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September 12, 1961 - Image 23

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1961-09-12

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BER 12, 1961 THE MICHIGAN DAILY

J&S Society To Present 'HMS P

By PETER STEINBERGER
The Gilbert and Sullivan So-
ciety, which was started on cam-.
pus in 1946, wil continue its policy
of presenting two of the pair's
operas this year.
In the fall "HMS Pinafore" will
be presented - and "The Gondo-:
liers" will be put on in the spring.
These two are on the 11-show
schedule the Society follows-a
schedule- they have already com-
pleted three times.
HMS Pinafore, a classic satire
on 19th century things-in gen-
eral-and on the British Navy in
particular, was chosen for the fall
season because of its special pop-
ularity.
Young Hero
In it, a young, handsome and
dashing Ralph Rackstraw is in
love with a captain's daughter,
who is-alack-above his station.
Dick Deadeye, villain, tries to
foul up the hero, while little But-
tercup, seller of ribbons, etc., to
sailors and wayfaring, men, works
on the captain to get him to marry
her, because she loves him.
It contains some of Gilbert's
most brilliant lines, and was the
fourth result of the Gilbert-Sulli-
van teamwork, produced for the
first time in 1878,
Great Lightness
"The Gondoliers," though not
as generally popular as "The Mi-
kado" or "Pinafore," is often re-
garded by the critics as showing
the great lightness of touch of
any of the pair's works.
Its production, on December 7,
1889, was the fourth of a series
of huge successes (starting with
"The Mikado," and going through
"Rtuddigore" and "Yeomen of the
Guard").
But the years that followed these
plays saw the co-workers drift
apart, due to Gilbert's suspicion
that Sullivan hadn't supported him
in a deal with their producer,
D'Oyly Carte.

inafore'
Besides its shows on campus,
the group also holds one to four
trips during the year into other
nearby cities.
Detroit is always sure as one
host site, while Flint, Wyandotte
and Toledo -have also welcomed
the G & S Society's productions
in recent years.
Last year the group put on "The
Mikado, or the Town of Tipipu"
in the fall semester, and followed
it up with a twin bill in the spring.
- "Ruddigore, or the Witch's
Curse," a satire spoofing the melo-
dramatic plays and novels of the
day, was teamed with a short
play, "Trial by Jury," which ridi-
culed the court system and its
jurors.
Mass Meeting
Any University student can join
the society. At the beginning of
each semester a mass meeting is
called. Those interested can then
sign up at the meeting-which is
advertised throughout campus and
in The Daily-for jobs they would
like to do. Stage crew work, make-
up, props, scenery, lights, orches-
tra and other varied tasks supple-
ment the acting and singing roles
for which auditions are held.
The total membership in the
society last year was around 120.
Fifty to sixty of these actually
appeared in the plays, as princi-
pals or in the choruses.
The other off-stage jobs kept
everyone else busy.
Breaks Even
The Society usually just about
breaks even in its budgeting; last
year, while there was no loss,
there was little profit either.
Time invested by Society mem-
bers is another matter; although
the outlay is large, show veterans
assure all that the return is well
worth it.
The drama director for the com-
ing season is Thomas Jennings,

ANOTHER THING-"Trial by Jury" was presented this past season to large audiences in
Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre. All G&S Society productions are staged in this theatre.

THROUGH THE PICTURE FRAMES-Characters in "Ruddigore, or the Witch's Curse" stepped
out of picture frames to tell their stories in song. The operetta was put on by the group in 1957 and
last year, more recently.
'62, and the music director is Fe-
lix Pappalardi, '62SM.
The Society's president is Mich-
ael Baad, '63NR.
Performances of the society have
been held at the Lydia Mendels-
sohn Theatre, in the League.AC
Generally, two performances of
each show are gig.en here in Ann
Arbor. Playbills - the last were
reproductions of the- original D'-
Oyly posters - plus advance pub-
licity, reviews and general fanfare
make these two-n-ght runs highly
successful.

YEOMEN OF THE GUARD-A favorite of Ann Arbor theatre patrons a year ago was Gilbert and
Sullivan's "Yeomen of the Guard," presented by the society. Noted for colorful costumes as well
as delightful acting and singing, the group's all-round performance made this musical a hit.

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