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Vortex' Version of H.M.S. Pinafore Runs March 3-31

Vortex Theater Company will open its 24th season, a season devoted to musicals, with a radical new version of Gilbert & Sullivan's audience favorite H.M.S. Pinafore, directed by Dave Dalton, with musical direction by Edward Barnes and choreography by Carrie Cimma. 

"The production will reinvent this classic light opera using a cast of only seven actors and integrating portions of text and ideas from W.S. Gilbert's illustrated novel The Story of H.M.S. Pinafore," state press notes. Performances will begin March 3 at the Sanford Meisner Theater, 164 11th Avenue (between 22nd and 23rd Streets) and will officially open on Monday, March 5 at 8:00 p.m.  Performances will run through March 31.

"The fourth collaboration between Gilbert & Sullivan was their first blockbuster hit: H.M.S. Pinafore, a satire about love between members of different social classes played out on a 'Man of War' in the British Royal Navy.  The opera opened in 1878 at the Opera Comique, London, and became a huge hit in England, as well as in America.  Pinafore is arguably one of the most importantadditions to the progression of American musical theater because it not only helped foster a mass audience for the genre, but the show itself became a model for the form, content, and even intention of American musicals.  Twenty years after the show's premiere, Gilbert further innovated his story by writing The Pinafore Picture Book: The Story of H.M.S. Pinafore.  Director Dalton's adaptation will highlight the fantastic irreverence of Gilbert's book while providing new interpretations on his classic characters.  Among Gilbert & Sullivan's other most popular shows are: The Mikado, Pirates of Penzance, The Gondoliers, Patience, Ruddigore, The Yeoman of the Guard, and Iolanthe."

The seven-member cast will include: Billy Ernst (tours of Dora the Explorer and Lyle, Lyle Crocodile), Sarah Hartley, Nich Kauffman, David Macaluso (has sung in 9 of the 13 operettas written by G&S), Max Miller (recently performed with the Miami Symphony and the San Juan Symphony), Paul Sigrist (well-known to Gilbert & Sullivan audiences here in New York.  He is a long time company member of the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, performing annually at City Center, Symphony Space and on tour throughout the country), and Jendi Tarde (winner of the 2005 Lotte Lenya Competition, judged by William Bolcom and Harold Prince).  The set and lighting design will be by Miranda Hardy, and the costume design by Jessica Wegener.  The production stage manager will be Allison Glenzer.

The complete schedule for (March 3 through March 31) will be: Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 pm with Sunday matinees at 5:00 pm.
There will be one additional performance: Opening night Monday, March 5 at 8:00 pm.  Tickets: $18.00.  TDF vouchers are accepted.  Tickets for all performances are available at 212-352-3101 or www.theatermania.com.  Visit www.vortextheater.com for more information.

Photo by Jessica Wegener - David Macaluso as Sir Joseph


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