Buttercup meets her Sailor and The Pinafore sails in classic form.
Lamplighters ‘Pinafore’ returns
to Bay Area stages this Summer
“Then give three cheers, and one cheer more,
for the Captain of the Pinafore”
63 Years old and the LAMPLIGHTERS MUSIC THEATRE, is still strong as ever. Their HMS PINAFORE sails this summer to a few Bay Area Venues and you still have time to see this classic Gilbert and Sullivan. As with many of LMT library of musicals, PINAFORE sails about once every four years with a new cast and crew. This company is excellent and so much fun to watch.
The LAMPLIGHTERS rarely disappoint, and G&S 1878 Comic Opera boasts some of their best work. “I’m Called Little Buttercup”, “We Said The Ocean Blue” and “I Am The Monarch Of The Sea” will charm you. HMS Pinafore or The Lass That Loved a Sailor, follows a simple story of the captain’s daughter who falls for a lowly sailor. Little Buttercup who joins the crew to sell her food, falls for the captain and the novela is launched. Josephine the daughter faces an arranged engagement to the older head of the Royal Navy, Sir Joseph Porter. The cast is doubled mounted so the names I mention here may not be the same players the night you see the PINAFORE.
Well directed by Phil Lowery he kept the company moving and the entire cast is very talented. I caught the sold out opening weekend at the Dean Lesher in Walnut Creek, where the crowd loved every note. This also marked local favorite Music Director David Moschler LAMPLIGHTERS debut. Moschler is always in excellent form and his pit was brilliant, it is easy just to enjoy the overture, yet we get a funny memorable evening with Sonia Gariaeff as lovely Buttercup and talented bass Charles Martin as Dick Deadeye.
The young lover Ralph Rackstraw is well performed by Aaron Gallington, he is an excellent tenor, and this is his debut with the company. Lawrence Ewing is well cast as the very funny Sir Joseph Porter, and the fun “I am the Monarch” proves his perfect comic timing. Captain Corcoran solo “Fair Moon to Thee I Sing” is well performed by Jonathan Spencer. The confused Josephine is played by the brilliant Jennifer Ashworth and Chris Uzelac proves a smart Boatswain. Reminder the cast changes from night to night but I am sure they all shine in the many endearing characters on the PINAFORE.
The production team includes Tom Segal choreography in the classic form with a large cast. But you get all staple moves sailors are famous for. The PINAFORE three story set is perfect for the company and designer Peter Crompton keeps this ship on call as each crew needs the beautiful deck. The many doors ramps and sails keep the stage rich with easy movement for the players. Judy Jackson MacIlvaine brings out her best costumes and the gowns and formal wear are the highlight.
The ship sails to the Mt View Center for the performing Arts August 8th and 9th, and then to SF Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and closes at the Bankhead in Livermore on 8/23. I can easily use every “sail with this ship” pun, but aboard this HMS is a sure bet for your summer fun with the LAMPLIGHTERS MUSIC THEATRE, the cast and crew clearly relish the fun of Gilbert and Sullivan.
or The Lass That Loved a Sailor
By William S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan,
Presented by Lamplighters Music Theatre
Directed by Phil Lowery, Music Director David Moschler
Aug. 8-9, Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St.;
Aug. 14-16, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., San Francisco;
Aug. 22-23, Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St., Livermore
Running time: 2 hours and 10 minutes, one intermission
Photos by Joanne Kay and Rhys Cheung