“Welcome, gentry, for your
entry sets our tender hearts
a-beating. Men of station,
admiration prompts this
Hearty greeting offer we!”
Poster design by Tom McGregor and Mary Olson
“Spring and summer pleasure you,
Autumn, aye, and winter too
Every season has its cheer,
Life is lovely all the year!”
Ruddigore, or The Witch’s Curse
June 4 to 27, 2021
The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company is pleased to announce that it will remount its production of Ruddigore, conditions permitting!
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
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|
|Kelly Danger||Jeff Erickson|
|Doug Freeman||Clyde Gerber|
|Stephen Hage||Gabe Heffernan|
|Rylan Hefner||Shawn Holt|
|Kaitlin Klemencic||Dean Laurance|
|Anna Maher||Wendy Matsutani Kellogg|
|Blanka Melbostad||Charlotte Morrison|
|John Orbison||Richard Rames|
|Lowell Rice||Sarah Shervey|
|Thomas Sonneman||Rhea Sullivan|
|Felix Aguilar Tomlinson||Holly Windle|
Two excellent internet resources for information about 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.
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