The New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players (NYGASP), America’s preeminent professional Gilbert & Sullivan repertory company will present 3 performances of a double bill, The Sorcerer Trial by Jury at New York’s Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College (68th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues) April 6-7, 2024.

Set in a quaint English village, The Sorcerer is the story of Alexis, a young military officer who purchases a love-at-first-sight potion from a respectable and old-established Family Sorcerer. Of course, this potion is compounded on the strictest of moral principles so as to have no effect on married persons. The power of love is tested when, after drinking tea spiked with the potion, the whole village finds itself engaged in hilarious mismatches – including the sorcerer himself! Even the well meaning, but misguided, Alexis is unhappy with this situation, so the sorcerer agrees to make a personal sacrifice in order to set things back the way they were – disappearing magically to the delight of all. Combining Gilbert’s favorite theme of class distinction with magical and theatrical illusions, the production features Sullivan’s lilting melodies, glorious harmonies, and just the right touch of pastoral sentiment to convey the essence of Gilbert’s light-hearted satire. The New York Times said this production “packs ample charms, including a felicitous score that charms a modern audience!” NYGASP last produced the work in 2012.

The Sorcerer cast includes the romantic couple of Michelle Seipel as Aline ad Daniel Greenwood as Alexis. Baritone Matthew Wages is the aristocratic Sir Marmaduke Pointdextre and Alto Hannah Holmes is Lady Sangazure. Patter baritone James Mills returns to the title role of the Sorcerer, John Wellington Wells. Dr. Daly is portrayed by lyric baritone David MacalusoAmy Maude Helfer plays Mrs. Partlet, Laura Sudduth is her daughter Constance and Adam Bashian is the Notary.

Originally billed as a “Dramatic Cantata, Trial By Jury was written as a one-act afterpiece for Offenbach’s La Perichole. Having been trained as an attorney, it is not surprising that W.S. Gilbert would aim some of his first satirical jabs at the law in this over the top send up of the legal system. Edwin, tiring of his sweetheart Angelina, falls in love with another and Angelina accordingly hauls him into court for breech of promise.  At the rise of the curtain, the Usher, while enjoining impartiality on the jurymen, shows a definite partiality himself for the fair Plaintiff.  Edwin explains that he simply happened to fall in love with another girl.  Though both Jury and Judge indicate that they have had similar episodes in their own pasts, they have little sympathy for him. Finally, the Judge, disgusted at the objections and eager to get away, marries Angelina himself. Trial By Jury was last produced by NYGASP in 2011.

The shows will feature a cast of talented NYGASP veterans and new Company members bringing these treasured productions back to life.  The cast of Trial By Jury features Daniel Greenwood as The Learned Judge and Rebecca L. Hargrove as The Plaintiff. Tenor Cameron Smith returns to the role of The Defendant. Amy Maude Helfer is portraying The Counsel, David Auxier is The Usher and Patrick Lord-Remmert is the Foreman of the Jury. The rest of the ensemble is rounded out by Caitlin Borek, Camilo Estrada, Chris-Ian Sanchez, James Mills, Katie Hall, Abby Kurth, Lance Olds, Logan Pitts, Maurio Hines, Michael Galante, Michelle Seipel, Sabrina Lopez, Viet Vo and Alexandra Imbrosci-Viera.

The ensemble is rounded out by Sam Balzac, Caitlin Borek, Michael J. Connolly, Hannah Eakin, Katie Hall, Jonathan Heller, Maurio Hines, Alexandra Imbrosci-Viera, Sabrina Lopez, Monique Pelletier, Logan Pitts, Nathan Seldin, and Sophie Thompson.

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