Last-Minute Light Opera
On Sunday, April 17th, we will gather at 2 pm for a sing-through of TRIAL BY JURY. It will be cast on the spot, not in advance. This will be followed by readings of Bab Ballads and spontaneous singing, so bring your scores and Ballads! David Goldhirsch is the pianist.
The building is once again the Park Avenue Congregational Church in Arlington, but in a different room from the Last Minute Light Opera. This will be in the Chapel, through the same entrance. Although we don’t have the use of the kitchen with this room, snacks and drinks are permitted. Carol Mahoney will leave paper goods, a coffee cake, and several beverages/juice for us in the kitchen before proceeding to other duties.
Last-Minute Light Opera: HMS PINAFORE
On March 20, the Last Minute Light Opera’s HMS PINAFORE drew a large crowd to Park Avenue Congregational Church in Arlington. [I counted 50, not including the orchestra – tsw] "The audience is invited to sing along in all the choruses," announced the program. The audience arrived eager to sing choruses in public, and many had brought their own scores. The show used the Broude Brothers’ new orchestral score and band parts. Dave Leigh, NEGASS’s Program Chair, passed out copies to the audience. I sang from one, and it looked good, set in a legible font, not too small. There were some surprises: alternate lyrics, extra lines, and a choice of Act II finales—one of which ended with "Rule Britannia". Conductor David C. Larrick chose to use the original ending, which is the same for the singers as the most commonly used one, but has a longer orchestral finale.
As 2:00 p.m. approached, the organizers dashed about, setting up more
chairs, welcoming newcomers and old friends, and trying to find someone
to play Celerity. At showtime, Mr. Larrick welcomed singers and musicians,
spoke briefly about the new score, invited chorus singers to go onstage
if they wished, and turned to conduct the overture.
"We sail the ocean blue" sounded remarkably fine-there were
a lot of men in the chorus, and some women joined in (I know I did). Most
of the chorus stayed seated, but a hardy few went onstage with Dick Deadeye
(Dave Leigh, singing some of the scariest bass solos
since Darrell Fancourt) and the Boatswain (Carl Weggel,
NEGASS’s secretary, filling in as Lord High Substitute at the last
minute). The Pinafore’s crew was completed by Ed Fell as
Ralph Rackstraw and Peter Cameron as Captain Corcoran.
The acting was funny, and a little improvised staging went over well.
Occasional slip-ups or traffic jams onstage just got indulgent laughs
from principals and audience alike--nobody minded, we were all in this
together. It was a wonderful feeling.
A pretty "Barcarolle" and "Gaily tripping" introduced the women’s chorus and brought Sir Joseph (Tony Parkes, NEGASS vice-president) and Cousin Hebe (April Grant) onstage.
Mr. Parkes’s Sir Joseph was very funny, with a special condescending smile and a way of looking down his nose at his inferiors (i.e. everybody) that words can but faintly describe. His diction was great, and after "When I was a lad" he even danced a few hornpipe steps, admired by Cousin Hebe. [Note from tsw: As Ms. Grant is doing this write-up, she has naturally not reviewed herself, so We will do so: she was outstanding, with a good voice and very funny acting—not to mention complete period costume!]
Ed Fell as Ralph Rackstraw won my heart on his first entrance: he staggered around crashing into the furniture, as a true Youth with Faltering Feet. Later, he had a nice air of innocence in the notorious "I am poor in the essence of happiness…" speech. He and Ms. Beyer sang a gorgeous duet. As Josephine rejected Ralph Rackstraw, I realized that there wasn’t a gun for him to menace his own life with. However, Mr. Leigh and Mr. Weggel were equal to the emergency. They went prop-hunting, and when Ralph reached "My friends, my leave of life I’m taking…", Dick Deadeye handed him a snickersnee, upon which Ralph threatened to fall.
