Archive for the ‘Shows’ Category

A Word of Thanks and a Word of Hope

Saturday, May 2nd, 2020

A Word of Thanks…

We cancelled our spring 2020 production of Ruddigore after only two performances due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

While we knew that the cancellation was necessary, our having to do so was extremely disappointing.  We had spent a year planning and months rehearsing a show of which we were very proud.  We were eager to share it with you, our loyal audience members, and were sorry that we were unable to do so.

In addition, we were deeply concerned with the fact that we had spent a substantial amount of our financial resources to produce our show, only to close the show before we’d had an opportunity to recoup those expenditures through ticket sales.  The losses we anticipated could have meant the end of our company.

When we cancelled the production, however, we appealed to you, our audience members, to consider donating the cost of your tickets to support the company.  We were overwhelmed by your generosity as the majority of you told us that you were willing to do so.  More than that, some of you also made additional and substantial donations to the company.

As a result, while we still are facing significant losses due to Ruddigore’s cancellation, your generosity has insured the survival of our Company and our intention to continue to bring the wonderful works of Gilbert and Sullivan to you, our audiences, well into the future.

Thank you, very, very much!

… and a Word of Hope

The members of the Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company voted overwhelmingly to remount our production of Ruddigore. Currently, it is our plan to do so from March 5 to 28, 2021.

Like many other theater and arts organizations, we will proceed, “conditions permitting.”  It is our sincere hope that we can do so safety for everyone, including performers and audience members, in the spring of 2021.  If it becomes evident that we cannot do so, however, we will change our plans accordingly and notify everyone immediately.

None of us know what the future will bring, particularly as it pertains to the COVID-19 Pandemic.  We firmly believe, however, that we should plan for the future, hoping for the best.  We would rather have to postpone our production of Ruddigore again, than to have missed the opportunity to remount the show because we weren’t prepared.

Whenever we can do so, we look forward to the day when we can once again bring you Gilbert and Sullivan’s wonderful music and delightful humor in productions that will lighten your hearts.  This is what we love to do.

Wishing you all the best,

The Members of the Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company

Ruddigore

Thursday, April 16th, 2020

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company is pleased to announce that it will remount its production of Ruddigore, conditions permitting!

 

A Word of Thanks and a Word of Hope

 

This production will be directed by Joe Andrews, with choreography by Penelope Freeh and music direction by Dr. Randal Buikema.

Ruddigore, or The Witch’s Curse, is Gilbert and Sullivan’s parody of Victorian melodrama, traditionally set in the Regency Period, decades before Gilbert and Sullivan’s time.  In our upcoming production, Director Joe Andrews will take us decades before our time with his vision of Ruddigore set as a 1940s film of the golden age of cinema with elements of classic MGM musicals, film noir, and the screwball comedies from Hawks, Vidor and Capra.

Ruddigore tells the story of Robin, a young farmer who has a dark secret.  He is really Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd, the rightful Baronet of Ruddigore, who has gone into hiding.  The Baronets of Ruddigore are cursed and anyone who succeeds to the title has to commit a crime every day, or perish in agony.  His younger brother, Despard, believing Ruthven to be dead, has assumed the title.  Robin is in love with Rose Maybud, a beautiful village maiden, but Richard, his foster brother, who is seeking Rose for himself, tells Despard of Robin’s deception, and Robin is forced to accept his true position, losing Rose to Richard in the process.

Once he becomes the Baronet of Ruddigore, Robin must face the ghosts of his ancestors who confront him to ensure that he commits his daily crime.  So far, he’s done so half-heartedly at best!  Robin eventually discovers a legal loophole in the curse which leads to a typically Gilbertian happy ending!

Ruddigore was the tenth collaboration between Gilbert and Sullivan, following The Mikado and proceeding The Yeomen of the Guard.  It opened on January 21, 1887 at the Savoy Theatre and ran for 288 performances.

