Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Head Over Heels for Gilbert & Sullivan Festival Begins August 19th

Sierra Madre Playhouse presents a Gilbert and Sullivan festival entitled Head Over Heels For Gilbert and Sullivan.

The cornerstone of the festival is the new production of the 1888 opera The Yeomen of the Guard directed by Eugene Hutchins with musical direction by Brian Asher Alhadeff, which will run August 19 – September 24.

Col. Fairfax, an admired military hero, has been condemned to die for the practice of sorcery, a maliciously fraudulent charge. To prevent his estate from going to his accuser, Fairfax contrives to marry a stranger, street singer Elsie Maynard, before the colonel’s scheduled execution. Meanwhile, Sergeant Meryll and his daughter Phoebe plot to have Fairfax escape by disguising him as Phoebe’s brother Leonard, also a military hero. Wilfred the head jailer schemes to his own advantage by pretending to have slain Fairfax during an escape attempt. With multiple schemes in play, things don’t go exactly as planned. Who will marry whom, and whose heart will be broken?

The cast includes Maria Elena Altany, Michelle Caravia, Glenn Fernandez, Joseph Garate, Michelle Holmes, Steve Kubick, Michelle McWilliams, Luis Marez Ordaz, Jay Parker, Ryan Reithmeier, Katherine Trimble, Tara Waldschmidt and Matthew Welch.

The creative team includes Edward Hayners, Jr. (set design), Shon leBlanc (costume design), Wes Chew (lighting design), Jennifer Scott (technical director/properties), Brenda Goldstein (stage manager).

The Yeomen of the Guard runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm, Sundays at 2:30 pm and is dark on August 21. The performance on Friday, August 19 is preceded by a Gala Opening Night light buffet and Champagne reception at 7:15 pm. The performance on Friday, August 26 will be both ASL interpreted for the hearing-impaired and audio described for the blind.

In addition, the lobby of the venue will include an art exhibit of works inspired by The Yeomen of the Guard curated by Sue Li.


Also scheduled as part of the Festival is a Sunday Play Series featuring staged readings of plays by W.S. Gilbert...

August 28 at 7:30 pm

A Medical Man
A frothy and clever farce about a confirmed bachelor who places a personal ad and gets more than he bargains for.
Sweethearts
What happens when a girl meets a boy and they meet 20 years later? See the before and the after in this delightful comedy of manners.

September 11 at 7:30 pm

Engaged
Meet Cheviot Hill, a stingy romantic, who has one tiny problem. He proposes marriage to every woman he meets. One of Gilbert’s most successful non-musical plays will have you in stitches as you see what happens when all these women meet. Niki Hevesy directs.

...and a Thursday night Gilbert & Sullivan Concert Series at 7:30 pm:

September 1
Featuring: Tara Waldschmidt, Ryan Reithmeier, Maria Elena Altany and Joseph Garate. Accompanist: Dan Bridston

September 8
Featuring: Michelle McWilliams, Glenn Fernandez, Maria Elena Altany and Jay Parker. Accompanist: Dan Bridston

September 15
Featuring: Glenn Fernandez, Michelle McWilliams, Tara Waldschmidt and Steve Kubick. Accompanist: Dan Bridston

September 22
Featuring: Pasadena Master Chorale

Sierra Madre Playhouse is located at 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, CA 91024. There is ample free parking behind the theatre. Tickets for The Yeomen of the Guard are $25 for all seats. Tickets for other festival events are $20 each. SPECIAL: A festival pass that admits patrons to all events is $50, a potential savings of $95. Reservations: 626-355-4318, or go online at http://www.sierramadreplayhouse.org/.

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