Ruddigore | September 17-27

Music by Arthur Sullivan, libretto by W.S. Gilbert
Directed by Richard Sewell

 Sponsored by  532639_GHELogo

Many years ago, the Baronets of Ruddigore were cursed by a witch and must commit a crime a day or be tortured to death. To escape this dreadful fate, the latest Baronet, Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd, disguises himself as simple farmer, Robin Oakapple. Oakapple is in love with the Rose Maybud and wants to wed but their “rosy” future is doomed when his true identity is revealed.

Production Team
Director & Set Designer Richard Sewell
Music Director Rebecca Caron
Choreographer Adam P. Blais
Costume Designer Christine Nilles
Lighting Designer Jim Alexander
Stage Manager Katie Moshier
Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd Connor McAndrews
Richard Dauntless Matt Andersen
Sir Despard Murgatroyd Timothy Madden
Old Adam Goodheart David Handley
Rose Maybud Laura Whittenberger
Mad Margaret Jamie Beth Weist
Dame Hannah Sabrina Yocono
Sir Roderic Murgatroyd Joe McGrann
Zorah Karen Lipovsky
Ruth Cynthia McGuire
Chorus of Bridesmaids Men’s Chorus
Ann-Marie Caron Jeff Fairfield
Carol Griffiths John Lipovsky
Karen Lipovsky Joe McGrann
Cynthia McGuire Rick O’Brien
Ellen O’Brien Stefan Pakulski
Peggy O’Kane Andy Tolman
Piano/Conductor Rebecca Caron
Flute Blaise Spath
Clarinet Carol Furman
Violin Kate Gray

From the Director

Most of Gilbert’s plays involve some political mockery (Queen Victoria was not amused). Ruddigore casts a wry glance at the British Navy but its main target is theatrical melodrama: Goodness and Wickedness for Dummies. Gilbert’s own life had moments of melodrama: at two, in 1835, he was kidnapped and his parents paid 25 Pounds Sterling to get him back; and in 1911 at 72 he was drowned, trying to rescue a young woman swimming beyond her depth. Between those unlikely events he lived a sober Victorian, then Edwardian, gentleman’s life, and for years was a successful librettist, humorist—and a bit of a misanthrope. The tart-to-sour sting of his humor gets wonderfully balanced by the sherbet of Sullivan’s music. If you are curious about those two, check out the fine, odd film, Topsy Turvy. It’s film with more careful accuracy than most.

And a little something about words…

“Strike” in theater is the closing clean-up; in a union shop it’s work stoppage in quest of fairness; in British naval jargon and in Ruddigore it means to surrender, lower one’s flag, “strike one’s colours.” Also, “bloody” in Queen Victoria’s world passed for inadmissibly obscene. A mere echo of that adjective in the title Ruddigore shocked some—the disapproving stir helped ticket sales. And “taradiddle?” It breached etiquette to speak of “a lie;” so the era came up with a string of
euphemisms—a “stretcher,” “playing a false fiddle,” a “story,” and a “taradiddle!”