Seth Tychon Šteidl as Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd (Robin Oakapple), Sarah Wind Richens as Rose Maybud and Anthony Rohr as Richard Dauntless

Seth Tychon Šteidl as Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd (Robin Oakapple),
Sarah Wind Richens as Rose Maybud and
Anthony Rohr as Richard Dauntless

Ruddigore Spring 2021 Cast

The cast for this production of Ruddigore includes:

     Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd (Robin Oakapple): Seth Tychon Šteidl
     Rose Maybud:                                           Sarah Wind Richens
     Sir Despard Murgatroyd:                           Joe Allen
     Mad Margaret:                                          Lara Trujillo
     Richard Dauntless:                                   Anthony Rohr
     Dame Hannah:                                         Deb Haas
     Sir Roderic Murgatroyd:                            Scott Benson
     Zorah:                                                     Sarah Mehle
     Old Adam:                                               Waldyn Benbenek
     Ruth:                                                       Cassie Utt

Chorus of Bridesmaids, Bucks and Blades, Townspeople and Ghosts

Mary Mescher Benbenek Maggie Benham
James Brooks Kelly Danger
Jeff Erickson Doug Freeman
Clyde Gerber Mary Gregory
Stephen Hage Gabe Heffernan
Rylan Hefner Shawn Holt
Kaitlin Klemencic Dean Laurance
Anna Maher Wendy Matsutani
Kali McMillan Blanka Melbostad
Charlotte Morrison John Orbison
Eric Pasternack Richard Rames
Lowell Rice Sarah Shervey
Thomas Sonneman Rhea Sullivan
Felix Aguilar Tomlinson Holly Windle

 

Two excellent internet resources for information about Ruddigore:

Wikipedia – Ruddigore

The Gilbert & Sullivan Archive – Ruddigore

 

All performances will be at the Howard Conn Fine Arts Center, at Plymouth Congregational Church, located at 1900 Nicollet Avenue South, in Minneapolis.  Friday and Saturday evening performances are at 7:30 pm. The Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 2:00 pm.

If you would like to be notified about when to order tickets, we invite you to add your name to our mailing list. This way, we will know how to contact you! We never sell our mailing list to other parties.

Ruddigore and More: A Very Light Cabaret!

Sunday, February 23rd, 2020

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company presents “Ruddigore and More: A Very Light Cabaret”, featuring selections from our upcoming production of Ruddigore and next year’s production of The Sorcerer.

The cabaret will be performed by cast members from the upcoming production of Ruddigore.

As its Leap Year weekend, we’ll also be celebrating Frederic, the Pirate Apprentice’s forty-first birthday!

Admission is free!  We invite you to make a donation at the door.

Join us for the fun!  Your being there really does matter, matter, matter … !

When:

  • Saturday, February 29th, at 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, March 1st, at 7:30 pm

WhereHoney, Northeast Minneapolis

Cast:

Joe Allen

Wally Benbenek

Jeff Erickson

Alexander Gerchak

Danielle Long

Adam Lowe

Anna Maher

Blanka Melbostad

John Orbison

Anthony Rohr

Seth Tychon Steidl

Lara Trujillo

Cassie Utt

 

Accompanists:

Emily Urban, Saturday, and Jean Van Heel, Sunday

 

Presenter:

Stephen Hage

Ruddigore and More: A Very Light Cabaret!

Sunday, February 23rd, 2020

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company presents “Ruddigore and More: A Very Light Cabaret”, featuring selections from our upcoming production of Ruddigore and next year’s production of The Sorcerer.

The cabaret will be performed by cast members from the upcoming production of Ruddigore.

As its Leap Year weekend, we’ll also be celebrating Frederic, the Pirate Apprentice’s forty-first birthday!

Admission is free!  We invite you to make a donation at the door.

Join us for the fun!  Your being there really does matter, matter, matter … !

When:

  • Saturday, February 29th, at 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, March 1st, at 7:30 pm

Where: Honey, Northeast Minneapolis

Cast:

Joe Allen

Wally Benbenek

Jeff Erickson

Alexander Gerchak

Danielle Long

Adam Lowe

Anna Maher

Blanka Melbostad

John Orbison

Anthony Rohr

Seth Tychon Steidl

Lara Trujillo

Cassie Utt

 

Accompanists:

Emily Urban, Saturday, and Jean Van Heel, Sunday

 

Presenter:

Stephen Hage

From Gilbert & Sullivan to Broadway

Sunday, November 17th, 2019

Are you looking for something fun to do with your friends and family in town for Thanksgiving Weekend?  Then we invite you to join us as we celebrate Gilbert and Sullivan and their influence on the music of Broadway and beyond!

The cabaret program will include songs from H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance, and Gilbert and Sullivan’s other works, as well as music from Godspell, A Little Night Music, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Candide and Company, and many more!

Admission is free!  We invite you to make a donation at the door.

