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Review 1 for Iolanthe
Carolina Theatre @
- Durham @
, NC @
- Fri, Mar 30, 2012 @
Favorite moment: NONE @
I have been a Gilbert & Sullivan fan for sixty years or more and have seen a variety of performances by everything from D'Oyly Carte in London to companies in a number of US cities. I am not exaggerating when I say that the Durham Savoryard's March 30th performance of Iolanthe was the worst performance of any G & S operetta I have ever seen. Everything from the peers dressed in business suits and cavorting like Texas politicians to the fairies dressed like a motley group of cleaning women, contributed to undermining Gilbert's satire and humor. how in the world do you reconcile these peers with "Loudly Let the Trumpets Bray" or the weird collection of fairies with the perkiness, sparkle and childlike simplicity of "Tripping Hither..." and "Stephron's a Member of Parliament"? The overcrowding of the small stage and the poor articulation of most of the cast resulted in many of Gilbert's best lines being completely lost. Almost all of the disappointments seem to me attributable to the director and could and should have been avoided. The program lists so many credits for him that it is hard to believe that he is responsible for the disaster to which we were subjected Friday night. Having paid for tickets and driven from Pinehurst, I think the friends who came with me and I are entitled to be both disappointed and unhappy with the director and a very, very poor Iolanthe.