirrup pants, the boots bought on sale in case I might need them for costume purposes, the headscarf trimmed with tiny silver disks (this is its 2nd Pirates), the blue sash, even the hoop earrings w/ sequin-sized "coins". Both costumes are hot as blazes under the lights, but at least they can go in the washer, instead of needing dry cleaning.
Sold-out house tonight - yee-ha!!! Friends from church were in the audience tonight, along with a couple of folks from work and someone I did a show with a few years back. They all seemed to enjoy it, and one friend of a friend commented that after seeing the show, she now wants to play Ruth too! I don't blame her - I'm having a blast!