Returning to the Savoyaires stage for the first time in nearly two decades, Gilbert & Sullivan’s "The Yeomen of the Guard" combines Gilbert’s razor-sharp wit with Sullivan’s richest score in the pair’s most heartfelt story.
Subtitled The Merryman and His Maid, The Yeomen of the Guard is the Evanston company’s 55th annual G&S production.
Virtually the entire artistic staff of last year’s production of Ruddigore returns for Yeomen: resident director Kingsley Day, who as a performer appeared in 17 Savoyaires productions, playing the lead patter-baritone role in all 14 G&S operettas; resident music director Timothy Semanik, conductor of the Northwest Symphony, Salt Creek Chamber Orchestra and Bradley University Orchestra, returning for his 12th consecutive show as conductor of the 30-piece Savoyaires orchestra; Lauren Griffith, last year’s choreographer and this year’s assistant director; Jeff-winning costume designer Tom Kieffer, returning for his fifth Savoyaires production; set designer Jessica Howe and lighting designer Kurt Lemke; and resident producer Laima Day, returning for her 16th year. Joining them for Yeomen is choreographer Caroline Sandrell.
The Lieutenant of the Tower of London (Noel Taylor) makes a strange proposal to strolling players Jack Point (Benedict Hensley) and Elsie Maynard (Anna Caldwell).
In The Yeomen of the Guard, a traveling jester and his comic and (he hopes) romantic partner become embroiled in a plot unfolding at the Tower of London during the reign of the Tudors.
A dashing colonel has been unjustly condemned to be beheaded, and the yeomen’s sympathetic commander conspires to spring him from prison. The commander’s daughter has fallen in love with the prisoner but must contend with the unwelcome romantic attentions of a sadistic jailer— just as her father tries to elude the affections of the tower’s tough-as-nails housekeeper.
Strolling players Jack Point (Benedict Hensley) and Elsie Maynard (Anna Caldwell) offer entertainment at the Tower of London.
Featuring a daring escape, a faked murder, and a wedding with a blindfolded bride, The Yeomen of the Guard is rife with jealousy, deception, romance, hilarity, and heartbreak.
Performances will be held at Chute Auditorium (Chute School), 1400 Oakton Street in Evanston, on Friday and Saturday, October 4 - 5, at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, October 6, at 3 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, October 11 - 12, at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, October 13, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $29/24/19 ($24/19/14 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.
The Savoyaires are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.