This year marks the beginning of the Young Victorian Theatre Company’s (Young Vic) next half century presenting works of the legendary Gilbert & Sullivan. An annual summer favorite, this year’s offering is the sublime “The Gondoliers (or, The King of Barataria”), filled with humor, beautiful music—and lots of dancing.
…a delightful and professional production as you will ever see.
All the ladies of Venice have their sights set on two handsome gondoliers, Marco (Nathan Létournea) and Guiseppe (Spencer Adamson). Sweet, but not to bright (or picky since all the ladies are lovely roses to them), they take Tessa (Claire Iverson) and Gianetta (Emily Casey) as their brides. Barely married, they are informed by the Grand Inquisitor (James Rogers) that one of the young men may be the heir to the throne of Barataria who was abducted 20 years ago—and also married, at birth, to Casilda (Gabrielle DeMers), the daughter of the Duke (Thomas Holcha) and Duchess (Hannah Wardell) of Plaza-Toro. But which one? Until the nurse (Alayna Sevilla) who took care of the prince arrives to identify him, the two must go across the sea to rule Barataria together—without their wives. Unbeknownst to the Duke and Duchess, their daughter has fallen in love with their attendant (and the Duke’s personal drummer), Luiz (Nicholas Carratura).
This was Gilbert & Sullivan’s last great hit with all of their traditional comical (and unbelievable) plot twists (similar to “Pirates of Penzance” in some ways), hidden identities, secret loves, and pompous, but very funny, characters. Look out for Young Vic’s traditional insertion of current affairs, nods to the Orioles and Ravens, and even an appearance of a late, great Baltimore City mayor. Of course, everything ends happily ever after.
This is a stunning production thanks to the creative team lead by Artistic Director Catrin Rowenna Davies with Christopher Flint’s beautiful sets, costumes from Valley Light Opera, and choreography by Thomas Hochla (also making another memorable comic turn as the Duke of Plaza-Toro). As always, there is the fabulous treat of a world class, live orchestra under the baton of Music Director and Conductor J. Ernest Green. The amazing talent and rich voices makes this such a wonderful way to spend an afternoon or evening. Kudos goes to all the people behind the scenes and on stage who make this a delightful and professional production as you will ever see.
Running Time: Two hours plus a 15-minute intermission.
“The Gondoliers (or, The King of Barataria) ” runs July 20 at 7 pm, July 22 at 8 pm and July 23, 2023 at 3 pm at the Alumni Auditorium, Gilman School, 5407 Roland Ave, Baltimore, MD 21210. For more information and tickets, go online. Select seats and pay by credit card. Print tickets, have them mailed or pick up at the box office. Wheelchair users must order by phone. For questions, call the Box Office at 410-323-3077. (And bring a warm sweater!) Masks optional.
There is also a live stream option for the July 22 performance at 8 pm. For tickets, go online.