The Savoyaires open their production of the Gilbert and Sullivan classic “Pirates of Penzance” next Friday, Oct. 6, at the Chute Auditorium in Evanston.

Mabel (Kellie Springfield) and Frederic (Nicholas Metzger) sadly part as he tells her he has to return to piracy.

In a classic Gilbert and Sullivan plot twist, poor Frederic thinks he’s been freed from his apprenticeship with the pirates when he turns 21. But he learns he was actually apprenticed until his 21st birthday — and, having been born on Feb. 29, he won’t have had 21 of those until he turns 84.

So much for his chances of marrying the lovely Mabel, daughter of Major-General Stanley, though she pledges to be loyal to him.

Mabel (Kellie Springfield) and Major-General Stanley (Bill Chamberlain) press the Sergeant of Police (David Laub) to go after the pirates.

Pirates, which opened on New Year’s Eve 1879 in New York, has become one of the three most frequently produced Gilbert and Sullivan operas.

The Savoyaires production is directed by Amy Uhl, who won strong reviews for her 2015 production of H.M.S. Pinafore.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 6,7, 13 and 14, and at 3 p.m. on Sundays, Oct. 8 and 15.

Ticket range from $17 to $27, with discounts for children. They can be purchased online.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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