NY Gilbert & Sullivan Players Kickoff 18-19 Season With THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD

New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players 44th season kicks off with Gilbert & Sullivan's The Yeomen of the Guard which tells the story of a falsely accused prisoner in the Tower of London, the two girls who loved him, and an out of work itinerant jester in grand and colorful fashion - with humor and a touch of pathos. Performances are on Saturday, October 27 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, October 28 at 3:00 p.m. at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College (E. 68th Street between Park & Lexington Avenues near Lexington).

Gilbert & Sullivan fans, opera enthusiasts, and musical theater lovers who revel in the beauty of the scores as much as the clever lyrics, will be thrilled by The Yeomen of the Guard. The Tower of London has been a popular symbol of British grandeur since the days of William the Conqueror, so its choice as the setting for Gilbert & Sullivan's most historical work is particularly appropriate.

A real Lieutenant of The Tower during the reign of notorious King Henry VIII, Sir Richard Cholmendely, is buried there and appears as a sympathetic character in Yeomen. Despite the rather forbidding time and place, elements of humor and joyous celebration join with thematic pathos in this colorful and broad story of two men whose fates are the exact opposites of each other. Romantic hero Colonel Fairfax (tenor Daniel Greenwood) is cavalierly resigned to his own death at the outset, while comic jester Jack Point (patter man James Mills) is hopeful of a romantic union with his beautiful performing partner. Through the gain and loss of a woman's love, the men trade emotional places - with Fairfax achieving a fairy tale happy ending and the jilted jester left alone and heartbroken.

Joining Artistic Director Albert Bergeret (conductor and stage director) on the creative team are multi-talented David Auxier (in several roles as co-director, choreographer, and the Lieutenant of The Tower) and James Mills (directorial associate and cast member). In addition to those mentioned above, the cast includes veteran NYGASP performers Richard Holmes as fatherly Sergeant Meryll, Laurelyn Watson Chase as street singer and virtuous heroine Elsie Maynard, Angela Christine Smith as formidable Dame Carruthers, Matthew Wages as comic jailer Wilfred Shadbolt, and delightful newcomer Abigail Benke as flirtatious Phoebe Meryll. An ensemble of brilliant yeomen and citizens of The Tower, plus the vibrant sounds of a full orchestra, round out the picture with period costumes by Gail J. Wofford and Jan Holland and a stunning representation of The Tower of London by Rick Manfredi and Albère. The evocative lighting is by Benjamin Weill.

Tickets start at $25. For more information or to purchase visit: www.nygasp.org or call the Kaye Playhouse: 212-772-4448

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