I asked Kevin Paul Wickart to tell me a little about the upcoming Gilbert and Sullivan show from Prairie Fire Theatre, and here's what Kevin had to say:
"It is, it is a glorious thing to be a Pirate King!" The glory of some of the best music and lyrics of all time comes out in Prairie Fire's lastest show, "An Evening of Gilbert and Sullivan," aka "Gilbert and Sullivan a la Carte." The revue features 29 songs from G & S comic operas, including "The Major General's Song," "Willow, Tit-Willow," and "The Lost Chord."
The songs are brought to life by a trio of vocalists--soprano Danelle Ekhart, tenor Paul Cochran, and baritone Kevin Paul Wickart--under the musical direction of Michael Schneider and accompaniment by Charlie Berggren. The overall production is directed by Phil Shaw.
Rather than grouping the songs by show, the revue instead uses them to highlight the history of the great songwriting duo. The audience is taken on a journey through their triumphs and tribulations as the cast assumes the roles of Gilbert (Wickart) and Sullivan (Cochran), with Ekhart serving as occasional narrator and incidental characters.
Whether you like Gilbert and Sullivan or not--or if you simply aren't sure--you are certain to enjoy the energy and playfulness evident on the stage.
Thanks, Kevin, for the info! I'm a big fan of the movie "Topsy Turvy," which gives a backstage look at Gilbert and Sullivan and some of the performers and personages around them, so Prairie Fire's revue sounds very appealing. Plus, Prairie Fire always excels at G & S. The show opens tomorrow, October 15th, and runs through the weekend, with performances at Westbrook Theater in Presser Hall on the Illinois Wesleyan campus. Tickets are available online or at the door. For more information, visit the Prairie Fire Theatre website.