If you were not diligently checking the august Sun over the July Fourth weekend, you may have missed a little article by moi about Baltimore's Young Victorian Theatre Company, so I thought I'd better make mention of it here. I'd hate for anyone to be deprived.
This weekend, Young Vic opens its 40th anniversary season of producing Gilbert and Sullivan operettas with a staging of "Iolanthe," the same work that launched the company. Back in that day, it was a mostly student-run operation. Things have gotten steadily more professional over the decades. The cast for the 2010 "Iolanthe" looks very promising (and sounded so during a brief bit of rehearsal I heard last week), and the team of stage director Jim Harp and conductor Phillip Collister is likely to produce notable results.
"Iolanthe" may be overshadowed, especially in this country, by "H.M.S. Pinafore," "The Mikado" and "The Pirates of Penzance," but it's packed with clever ideas and brilliant music. There are good reasons why lots of G&S aficionados rank it very high. Here's a little taste -- the opening chorus of ever-not-so-dainty fairies from a Stratford Festival production: