This preview has been provided by Durham Savoyards.
The Durham Savoyards Ltd., local favorites in their 56th season, announce the opening of Gilbert and Sullivan's spookiest comic operetta, Ruddigore, or The Witch's Curse, in April on Friday the 13th, with a special invitation preview on Thursday, April 12th. The show runs through Sunday, April 15th. Ruddigore features the world's most hilariously inept supervillain and his dysfunctional family of ancestral ghosts. The Savoyards will showcase some of Gilbert and Sullivan's catchiest music, accompanied by the award-winning Durham Savoy Opera Orchestra.
Join Queen Victoria and her royal entourage at Durham's historic Carolina Theatre. Performances start at 8 pm on Thursday and Friday, 7 pm on Saturday, and 2 pm on Sunday.
Derrick Ivey, the production's Artistic Director, Choreographer, and Costume Designer, said regarding the production, "Having now directed and choreographed the entire Gilbert and Sullivan canon, I can say with confidence that Ruddigore is my favorite. The delightfully mysterious plot involves ghosts, witches, and curses interwoven with love triangles, characters in disguise, and some of the most magnificent music you'll ever come across. 'My Eyes Are Fully Opened' is a classic G&S patter song, which is perhaps even more famous because it has been re-worked and inserted into other musicals from Joseph Papp's Pirates of Penzance to Thoroughly Modern Millie. And the stunning madrigal in the Act I finale is alone worth the price of admission. It's one of the few times as a choreographer that I've stopped the movement altogether, so the music can reign in stillness."
Jackson Cooper is the Savoyards' new music director. "I am thrilled to be conducting my first full length production with Ruddigore. The score is a fun house of musical inside jokes, lush melodies, and, of course, an iconic patter song. Ruddigore is among the duo's most sophisticated scores. As light as it can be, at the center is a parody of Richard Wagner and his scores to Tristan and Isolde and The Ring Cycle. Sullivan does an incredible job balancing the score between lighthearted fare and deeply felt melodramatic music that is sincere and never corny."
Producer Janell Lovelace loves what Derrick Ivey has done with the choreography to make the story even more relevant to a modern audience, without sacrificing the brilliant humor of Gilbert's original libretto. "Instead of the obedient bridesmaids that have brought charges of misogyny in other productions, the women of the chorus in this production are fully empowered to make their own decisions, and to interact with the men on their own terms. Derrick is only one of the dozens of extraordinarily talented people both on- and off-stage who are preparing to bring Ruddigore to life, and our set design, construction, and painting team has prepared a few surprises as the ancestral ghosts come to life as well. I can't wait until we bring it all together at the Carolina Theatre!"
The cast will include: Jenne Carey as Rose Maybud, Greg Toft as Robin Oakapple aka Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd, Alana Sealy as Mad Margaret, Michael Laporte as Richard Dauntless, Farren Hilliard as Zorah, Kimberly Wilmarth as Dame Hannah, Scott Sino as Adam Goodheart, Stuart Albert as Sir Despard Murgatroyd, Michael Rowe as the ghost of Sir Roderic Murgatroyd, and Karen Gray as Ruth, backed up by a chorus of Savoyards.
Tickets are available from the Carolina Theatre Box Office (919-560-3030, www.carolinatheatre.org/events/ruddigore-or-witchs-curse) and at a discount from cast and crew members.
Reviews of Durham Savoyard productions:
(For more reviews go to: http://durhamsavoyards.org/our-next-show/see-it/reviews/)
As the Triangle's only community-based Gilbert and Sullivan repertory company, the Durham Savoyards have been showcasing the timeless duo (the Saturday Night Live of the Victorian Era), and adding a madcap spin on their satire and music since 1963. Productions have included: Utopia, Ltd., where a South Sea island king protects himself from assassins by becoming a corporation; The Sorcerer as a zombie-fied Downton Abbey; a traditional version of the ever-popular The Pirates of Penzance; a steampunk fairy takeover of the House of Lords in Iolanthe; Princess Ida as feminist space opera; and a Night at the Museum style Mikado. The family-friendly shows are sure to delight young and old.