Continue your Thanksgiving celebrations with some drinks, good humor, and some wonderful music!

 

Saturday, November 30th, at 7:30 pm

Sunday, December 1st, at 7:30 pm

at Honey MPLS (205 E. Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis)

Check out our Facebook Event for more information!

 

Cast:

Maggie Burr

Zach Garcia

Ryan Johnson

Anna Maher

Sarah Mehle

Lara Trujillo

Lydia Wilde

 

Accompanist:

Jean Van Heel

 

Presenter:

Stephen Hage

Ruddigore

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

Ruddigore Program

Ruddigore 2020 Cast

 

A Word of Thanks and a Word of Hope

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, there were only two performances of this production, with the rest of the run cancelled.

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company is pleased to announce that it will remount this production of Ruddigore, from March 5 to 28, 2021, conditions permitting!

Directors

Stage Director: Joe Andrews
Music Director: Dr. Randal A. Buikema

Director’s Notes

In the G&S canon, Ruddigore came after the phenomenal success of The Mikado—a tough act to follow if there ever was one.  Gilbert settled on the idea of parodying Victorian melodrama, an art form that started in the early 1800s and continued well into the century.  The stock characters and situations for melodrama—the stalwart hero, the innocent damsel in distress, the wicked, mustachioed villain (“you MUST pay the rent!”), paranormal activity, the exotic locales are somewhat familiar to a modern audience through parodies from the 20th century that many of us grew up with, like Dudley Do-Right and sketches from The Carol Burnett Show.

A direct descendent of melodrama is Film Noir.  As I began to dig into this genre as a possible backdrop for our show, I realized that G&S is simply too buoyant to be contained in this one rather grim framework.  So, we’ve drawn from film classics of the period—from hard-boiled detective dramas, to screwball comedies, to ebullient MGM musicals to bring our Ruddigore to life.  So, yes … we’ve taken some liberties.  I know that will be a concern to some.  I promise that we’ve tried to remain true to the spirit of Gilbert’s original parody . . . we’ve just brought the object of the parody a little closer to home.  So, sit back and set your way back machine to 1948.  The war is over.  The golden years of Hollywood cinema are in their prime . . . and you’re in a fishing village in southern England. Okay, . . . GO!

P.S. A reminder that mounting a full-scale production of Gilbert & Sullivan with a full, live orchestra is as rare as it is expensive.  But it is so necessary in times of tumult and divisiveness to have a few precious moments where we can simply sit back and enjoy.  Won’t you please consider a donation to our company to ensure that we can continue to bring you this “inestimable treasure for all the world holds dear.”  Visit gsvloc.org/donate.

Joe Andrews

 

Seth Tychon Šteidl as Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd (Robin Oakapple), Sarah Wind Richens as Rose Maybud and Anthony Rohr as Richard Dauntless

Seth Tychon Šteidl as Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd (Robin Oakapple),
Sarah Wind Richens as Rose Maybud and
Anthony Rohr as Richard Dauntless

Ruddigore Review

         Play Off the Page, by Mary Aalgaard

Two excellent internet resources for information about Ruddigore:

Wikipedia – Ruddigore

The Gilbert & Sullivan Archive – Ruddigore

40th Anniversary Cabaret

Friday, June 21st, 2019

Come see some of our company’s finest perform reimagined takes of the Victorian duo’s comic works in celebration of our 40th Anniversary!

There will be songs of PINAFORE, there will be PIRATES OF PENZANCE, there will be a number of numbers from operettas you’ve never heard of before (which are surely just as good)! Celebrate our company turning 40 with some drinks, sharp humour, and much singing.

Friday, June 28th, 7:30 PM

Saturday, June 29th, 7:30 PM

Sunday, June 30th, 7:30 PM

at Honey MPLS (205 E. Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis)

More Info

 

Tickets are “pay what you can” at the door. All proceeds will benefit The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company.

H. M. S. Pinafore – Summer Concert 2019

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company and the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra will present a concert version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore, at the Lake Harriet Bandshell, on Saturday July 13th and Sunday, July 14th.

The performances are free and open to the public.  There are benches available directly in front of the stage and lots of lawn seating available in the surrounding area.  Plan to arrive early to get a good spot as our concerts are one of the most popular events of the summer at the Lake Harriet Bandshell.

