The Lamplighters announce an all Gilbert & Sullivan 60th season opening with The Mikado in July/August 2012, then continuing with a 60th Anniversary Celebration Gala & Auction on October 21, 2012, Princess Ida in January/February 2013 and The Sorcerer in March 2013. Subscriptions go on sale in April and will add Livermore and Mountain View to San Francisco and Walnut Creek as options for subscribers. Single tickets will be available for purchase on June 1.
The season opens with Gilbert and Sullivan’s tale of star-crossed lovers, The Mikado (tickets $15-59). The Mikado is a playful satire set in a fanciful (and wholly imaginary) Japan. In a time when flirting is a capital offense, wandering minstrel Nanki-Poo has fallen in love with the beautiful Yum-Yum, fiancée to the recently appointed Lord High Executioner Ko-Ko. When the honored Mikado, emperor of Japan, demands the execution of Ko-Ko, and Nanki-Poo volunteers to take Ko-Ko’s place under the condition that he first be allowed to marry Yum-Yum, chaos, desperation, and comical mayhem ensue in classic Gilbert and Sullivan style, with impromptu marriages, forged death certificates, and the revelation of a prince in disguise.
The Lamplighters’ winter production will be Gilbert & Sullivan’s Princess Ida (tickets $15-59), the show that won the grand prize at the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival in England in 1995. With the same creative team at the helm (Barbara Heroux directs and Monroe Kanouse conducts). A 20 year old treaty states that Princess Ida and Prince Hilarion are to marry when they come of age. That time has come, but Ida refuses to honor a commitment made on her behalf when she was an infant, and has gone off to the country to start a women's university. There she teaches an interesting variation on Darwin's theory: that man -- not woman, just man -- is descended from apes, and thus are inferior to women. The Prince, on the other hand, is an unabashed romantic, and decides to woo Ida and win her love. He and two friends make their way to the university, where they disguise themselves as women in order to enroll and get close to her.
A third production will be offered in March – Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Sorcerer (tickets $15-49). When you’re in love you just want to share the joy so young Alexis hires a sorcerer to spike the punch at his engagement party with a love potion. It doesn’t work out so well … except for those of us who love Gilbert’s humor and Sullivan’s melodies! Last presented in 1996, it was high time to bring back the magic of The Sorcerer. This semi-staged Jewel Box production brings the wonderful Lamplighters Orchestra onstage and showcases Melissa Wortman’s costumes.
In addition to these season offerings, the Lamplighters will celebrate their 60th anniversary Gala, Auction & Diamond Jubilee Celebration (tickets $55-97) on October 21 at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco.
For tickets and information, the public may call the Herbst Theater box office at 415-392-4400, the Lesher box office at 925-943-7469, the Napa Valley Opera House box office at 707- 226-7372, the Mountain View box office at 650-903-6000, the Yerba Buena box office at 415-978-2787, the Livermore box office at 925-373-6800, or visit lamplighters.org. Any general enquiries may be directed to the Lamplighters at 415-227-4797 or firstname.lastname@example.org.