patience_webTheater at Monmouth’s 44th season continues with the opening of Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera, Patience,or Bunthorne’s Bride on Friday, September 20 at 7:30 p.m. The society ladies in the village are mad for aesthetic poets but the poets are in love with Patience, the village milkmaid. The young ladies’ military suitors see no point to overblown verses but give it a try to win back the ladies’ hearts. Things are touch and go for a while but in the end everyone lands a suitable partner, even if it is only a tulip or lily.

Full of wit, charm, and a delightfully complicated love triangle,Patience is the sixth collaboration of W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan (known for such operatic works as H.M.S. PinaforeThe Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado). It satirizes the “aesthetic craze” of the 1870s when the output of poets, composers, and painters was prolific but whose followers, some argued, were shallow and self-indulgent.

Associate Artistic Director Bill Van Horn, in his twelfth season at TAM, directs Patience, with music direction by Rebecca Caron. Van Horn most recently directed The Glass Menagerie and last directed Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado at TAM in 2008. “For The Mikado we decided to modernize the play to an anime-inspired world; for Patience, we’re returning to the traditional D’Oyly Carte approach. Maidens in Romanesque, flowing gowns and Dragoons in formal military garb. We may even see a spoof or two of Oscar Wilde himself.”

Patience showcases the talents of community members and actors from away, including Shannon Kessler Dooley as Patience (the milkmaid); Matthew Mastronardi as Bunthorne (the fleshy poet), John Dooley as Grosvenor (the idyllic poet), Connor McAndrews as the Duke of Dunstable (the wealthy bachelor), and Frank Omar as Colonel Calverley (the commander of the brigade). Choreography by Adam P. Blais, sets by Tricia Hobbs, costumes by Joan Mather, and lights by Jim Alexander.

Patience was a smash hit running for 578 performances after opening in 1881 at the Opera Comique in London. Patiencefeatures some of Gilbert’s finest comedy and Sullivan’s most captivating tunes, adding up to a masterwork equal to their very best. Patience is part of a three-year commitment to produce Gilbert & Sullivan. In 2014 TAM will present The Sorcerer.

Performance calendar: Evening performances September 19*, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28 at 7:30 p.m.; Matinee performances September 21, 22, 28, 29 at 1 p.m. Ticket prices $20-$30. For reservations, please contact the TAM Box Office at 207.933.9999 or visit (*Preview / Monmouth Night—$10 tickets for Monmouth residents.)