“The Pirates of Finance” at the NYMF at the Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre (Closed July 20, 2013)

Book and Lyrics by Charles Veley
Music by Sir Arthur Sullivan
Directed by Gary Slavin
Reviewed by David Roberts
Theatre Reviews Limited

Things are not always what they seem on the high seas or in the competitive world of finance. The high-flying team of Veley and Sullivan deliver a delicious convoluted plot in Charles Veley’s “The Pirates of Finance” currently running at the Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre as part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival.

Charles Veley’s lyrics neatly complement Sir Arthur Sullivan’s music (melodies from at least eight Gilbert and Sullivan musicals) to spin a story about love, finance, dastardly deeds in the boardroom, trickery, treachery, and reconciliation. After inheriting his uncle’s Wall Street investment company, musical conductor Frederick Freemarket (Preston Ellis) sets out to cure the world’s financial woes with his sizable inheritance. Unfortunately his uncle was not the financial wizard everyone assumed he was. Further complications arise when J. Geoffrey Behemoth (Christopher DeAngelis) decides to either buy Freemarket out or find a way to take over his firm. The audience wonders why?

Then there is the wily Elsie Gardener (Heather Lundstedt) who installs a device in Freemarket’s magic money-making machine and seems to both want him and destroy him. Curious conflicts abound between the characters on Freemarket’s team (Huey, Dewey, and Louie) and the characters on Behemoth’s team (April, May, and June) all of which drive the topsy-turvy plot toward a surprise ending where enemies become friends – even family!

All of the songs are pleasant, some like “Hail, Marketplace” outstanding. And one or two seem ill-fit like the odd rap song “Behemoth is my name.” Mr. Veley’s lyrics and book along with Sullivan’s music create an enjoyable old-fashioned musical with a charming ending. The audience enjoyed the Gilbert and Sullivan nuances sprinkled throughout and genuinely enjoyed the musical’s wit and charm.