Gilbert and Sullivan bring “Patience” to the Grand

ELLSWORTH — The Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Maine and the Grand Auditorium present a live production of “Patience” for two weekends, Feb. 5-7 and 12-14.

In this 40th anniversary Gilbert and Sullivan Society show, performer Leslie Michaud makes her stage directing debut, and veteran music director John Haskell returns to conduct the ensemble.

“Patience,” the sixth of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operatic collaborations, satirizes fads, particularly the late-Victorian aesthetic movement, and the shallowness of public taste. First performed at the Savoy Theatre in London in 1881, “Patience” was the first theatrical production in the world to be entirely lit by electric lights. The nicknaming of Gilbert & Sullivan players and fans as “Savoyards” commemorates this intersection of popular culture and technology.

Patience, the dairy maid, is a rural innocent who rejects the intellectual and art-for-art’s-sake concerns of her poet admirers, her rival “rapturous maidens” and their jilted military lovers. As is typical in Gilbert and Sullivan, a sequence of silly philosophical decisions mixes up the couples and brings them to unexpected outcomes.

For 40 years, the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Maine has brought together newcomers and generations of loyal community theater group members who love to sing and perform these operatic works. It has an unbroken history of annual productions since 1976. The society won first prize for its performance of “Utopia, Ltd.” at the first-ever International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival in Buxton, England, in 1994, much to the surprise of the English Gilbert and Sullivan companies competing in the festival. Returning by invitation to the International Festival three more times, several members of the company have won awards for individual performances.


Shows are Friday, Feb. 5, at 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 6 and 7, at 3 p.m., Friday, Feb. 12, at 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 13 and 14, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $21, $19 for seniors and students. Call The Grand box office at 667-9500 or visit

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