Sneak peak of Gilbert and Sullivan’s ‘Iolanthe’

BAR HARBOR — Members of the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Maine will discuss their upcoming performance of “Iolanthe” and perform pieces from the show Friday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. at the Jesup Memorial Library.

They will also discuss the Victorian librettist W.S. Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan and the impact the duo has had on music, theatre, culture and literature. Cast members David Porter and Joe Marshall will discuss the show with director Dorothy Alf-Wheatcraft. They will perform select pieces from the show accompanied by musical director Sandy Blanchette on piano.

“Iolanthe,” or “The Peer and the Peri,” opened at the Savoy Theatre on Nov. 25, 1882 and ran for 398 performances. It is the seventh of Gilbert and Sullivan’s collaborations.

The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Maine will perform “Iolanthe” at the Grand in Ellsworth from Feb. 8-10 and then from Feb. 15-17.

Twenty-five years before the action in the operatta begins, the Fairy Court banished Iolanthe for falling in love with a mortal. Now, the Fairy Court is ready to accept Iolanthe and her son Strephon back into their fold; except that Strephon is in love with a mortal girl — as are several Peers of the Realm. The ensuing drama involves deceit, curses and love.

The cast includes Tiffany Laufer as Iolanthe, Debra Hangge as The Fairy Queen, Stephanie Bradshaw as Leila, Lauren Billings as Celia, Demelza Ramirez as Fleta, Eileen York as Phyllis, Peter Miller as Strephon, Joe Marshall as Lord Chancellor, John Cunningham as Private Willis, Mike Smith as Tololler and Roland Dube as Mountararat. Sandra Blanchett is the musical director for this production and Clayton W. Smith conducts the orchestra.

For more information on the Gilbert & Sullivan Society, visit For more information on the talk, contact the Jesup at 288-4245.

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