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New York 2015-16 Season

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  1. IOLANTHE

    The burning question in Iolanthe, or The Peer and the Peri is, can a man who is half a fairy find happiness in a world where to marry a mortal is a capital crime? No this is not an indictment of gay marriage or the death penalty but a fanciful Victorian tale about a band of spritely females with "fairy brains" who "never grow old", the stodgy male House of Peers who rejoice that they "are persons of no capacity whatever", and confused "half a fairy" Strephon - the fellow who is literally caught in the middle. Could anyone wonder that this gentleman's lady friend wants to know "which half"? Gilbert's commentary on the human condition was never pithier while Sullivan's effervescent score evokes the conflict between the balletic fairies and the martial peers as well as the more serious motherly love of the title character. Last, but not least, Iolanthe also features the Lord Chancellor - an elderly gentlemen whose conflicting emotions as widower, would be lover, legal guardian, father figure, judge, and legislator play out in the course of three classic patter songs, including his delightfully convoluted tongue twister known as the "Nightmare Song". When the Fairy Queen's best friend, Iolanthe, returns to fairyland after a 25 year banishment for having married a mortal, she tells her fairy sisters that she has a son, Strephon, a man who has the mixed blessing of being half a fairy. When Strephon is thwarted in his attempts to marry the beautiful Phyllis by a group of stodgy politicians from the House of Lords and a deliciously conflicted Lord Chancellor, he calls upon the supernatural powers of his newly discovered "aunts". The ensuing impasse results in a riotous battle of the sexes which cannot be resolved until Iolanthe, following her motherly instincts, puts her life on the line to reveal that the Lord Chancellor is her husband and Strephon's father. But all fairy tales have happy endings, so the fairy law is amended, allowing everyone to get married and perhaps change their minds afterwards. As Strephon says, "That's the usual course!"

    Performances


  2. THE MIKADO

    In The Mikado, or The Town of Titipu, the location is a fictitious Japanese town full of colorful characters - 3 little maids from school, a wandering minstrel, a hilariously corrupt public official, and a Lord High Executioner who may have a list of potential victims but is too tenderhearted to actually perform his duties. Beautiful school girl Yum-Yum loves the romantic minstrel Nanki-Poo but is engaged to Ko-Ko the executioner. This romantic triangle takes the usual course of thwarted romance, until the arrival first of the fearsome Katisha, claiming Nanki-Poo as her "perjured lover," and later of the emperor, or Mikado, himself - with his own list of punishments to fit the crime. In order to resolve the ensuing complications, Ko-Ko must use his wits to convince the most unattractive Katisha to marry him - in record time. That done, all other potentially dangerous circumstances are settled by the Mikado's all encompassing pronouncement "nothing could possibly be more satisfactory."

    Performances


  3. PRINCESS IDA

    Princess Ida, or Castle Adamant is the classic battle of the sexes, which nobody can win but where true love triumphs! A witty and rousing send up of extremism on both sides, with a crusty curmudgeon, dashing young courtiers, 3 incredibly dumb warriors, and a determined feminist - with just a touch of sentiment and pathos. The women's lib movement started earlier than you might think. In order to promote peace between their warring countries, two kings, the none too bright male chauvinist Hildebrand and the viciously twisted cripple Gama, married their infant son and daughter twenty years ago. Prince Hilarion has grown into a determined romantic, while Princess Ida has established a woman's university where no men are permitted and the virtues of an all female society are promoted. Hilarion and two male friends, each in pursuit of true love, disguise themselves as girls in order to gain admission to the school. The sincerity of the prince's affection for the princess initially holds no sway when their true gender is discovered, but Ida relents when her three hulking warrior brothers lose a match fight to the three courtly gentlemen in women's garb. She reluctantly admits that, after all, the posterity of her all female society can only be secured with the assistance of men.

    Performances


Past Performances

  1. The Gondoliers or, the King of Barataria

    Are you seeing double? You will during The Gondoliers, as two different groups with two different storylines collide in one boisterous and joyous show. Spanning both stories is the marvelously menacing Grand Inquisitor, Don Alhambra del Bolero, who stole the infant son of the King of Barataria and cast him off to Venice, but only after the young future monarch was secretly wed to a nobleman’s daughter. Now, the unwitting heir to the throne and his “brother” are gondoliers seeking mates when the impoverished nobleman brings his daughter to Venice in search of her infant groom. Since nobody can tell which gondolier is the true heir to the throne, Don Alhambra arranges for them to leave their newlywed brides and reign jointly until the proper monarch can be identified. After much confusion, lots of exuberant dancing, and jolly Italianate musical ensembles, the stage is set for leaving all concerned, including the audience, with feelings of pleasure!

    Performances


  2. Ruddigore or, the Witch's Curse

    Thanks to an ancestor who loved torturing witches, the Baronet of Ruddigore is cursed – if he doesn’t commit a crime every day, his life will end in agony, and the curse will be handed down to the next in line. No wonder he doesn’t stick around to follow through with his destiny. In fact, the Baronet poses as Robin Oakapple instead, leaving the title and the curse with his younger brother. But when the ghosts of Baronets past reveal themselves in the Ruddigore Castle picture gallery (what is this, Hogwarts?), he’s forced out of hiding and back into the role of daily criminal. To stall his ancestors as long as he can, the Baronet comes up with silly excuses and non-criminal acts like “forging” his own will. But destiny and curses aren’t the most flexible of things, so the clever Baronet must figure out a way to make everyone happy in the end, especially himself. Don’t miss this G&S gem - it’s the most fun you’ll have around Halloween without wearing a costume! Of course, please feel free…

    Past Performances


  3. H.M.S Pinafore or, the Lass that Loved a Sailor

    This early satirical sendup helped Gilbert and Sullivan chart a new course for modern musical theatre. Lowly sailor Ralph Rackstraw has a problem. Or rather, two. He’s fallen for the Captain’s daughter, Josephine, and to make matters worse, she’s been promised to the haughty Sir Joseph Porter. And although Josephine’s heart beats only for Ralph, she agrees to be a dutiful daughter and accept her role as Sir Joseph’s wife. Normally Sir Joseph would boast his appreciation of equality among men, but when Ralph and Josephine eventually try to elope, he flip flops his position. Speaking of flipping and flopping… Little Buttercup, the bumbling former “baby farmer” admits her mistake from many years before – that Ralph was really born to the Captain’s parents, and vice versa. In the end, much rejoicing begins, as everyone finally finds true love. Even Little Buttercup!

    Past Performances


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