Showtune Sunday: Let’s enjoy some numbers by Linda Ronstadt in “The Pirates of Penzance”
More than a few eyebrows were arched when Linda Ronstadt was announced as the lead in the New York Shakespeare Festival production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance in 1980.
She canceled a summer tour to take the $400-a-week role and was a big hit. The show started as a limited engagement in New York City’s Central Park before moving to Broadway.
The role demands she use her upper register and she pulls it off nicely. At this point, she was mostly known for her pop and rock and had not yet done such adventurous stuff as pop standards with Nelson Riddle and mariachi music.
Linda’s ’s success on stage led her to be offered a role in the 1983 feature film version of the show. She earned a Golden Globe nomination for her movie performance as well as a Tony Award nomination for her stage performance.
I’m really appreciating Linda’s work right now because she revealed this week that she has Parkinsons disease and can’t sing any longer – not a note.
Here are a few numbers from the Central Park performances of Pirates: