MONMOUTH — Theater at Monmouth’s 45th season will continue with the opening of Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera, “The Sorcerer” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18. Bursting with wit, charm, and fantasy, “The Sorcerer” blends social satire with lighthearted comedy making it a “neglected gem” of the Gilbert & Sullivan repertoire.

What happens when a magically brewed cup o’ tea intoxicates unsuspecting residents of an entire community? Alexis, a young man obsessed with the idea of love leveling all social distinctions, engages J. W. Wells & Co., Family Sorcerers, to find out. When the potion causes everyone in the village to fall in love with the first person they see — the results are mystical mayhem.

“The Sorcerer” showcases the talents of community members and actors from away, including Mark S. Cartier as J.W. Wells; David Handley as Sir Marmaduke; Jamie Beth Weist as Aline Sangazure; Ben Mulgrew as Alexis Pointdexter; Rebecca Beck as Lady Sangazure, Melissa Bills as Constance Partlet, and Ryan Simpson as Dr. Daly (the Vicar). Choreography by Adam P. Blais, sets by Rew Tippin, costumes by Michelle Handley, and lights by Jim Alexander.

The third operatic collaboration between W.S. Gilbert & Arthur Sullivan, “The Sorcerer” was a considered a success, running for 178 performances after opening in 1877 at the Opera Comique in London. Based on Gilbert’s 1876 story “The Elixir of Love,” it was Gilbert & Sullivan’s first opera to use all the major character types and typical range of songs that would appear in their later collaborations including comic duets, a patter song, a tenor and soprano love duet, and others.

Performance calendar:

Preview Sept. 18 at 7:30 p.m.;

Opening Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m.;

Additional performance dates 9/20, 9/25, 9/26, 9/27 at 7:30 p.m.; 9/20, 9/21, 9/27, 9/28 at 1 p.m.

Ticket prices are $10-$30. For more information, call 207-933-9999 or visit www.theateratmonmouth.org.


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