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The "Gondoliers" at Sierra Madre Playhouse

Sierra Madre Playhouse
Sierra Madre Playhouse

In the original version of “The Gondoliers” (presented by the Savoy Opera in 1889), Marco and Giuseppe, the boatmen of the title, marry the lovely Tessa and Gianetta. The honeymoon is interrupted when it is revealed that one of the two men is the rightful King of Barataria and must ascend the throne and take the beautiful Casilda, to whom he was wed in infancy, as his queen---which means that one of the two wives will be out of luck. It is not certain at the outset, however, which of the two men is the true monarch. In the meantime, both men rule jointly, disrupting things with their egalitarian style. Without revealing specifics, there will be an ultimate happy ending, with all things turning out as they should.

Alison Eliel Kalmus’ new adaptation of “The Gondoliers” re-sets the action to the U.K. in 1952. A company of Savoyards plans a production of “The Gondoliers” in Brighton as part of the festivities surrounding the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. They have to work while the general populace is having fun, despite rainy English weather. Missing props, sets and costumes just two days before opening inject enough randomness into the proceedings that would make “Noises Off” seem like a quiet stroll in the garden. Hilarity ensues. So do the glorious music and lyrics of Gilbert & Sullivan, remaining faithfully true to the original.

Ms. Kalmus is no stranger to Sierra Madre Playhouse audiences, having directed there “The Sound of Music,” “Narnia,” and multiple productions of “A Christmas Carol Story.” She also directs and produces shows for her own Southern California Lyric Theatre.

Her cast for “The Gondoliers” includes (in alphabetical order) Maegan Alexandria, Jenna Augen, Beatrice Barrio-Buchman, Jeff Bratz, MarLee Candell, November Christine, Karim Coleman, Elyse Cook, Matt Damone, Mickey De Lara, Ariel Downs, Sarah Fazeli, Aaron Guest, James Jaegar, Brooke Johnson, Randy Wade Kelley, John King, Kara Masek, DW McCann, Christian McClure, Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper, Olivia O’Neill, Kenn Schmidt, Steven Silvers, John Szura, Leslie Thompson, Sunil Vernekar, Joy Weiser and Jessie Withers.

Associate producer: Alison Eliel Kalmus. Production manager: Elyse Cook. Vocal coach: Leonardo Sciolis. Costume design: Angela Nicholas. Stage manager: Ashley Jo Navarro. Scenic design: Nikita Maxwell. Production assistant: Beatrice Barrio-Buchman.

“The Gondoliers.” Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic opera. A new adaptation re-sets the action to the U.K. in 1952.

At the Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, CA 91024. Ample free parking behind theatre., May 16- June 21, 2014. Fri. & Sat. at 8:00. Sun. at 2:30. The Gala Opening Night performance on Friday, May 16 will be followed by a Champagne reception and light buffet.

Admission: $28. Seniors (65+) $25. Youth (13-21) $18. Children 12 and under, $12. Reservations may be made by calling: (626) 355-4318. or online at:

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