--I do not wish to pain my more sensitive readers by keeping them in suspense any longer: Josephine rushed in at the last moment and told Ralph she loved him, thus rendering the snickersnee superfluous. Universal rejoicing! Well, almost universal. Dick Deadeye remained cynical, but nobody took no ‘eed of ‘im. And so the act closed in a blaze of rapture.
During intermission, Carol Mahoney and David
Sheldon served refreshments. Janice Dallas brought
Dancing Deer cookies, Linda Silverstein provided brownies,
and I—that is, "your correspondent"—brought Sally
Lunn cakes. [Which were delicious, and We begged her for the recipe.
It is printed later in this issue –tsw] The organizers raffled
off several G&S recordings, accompanied by a striking countertenor
rendition of "Oh Fortune, to my aching heart be kind!" from
two nearby gentlemen.
The famous "Damme" scene was a lot of fun for all concerned, though no one had volunteered to play Celerity. Fortunately, NEGASS Membership Officer Janice Dallas agreed to sing the part at the last minute.
And so to a rousing finale—gosh, I love the part where everybody gets to do a little bit of their song from earlier! Sir Joseph led the cast in a stately bow, the audience clapped for the principals, the principals applauded the chorus, everybody applauded the orchestra and the conductor. Then people talked, laughed, finished off the refreshments, folded and stacked the chairs, and went out into the twilight with a sense of satisfaction.
The Sudbury Savoyards had their annual dinner meeting on March 5, 2005 in Hawes Hall, Sudbury United Methodist Church. It was held between performances of MIKADO so the Cast, Orchestra, and Crew could be fed quickly.
The Church's catering crew produced large amounts of Lasagna and Ziti in various forms: Meat, no Meat, no Dairy, no Gluten, as well as different types of salad, dressed and undressed, hot and cold beverages, and an incredible desserts table with many different forms of chocolate, plus a Birthday cake for David Owen who has just turned 50!
New honorees for the "Yeomen of Regard" award were Dick Sewell, Roy Paro and Bev Paro.
Three new Trustees were elected to replace those going off the Board. Of the six Candidates, Ed Fell (incumbent), Laurel Martin (incumbent) and Andrea Roessler were elected to the Board for two year terms.
Recognition was given to all those who participated in this year's show, also the current Board/Staff. All got beautiful Certificates, and those who were in positions of greater responsibility got a lovely pair of chop sticks. The Directors, Kathy Lague (stage) and Steve Malionek (Music) were presented with small handmade dolls wearing costumes identical to the show's Katisha and Mikado. Other gifts for special endeavors went to Ed Fell, School Liaison, and Laurel Martin, Children’s' Matinee Organizer, and Mariah Howland, Technical Director.
Next summer's show, "The Matchmaker" was introduced. Auditions are April 7, 9, and 10 at Hawes Hall in the Sudbury United Methodist Church. Performances are July 15-17, 22-24, 29-30, 2005. More info will be posted to the Sudburysavoyards.org website as show time gets nearer.
Adapted from a recipe in The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, 13th edition, by Marion Cunningham.
"They say that Sally Lunn lived in Bath, England, and sold this kind of tender, semi-sweet tea cake--almost weightless with a light yellow crumb, they can also be made as one large cake." -- Marion Cunningham
Makes about 24 small cakes.
Put 1 cup lukewarm water in a bowl and sprinkle on yeast. Allow to stand a few minutes, then mix it in and stir in 1 cup of the flour. Cover and put in warm place until it is bubbly ("sponge").
Mix the hot milk, butter, sugar and salt in a large bowl and let cool
to lukewarm. Crack eggs into small bowl, mix, pour into milk mixture and
stir vigorously. Add sponge, then gradually stir in at least 3 more cups
of flour until mixture forms a sticky, glutinous batter. Cover with damp
cloth and allow to rise until about double in bulk.
Looking for the reviews in this issue? Visit our review page.
Looking for the Calendar section, featuring local auditions and performances? Visit our Calendar page
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