For the first time since 2019, the Savoyaires are producing a full-scale two-act Gilbert & Sullivan operetta this fall.

And this year’s show is “The Gondoliers,” which also happens to be the first show the local G&S group produced way back in 1965.

Virtually the entire artistic staff of the company’s last three shows is returning this year.

Stage director Kingsley Day is helming his fourth Savoyaires production; as a performer he appeared in 18 company productions, playing the lead patter-baritone role in all 14 G&S operettas.

Music director Timothy Semanik, conductor of the Northwest Symphony, Salt Creek Chamber Orchestra, and Bradley University Orchestra, returns for his 15th consecutive show as conductor of the 30-piece Savoyaires orchestra.

Jeff-winning costume designer Tom Kieffer is back for his 7th Savoyaires production, lighting designer Kurt Lemke for his 4th, and producer Laima Day for her 18th.

Returning from last year’s production of the one-act Trial by Jury and the one-act chamber “jukebox operetta,” Six Characters in Search of Gilbert & Sullivan, is set designer and technical director Andy Armstrong.

Joining them this year is choreographer Britta Schlicht, who most recently choreographed musicals at Chicago’s City Lit Theater and Pride Arts Center.

Michael Coduto and Ross Matsuda rehearse for their roles as gondoliers Marco and Giuseppe.

In The Gondoliers, two Venetian gondoliers wed their sweethearts, only to learn that one of the two (but who knows which?) is a crown prince and was married as a baby to a duke’s daughter. Yet she is now hopelessly in love with the duke’s lowly attendant.

Only the prince’s former nursemaid can solve the complicated plot.

The score includes “We’re Called Gondolieri,” “When a Merry Maiden Marries,” “Take a Pair of Sparkling Eyes,” and other Gilbert & Sullivan favorites.

Performances will be held at the auditorium in Chute Middle School, 1400 Oakton St. in Evanston, at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, Sept. 29-30 and Oct. 6-7, and at 3 p.m. on Sundays, Oct. 1 and 8.

Tickets are $30/25/20 ($25/20/15 for ages 12 and under) and may be purchased online or by phone at 847-563-0155 or by mail at Savoyaires, P.O. Box 126, Evanston, IL 60204.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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