(1878) Music by Arthur Sullivan Libretto by William S. Gilbert Gilbert and Sullivan’s rollicking romp through naval life, class distinctions, and melodramatic villainy has entertained millions since its London premiere. Where else can one find a First Lord of the Admiralty who had never seen a ship, or a seafaring captain who gets seasick, or a nursemaid who can’t tell one baby from another? It was the 1879 success of this show in New York – and during that year, there were said to be more than 150 productions playing across the United States – that inspired the American theater community to create its own musical theater tradition. Josephine, the Captain’s daughter, is in love with able seaman Ralph Rackstraw. But her father has other plans for her: an advantageous union with the exalted Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B. When the young couple’s elopement is thwarted by cantankerous seaman Dick Deadeye, it remains for Little Buttercup to confess that her baby farming techniques had left something to be desired … a many years ago. Never mind the why and wherefore – to list the catchy tunes in Pinafore is to cite the entire musical score.