H.M.S. Pinafore is one of the most popular Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, due to Sullivan’s wonderfully infectious tunes and Gilbert’s very well-constructed libretto.  The opera gently satirize one of Gilbert’s favorite themes: Love between members of different social classes.  The gentlemanly Captain of the Pinafore, who claims that he would never swear at his crew (What, Never?), does not know that his daughter has fallen in love with a common sailor serving on her father’s ship.  Meanwhile, the Captain has arranged for her to marry the First Lord of the Admiralty, Sir Joseph Porter.  Sir Joseph himself has risen from humble beginnings to gain his office by political acumen, despite having never gone to sea!  And the Captain himself fancies a poor bumboat woman.  Fear not: it all works out in the end.  Hip, hip, hoorah!

When: Saturday, July 13th, 7:30 PM, and Sunday, July 14th, 5:30 PM
Where:

The Lake Harriet Bandshell Minneapolis, MN

(Click Here for Directions)

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company has collaborated with Jere Lanz and the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra for many years in presenting a concert version of one of the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas.

Two excellent internet resources for information about H.M.S. Pinafore:

Wikipedia – H.M.S. Pinafore

The Gilbert & Sullivan Archive – H.M.S. Pinafore

The Mikado & More: A Very Light Cabaret

Monday, February 25th, 2019

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company, the Twin Cities’ premiere (and only) theatre company dedicated to the works of Gilbert & Sullivan, proudly presents “The Mikado and More: a Very Light Cabaret”, featuring selections from our upcoming production of The Mikado and next year’s production of Ruddigore.

Selections including “Three Little Maids”, “Tit Willow”, and “Here’s a How-de-do” will be performed by the cast of the upcoming production of The Mikado!

Friday, March 1st, 7:30-9 PM at Honey (205 E. Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis)
More Info

Saturday, March 9th, 7:30-9 PM at Honey
More Info

Tickets are “pay what you can” at the door. All proceeds will benefit The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company.

The Mikado

Saturday, April 28th, 2018

The Mikado Program

The Mikado 2019 Cast

Directors

Stage Director: Rick Shiomi
Music Director: Dr. Randal A. Buikema

Director’s Notes

Welcome to our reimagined version of The Mikado which I actually call The New Mikado because it’s my adaptation of the script.  I’ve transported the setting to Edwardian England circa 1910, but the essential characters and storyline are the same (with some updating for more contemporary comedy and commentary).  We have brought Gilbert and Sullivan back to their British home where cricket, field hockey, public houses and top hats abound, and where the young lovers, Franki-Poo and Tum Tum (because she makes our hearts go “tum tum, tum tum”) wind their way through a thicket of other characters, like Coleman Coe (Co Co for short), Pooh Bah, His Majesty The King of England and the Lady Katherine Shaw (Katy Shaw).

Special thanks to Stephen Hage for inviting me on this journey and his support every step of the way, Randy Buikema for his wonderful music direction, Penny Freeh for her fabulous choreography, Martha B. Johnson for her directorial insight and assistance, and of course, to the great cast and design team that made this dream possible. We hope you enjoy our reimagining of this classic operetta.

Rick Shiomi
 

Anthony Rohr as Franki Poo, Margaret Matejcek as Tum Tum and Tyus Beeson as Co Co

Anthony Rohr as Franki Poo,
Margaret Matejcek as Tum Tum and
Tyus Beeson as Co Co
 

Tyus Beeson as Co Co and Lara Trujillo as Katy Shaw

Tyus Beeson as Co Co and
Lara Trujillo as Katy Shaw
 

Sarah Mehle as Patti Sing, Margaret Matejcek as Tum Tum and Blanka Melbostad as Bow Peep

Sarah Mehle as Patti Sing,
Margaret Matejcek as Tum Tum and
Blanka Melbostad as Bow Peep
 

Rick Shiomi discussed his staging of The Mikado with The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company in interviews with The StarTribune of the Twin Cities and the Twin Cities Arts Reader

The Mikado Reviews

         Lavender Magazine, by John Townsend

         Compendium, by Becki Iverson

         Play Off the Page, by Mary Aalgaard

         Say Entirely, by Tierney Chlan

         Cherry and Spoon, by Jill Schafer

         Twin Cities Arts Reader, by Basil Considine

         PhenoMNal Twin Cities, by Peter Kwong

Two excellent internet resources for information about The Mikado

Wikipedia – The Mikado

The Gilbert & Sullivan Archive – The Mikado