New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players Continues Season with RUDDIGORE

New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players Continues Season with RUDDIGORE

New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, America's preeminent professional Gilbert & Sullivan repertory company, continues its exhilarating 2017-18 Season on Saturday, April 14 (2PM) with its spring offering, Ruddigore, at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College (East 68th Street between Park & Lexington Avenues). Featuring a production design paying homage to the iconic illustrator Edward Gorey, Ruddigore will play a strictly limited engagement April 14 & 15 with a family bonus, Family Overture Series on Sunday, April 15th at 1:45PM

Artistic Director Albert Bergeret remembers the origins of this acclaimed production. "I was inspired to ask Edward Gorey to design a set for the Gilbert & Sullivan broad satire of melodrama, Ruddigore, after becoming familiar with his style from his distinctive animated title images (still in use for the PBS series Mystery), set design for a Broadway Dracula, and his many wittily twisted illustrated stories such as The Dwindling Party. Unfortunately Gorey passed away before his vision could be realized, so instead I decided to mimic his illustrating style in various details of my own scenic design for the show such as Gorey's unique wood work patterns, stone textures, cloud representations, and especially in the Act 2 portraits of ancestors who magically come to life and step down from their frames."

Thanks to an ancestor who was cursed by a witch he persecuted, Ruddigore follows the story of the current Bad Baronet of Ruddigore - if he doesn't commit a crime every day, he will die, and the curse will be handed down to the next in line. No wonder he doesn't stick around to follow through on his destiny! He disguises himself as a "pure and blameless peasant" and leaves the title, with its attendant curse, to his younger brother. But when the ghosts of Baronets past reveal themselves in the Ruddigore Castle picture gallery he's forced out of hiding and back into the role of daily criminal. 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.

Ruddigore was the 10th collaboration between Gilbert and Sullivan. It premiered on January 22, 1887 to less critical success than Messer's G & S were used to receiving---as critics and patrons alike felt it paled in comparison to Gilbert & Sullivan's previous success, The Mikado. But that opinion soon changes. One week after its premiere, Gilbert and Sullivan made several changes and cuts to the production, including a new spelling of the title - changing it from Ruddygore to Ruddigore to mitigate the impression of its inappropriateness. The changes were met with praise and critics altered their views to note that "the charm of graceful melody prevails" and lauded that Sullivan had "written some of his freshest and most delightful melodies." Mixed up stock characters from Victorian melodrama (such as a heroic sailor who becomes a cheat and an informant), Sullivan's evocative score (especially his spooky, but not scary, ghost scene), and Gilbert's clever, always relatable, lyrics ("this particularly rapid, unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and, if it is, it doesn't matter") keep the show's mood light and joyous despite its somber sounding premise.

The production will feature choreography by Associate Stage Director David Auxier along with lighting by Benjamin Weill, costumes by Gail J. Wofford and scenery by Albère.

Special Attraction

Family Overture: Musical introduction and plot summary made entertaining for the entire family (1:45pm in the theatre). Your matinee admission is your ticket to Family Overture!

Prior to the Sunday, April 15th matinee performance, Maestro Bergeret,creates a kid friendly 45-minute session which incorporates history, plot summary, and musical selections from the show! An interactive and fun-filled presentation for all, including loyal G&S fans.

The NYGASP 2017-18 season is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State's 62 counties. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Ruddigore at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College (East 68th Street between Park & Lexington Avenues) will play on Saturday, April 14, 2018(2pm & 7:30pm) and Sunday, April 15, 2018 (3pm). For more information and tickets, visit www.nygasp.org or call 212-769-1000.

Photo David Wannen as Sir Roderic Murgatroyd by William Reynolds

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