'H.M.S. Pinafore' to dock at the Popejoy stage Feb. 5 - Albuquerque Journal

‘H.M.S. Pinafore’ to dock at the Popejoy stage Feb. 5

James Mills as Sir Joseph Porter in “H.M.S. Pinafore,” which makes a stop at Popejoy Hall on Sunday, Feb. 5. (Courtesy of William Reynolds)

James Mills grew up on the stages of Albuquerque theaters.

He’s grateful for the foundation which has led him to be part of the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players as their associate artistic director.

On Sunday, Feb. 5, Mills returns to Popejoy Hall to perform “H.M.S. Pinafore” with the company.

“It’s full circle for me,” Mills says. “It’s been 20 years since I did my very first musical on Popejoy’s stage. It was ‘Bye Bye Birdie.’ I was a little kid and didn’t know anything. I graduated from UNM and the department of theatre and dance had our commencement on Popejoy’s stage. It’s a special place for me.”

“H.M.S. Pinafore” takes place aboard the Royal Navy ship HMS Pinafore.

The captain’s daughter, Josephine, is in love with a lower-class sailor, Ralph Rackstraw, although her father intends her to marry Sir Joseph Porter, the First Lord of the Admiralty.

She abides by her father’s wishes at first, but Sir Joseph’s advocacy of the equality of humankind encourages Ralph and Josephine to overturn conventional social order.

They declare their love for each other and eventually plan to elope.

Mills says the Captain discovers this plan, but, as in many of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, a surprise disclosure changes things dramatically near the end of the story.

Mills plays Sir Joseph Porter.

“Our presentations tend to lean on the original side of Gilbert and Sullivan’s pieces,” he says. “We perform it as it’s written with a contemporary flair. The themes are still relevant because the human conditions doesn’t change.”

Mills describes his character as “delightfully disdainful.”

“He’s the kind of character that you love to hate,” Mills says. “All the characters are so ridiculous that you can’t help but love them. He’s not a villain, he’s a product of his class.”

James Mills

The 2023 run of “H.M.S. Pinafore” marks 10 years since Mills began portraying Sir Joseph Porter.

“It’s been 20 years since I first saw the show,” he says. “The biggest challenge is to give the audience a new experience and not get stuck. After two years of not performing, I’m getting my body back to being performance ready.”

Mill always enjoys any chance he gets to return to Albuquerque. He says his trips back home are usually tied to performances with the company.

“My younger brother posted a picture from the UNM campus in front of Popejoy Hall,” he says. “In the photo, there I was on the window as part of the ad for ‘H.M.S. Pinafore.’ Seeing that hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m proud of all the work I’ve put into my career. I get to travel and perform all over.”

Home » Entertainment » Theater » ‘H.M.S. Pinafore’ to dock at the Popejoy stage Feb. 5

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
Photos: Carlsbad beats Cleveland, 13-3, during the first round ...
ABQnews Seeker
After Denver school shooting, an outcry erupts over security
ABQnews Seeker
DENVER (AP) -- Outraged Denver students ... DENVER (AP) -- Outraged Denver students and parents demanded better school security and pushed for tighter firearm controls Thursday, a day after a 17-year-old ...
Albuquerque police: Fatal shooting at convenience store could be ...
ABQnews Seeker
A suspect has been detained after ... A suspect has been detained after one person was shot to death and another injured in an overnight shooting in Northwest Albuquerque.
'Better Call Saul' final season hits Netflix on April ...
ABQnews Seeker
April 18, 2023. This is the ... April 18, 2023. This is the day the sixth and final season of 'Better Call Saul' will hit Netflix. The final season will hit ...
$14.3M grant could make Acoma Pueblo’s internet problems ‘a ...
ABQnews Seeker
The federal government on Thursday announced ... The federal government on Thursday announced the tribe has been awarded $14.3 million for a broadband project.
Amid climate change and wildfire recovery, New Mexico enacts ...
ABQnews Seeker
Senate Bill 9 establishes new legacy ... Senate Bill 9 establishes new legacy and permanent funds that supporters say will provide a sustainable stream of cash for projects ranging from watershed ...
NM-filmed 'Chupa' premieres on Netflix on April 7
ABQnews Seeker
Production on 'Chupa' began in Aug. ... Production on 'Chupa' began in Aug. 2021 in New Mexico. Crews filmed for months on location around the state — including Estancia, Zia Pueblo, ...
Cirque Italia brings its maritime-themed show to Albuquerque
ABQnews Seeker
Cirque Italia's latest adventure is called ... Cirque Italia's latest adventure is called "Water Circus" and will start a two week stand in Albuquerque beginning Thursday, March 30, at Cottonwood Mall.
Where did all those Chihuahuas come from? Test your ...
ABQnews Seeker
Take the Journal's weekly news quiz ... Take the Journal's weekly news quiz below for a chance at the warm, fuzzy feeling that only comes from knowing you're well-informed on your ...