Savoyards Ithaca will perform Gilbert and Sullivan's The Sorcerer in the third-floor Martha Hamblin Hall at the Community School of Music and the Arts (CSMA): 7:30 PM Saturday, May 6 and 2:00 PM Sunday, May 7. Tickets ($15 for general admission, $10 for students) are available at the door or online at www.savoyardsithaca.org.
Celebrating its 140th anniversary this year, The Sorcerer—Gilbert and Sullivan's first full-length work—both mocks and celebrates English provincial life. Sullivan's score blends British church and country music and German and Italian opera, while Gilbert's satire on classism, commercialism, and nativism speaks to our modern post-Brexit era.
In the village of Ploverleigh, a privileged but progressive young couple conducts a rash experiment. To help their frustrated and less privileged neighbors to overcome class barriers and find their soulmates, they hire a cut-rate London sorcerer to concoct a love portion and distributes it at a tea party. The results, of course, are hilariously disastrous. Eventually, order is restored, but not without a cost—and not before the villagers learn some important lessons about the true meaning of community.
"The Sorcerer is one of Gilbert and Sullivan's sweetest works," says director Holly Adams, who has worked on several productions with the Savoyards. "Unlike their later satires, the show takes an ultimately positive view of human nature. Its characters are touching and complex and capable of change. Even the shady outsider is willing to sacrifice himself for the common good."
The cast features Kelly Hook as the sorcerer John Wellington Wells, Andrew Hudson-Sabens as Alexis, Karen Wonder Dumont as Aline, Nick Roscoe as Sir Marmaduke Pointdexter, Lisa Banlaki Frank as Lady Sangazure, Doug Mathews as Dr. Daly, Annalise Smith as Constance, Nancy Kane as Mrs. Partlet, and Anthony Di Renzo as the Notary. The chorus of villagers and spirits includes Jeremy Beutel, Andi Dietrich, Chad Dumont, Jeff Dunlap, Jim Hedlund, Wendy Kimble-Dugan, Cynthia Lunine, Arlene Muzyka, Pat Ober, Courtney Ravelo, Betsy Schermerhorn, Kris Scott, and Stan Stewart. Scott Miller directs the vocal ensemble. Albert Quizon accompanies on the piano. Ellie Hobbie serves as stage manager. Cynthia Lunine and Kris Scott respectively designed the set and costumes.
Savoyards Ithaca, formerly the Cornell Savoyards, has performed Gilbert and Sullivan as well as European light opera and classic American musicals since 1953. Recently incorporated, the group is now a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization.