I've just finished Directing and Choreographing a production of The Gondoliers with my local Musical Theatre group and coasting off the high of that experience I've been casting about for another equally inspiring project. Tonight I finished reading Sullivan & Gilbert and it brought me to tears! What a wonderful play you have there! I'd like to ask you to tell us a little about your research for this particular production. What led you to it in the first place and very specifically, what made you choose the musical selections that you did? I am thrilled that the Cachucha is included, (The Gondoliers is my Favourite G&S), but surprised at some other wonderful songs that are not included in your play. So, I am assuming that there were very specific reasons for your choices. I'd love to have some insight into that process as I plan to put this show to the board for their consideration. I'll keep you posted if their response is positive!
Thank you for your wonderful, thoughtful email. I'm so glad you enjoyed Sullivan and Gilbert and I'd be very glad to answer your questions:
Sullivan & Gilbert was one of my earliest plays and the inspiration for it was the relationship between my brother and me. Gilbert and Sullivan might as well have been brothers.
They were enormously close and adored each other. (As do my brother and I.) Of course they had squabbles, but they'd always end up putting things right.
I've always loved the world of Gilbert and Sullivan, ever since I can remember. And though I'm a dyed-in-the-wool opera fanatic, G&S is the one area of operetta that I enjoy equally.
As for the selections, I thought about them long and hard. I tried to choose songs that, although they were performed independent of the plot revolving around Gilbert and Sullivan themselves, somehow reflected on the action of the play. I hated to leave out some of the standards, of course, but I was also didn't want to over-egg the pudding. When all is said and done, Sullivan & Gilbert is a play with music, and it's paramount that the story has enough drive to keep us interested. Hopefully there's enough variety in the 15 or so songs in the score that anyone who doesn't know Gilbert and Sullivan's incredible works will come away with a real love for their musicals.
It's wonderful to hear that you'll be proposing the play to the board of your Musical Theatre group. Please keep me posted. In the meantime, do let me know if you have any other questions about the play. I'd be more than happy to respond.
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