Season Begins September 15
New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, America’s preeminent professional Gilbert & Sullivan repertory company, announces its greatly anticipated new and exciting 2017-18 Season featuring a new jewel box production of The Sorcerer, celebrating its 140th anniversary this year; the much-loved H.M.S. Pinafore; and Ruddigore. The 43rd season launches Friday, September 15th (7:30pm) at Off-Broadway’s intimate Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater (10 West 64th Street) with Gilbert & Sullivan’s first full-length work, The Sorcerer (September 15-17). The season continues December 28 – 31 with the family-favorite H.M.S. Pinafore at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College (East 68th Street between Park & Lexington Avenues), plus the annual New Year’s Eve Gala scheduled for December 31 at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway). The season resumes in the spring with a limited engagement of Ruddigore (April 14-15, 2018) at the Kaye Playhouse.
From Artistic Director Albert Bergeret: “I always voted at my party’s call and I never thought of thinking for myself at all.” This line sounds like something out of last week’s Washington Post, but no, it’s front and center in a satirical patter song from the Gilbert & Sullivan classic H.M.S. Pinafore – proving once again how relevant this timeless send up of personal and institutional excess remains. All Gilbert & Sullivan works make us laugh at ourselves in entertaining, endearing, and relatable fashion. This season we have sought a balance of small and large productions, different performing venues, and well known versus less familiar Gilbert & Sullivan works – plus a return to our traditional New Year’s Eve celebration featuring favorite G&S selections and impromptu renditions of audience requests with our full orchestra!
Under the dynamic leadership of Artistic Director Albert Bergeret, The New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players has been hailed as “the leading custodian of the G&S classics” by New York magazine and has created its own special niche in the cultural mosaic of New York City and the nation. Since its founding in 1974, the company has presented over 2,000 performances of the G&S masterpieces throughout the United States, Canada and England, captivating audiences of all ages. NYGASP’s productions are charged with engaging contemporary entertainment values while retaining respect for the famous duo’s comedic and musical genius.
The Sorcerer or, The Vicar’s Reduction of Tea – The Vicar’s brew inadvertently administers a love potion concocted by a highly respectable and old-established Family Sorcerer to the populace of a quaint English village. This cleverly reduced version of the Gilbert & Sullivan classic features the village’s eight colorful characters, plus the notable outsider John Wellington Wells of patter song fame. The intimate setting puts the focus squarely on the personal relationships, witty dialogue, and lush score of the creators as brewed by a cast of nine expert singing actors and one accomplished pianist.
H.M.S Pinafore – This early satirical sendup helped Gilbert and Sullivan chart a new course for modern musical theatre. The captain’s daughter has caught the eye – and the heart - of two men at once: a lowly sailor and the pompous Sir Joseph Porter. Only a bumbling baby-farmer named Little Buttercup can unravel this mess of mistaken identities and mismatched marriages. Filled with infectious tunes and featuring a rousing finale, it’s no wonder this classic comedy still makes a modern-day splash!
Ruddigore – 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, 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 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.
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. Performance dates and times for The New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players’ 43rd Season are as follows: The Sorcerer at the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater (10 West 64th Street): Friday, September 15 (7:30pm); Saturday, September 16 (2pm & 7:30pm); Sunday, September 17 (3pm). H.M.S. Pinafore at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College (East 68th Street between Park & Lexington Avenues): Thursday, December 28 (3pm); Friday, December 29 (7:30pm); Saturday, December 30 (2pm & 7:30pm); Sunday, December 31 (3pm). New Year’s Eve Gala at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway at 95th Street): Sunday, December 31 (8pm). Ruddigore at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College (East 68th Street between Park & Lexington Avenues): Saturday, April 14, 2018 (2pm & 7:30pm); Sunday, April 15, 2018 (3pm).