Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Happy Birthday, Frederic!
Back when I first started Mondo Musicals, one of my first posts was to celebrate the birthday of Frederic, the protagonist of Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance (1879). A Leap Year baby, Frederic was heartbroken to learn that he was apprenticed to the Pirate King until his 21st birthday - not his 21st year - so duty dictated that he follow the letter of his contract and live the pirating life until 1940 ("It seems so long," Mabel sighs).
And indeed, the February 29, 1940 New York Times printed a brief notice headed "Frederic Goes Free" commemorating that he was at last out of his indentures and free to live a blameless life forevermore. No word on whether Mabel did, indeed, wait for him.
So, happy birthday Frederic. You might be 156 by some calendars, but as we both have now reached our 39th birthdays, permit me to say we're looking fresh as ever!