The Savoyaires, Evanston’s 47-year-old Gilbert & Sullivan theater company, open a triple bill this evening of three one-act plays from 1875 never before performed together.

The plays are “Eyes and No Eyes” by Gilbert, “The Zoo” by Sullivan, and the ever-popular “Trial by Jury,” the only joint one-act by Gilbert & Sullivan.

Top: In “Eyes and No Eyes,” brothers Arlequin (Roberto Quintanilla) and Pierrot (Kevin R. Siembor) and sisters Clochette (Ruth Brown) and Columbine (Laura Kimmel) are mutually in love, though exactly who is to marry whom remains undecided. Above: In “Trial by Jury,” the Learned Judge (Kingsley Day) attempts to restore order among (from left) the Usher (Christopher Skyles), the Defendant (Kevin R. Siembor), the Plaintiff (Olga Bojovic), and her Counsel (Matthew Dingels). (Photos by Alan Teller)

The score has been newly orchestrated by Evanstonian Francis Lynch, who additionally produced new piano-vocal scores for both “Eyes and No Eyes” and “The Zoo.” This will also be the Savoyaires’ first-ever production of “The Zoo” and the group’s first production of “Trial by Jury” since 1979.

Leading the orchestra for his fourth consecutive Savoyaires production will be music director Timothy Semanik, a recent doctoral graduate in conducting at Northwestern University.

Stage director for the triple bill is A.J. Wester, who has directed for St. Petersburg Opera plus educational productions for Lyric Opera of Chicago, Light Opera Works, and Chicago Opera Theater.

In “Eyes and No Eyes,” three sets of faithless lovers face a dilemma reminiscent of “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” In “The Zoo,” disguises and misunderstandings abound as a despondent suitor tries to throw himself into the bear pit. And in “Trial by Jury,” a thoroughly prejudiced judge and jury hear the case of a straying bridegroom and his jilted fiancée.

In “The Zoo,” Carboy (Matthew Dingels) attempts to revive Thomas Brown (David Craven) as Eliza (Adrianne Blanks) and Laetitia (Kristin Lutzeier) look on with concern. (Photo by Alan Teller)
Performances will be held at the Chute Middle School Auditorium, 1400 Oakton St. in Evanston, on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 2 at 3 p.m., October 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m., and October 16 at 3 p.m.

Tickets are $22/17/12, and $17/$12/$7 for ages 12 and under, and may be purchased
by phone at (847) 563-0155, online at www.savoyaires.org/tickets, or by mail from Savoyaires, P.O. Box 126, Evanston, IL 60204.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. A fun show worth seeing

    Just came back from seeing the show.  Some very funny parts with lots of excellent singing.  More than worth the price of admission.

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