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NYGASP Celebrates “The Sorcerer”
by Sherri Rase      |   follow us...

   
photo by Joseph Rubin
James Mills
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140 years young, Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Sorcerer” spent a weekend in New York City thrilling audiences at the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theatre, courtesy of the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players. And what thrills they were! Just as pumpkin-spice-everything is permeating the air, “The Sorcerer” is a delightful way to greet the Autumn.
You had a winsome duo as your hero Alexis (Carter Lynch) and heroine Aline (Laura Watson Chase), so delightfully head over limerance’d heels. Each, however, had a slightly different idea of what love means. The village of Ploverleigh celebrated their engagement, and Alexis wanted everyone to be as happy as he and Aline. He hired the services of a traveling Sorcerer, John Wellington Wells (James Mills), who looked a bit like Harry Potter, grown up in Victorian times. Mr. Wells concocts something that seduces the village into seducing one another, but the pairings the potion engenders weren’t quite what Alexis had in mind. Thus, the merriment ensued.
The entire company of players was pure delight from the Notary Andrew Herr’s basso profundo to the purity of Sarah Caldwell Smith’s, aptly named Constance, soprano, all were brilliant. Particular standouts were Matthew Wages’ Sir Marmaduke, played with great seriousness and twinkle, and Richard Alan Holmes’ benighted Vicar, Mr. Daly, whose suffering for love was comically palpable, but it was Cáitlin Burke’s Lady Sangazure (“blue blood”) whose performance I enjoyed the most. Her regal presence changed on a dime to the flirtatious coquette she must have been back when she and Sir Marmaduke had first known one another. We saw the girl within the grown woman with such clarity. Her Sadie Hawkins chasing of Mr. Wells in the second act was purely delicious and her vividly vibrant purple gown with inserts, which glowed in the soupçon of black light, assured her status as an alpha female. G&S knew how to write strong women and, 14 decades later, we still felt the thrill.
The season is just beginning, so be sure to visit www.NYGASP.org to get a taste of entertainment that stands the test of time.


 

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