IN 2020, SAVOY WELCOMES THE GHOSTS OF PERFORMANCES PAST!
PRESENTING RUDDIGORE

A message from Amber Gay, President of The Savoy Company:

I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy during this extended period of isolation. As you know, Savoy’s Board of Directors has been actively following the COVID-19 situation and meeting regularly (via video conferencing) to discuss our options moving forward. The health and safety of our members and patrons has been and will always be our top priority. As such, one month ago, we made the difficult decision to cancel our May and June performances of Ruddigore.

Given logistical concerns and the continued uncertainty surrounding the virus and the reopening of venues in the Philadelphia area, the board of directors voted this week to postpone our production of Ruddigore until the spring of 2021. Our cast, crew, and production team have put a lot of hard work into making this one of our best shows yet, and we want to give them and our patrons the opportunity to experience this fantastic production as it was intended. We are coordinating with our venues and look forward to announcing the 2021 show dates as soon as they have been finalized.

The Board is making several options available for those who have already purchased tickets and/or advertisements for our 2020 production of Ruddigore. Those individuals will be contacted individually to determine their preference.

The Savoy Company is a non-profit arts organization and as such, we share the same challenges as other arts organizations. As you can imagine, we have already incurred expenses related to set work, costume construction, and other parts of the production. One of the benefits of moving Ruddigore to 2021 is that not all of these outlays will have been wasted; however, we will certainly not recoup all of our expenses. Our revenue comes largely from ticket sales, but with no performances this year, our financial outlook for the year has changed substantially.

Now more than ever, we appreciate the overwhelming support of our patrons and donors. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to help Savoy offset this year’s expenses and plan for 2021, you may do so via the donate link at savoy.org or by check made payable to The Savoy Company. Thank you very much for your patience and support of Savoy. For all other questions, please email us at savoy@savoy.org.

I wish you, your friends, and family both health and happiness during these trying times and look forward to seeing you again soon.

Our 2019 Show: The Yeomen of the Guard

The Yeomen of the GuardSuzanne Roberts Theatre
Friday, May 17th at 8:00pm
Saturday, May 18th at 2:00pm and 8:00pm

Longwood Gardens, Open Air Theatre
Friday, June 7th at 8:30pm
Saturday, June 8th at 8:30pm

After storming Parliament in Iolanthe in 2018, The Savoy Company is proud to return to the Suzanne Roberts Theatre in 2019 with Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Yeomen of the Guard or The Merryman and his Maid!

In the early sixteenth century, Colonel Fairfax, framed on a charge of sorcery, is imprisoned in the Tower of London, set to be executed; his friend Sergeant Meryll and Meryll’s amorous daughter Phœbe hatch a plot to loose Fairfax and let him assume the place of Meryll’s son, due to join the Yeomen of the Guard.

Meanwhile, the strolling players Jack Point and Elsie Maynard take service with the Lieutenant of the Tower; the Lieutenant, who has been asked by Fairfax to find him a woman to marry (in order to keep his property from going to the cousin who framed him), convinces Elsie (and Point, who loves her) to let a blindfolded Elsie be Fairfax’s bride, since the groom will be executed immediately thereafter. The marriage accomplished, Meryll springs his plot; Elsie and Point are horrified to find that her husband is still alive. When Fairfax learns that it is the winsome Elsie whom he has married, he resolves to woo her in the character of Leonard Meryll, and succeeds in gaining her affections, though she refuses to marry him until assured that she is free of Fairfax.

Meanwhile, Point and the oafish gaoler Wilfred Shadbolt plot to declare that Shadbolt has shot the escaped Fairfax, but that the body unfortunately sank in the river. Elsie, to the grief and shock of Point and Phœbe, agrees to marry Leonard/Fairfax, but is shocked in her turn when she learns that Fairfax has been pardoned and come to claim her. Her tears turn to joy when she learns that Fairfax is Leonard — but the opera ends on a melancholy note, as Point, seeing that Elsie is lost to him forever, “falls insensible” at her feet.

2019 Cast

  • Elsie Maynard: Meghan Curry
  • Phoebe Meryll: Jen Chesterson
  • Dame Carruthers: Shellie Camp
  • Kate: Lauren Meyer
  • Sir Richard Cholmondeley: Fred Dittmann
  • Colonel Fairfax: Phoenix Fritch
  • Sergeant Meryll: A.J. Kait
  • Leonard Meryll: Eli Rosen
  • Jack Point: Jack Ingram
  • Wilfred Shadbolt: Guillermo L. Bosch
  • First Yeoman: Gene Schneyer
  • Second Yeoman: Matthew Butt
  • First Citizen: Aaron Manthey
  • Second Citizen: Doug Smith

Our 2018 Show: Iolanthe (or, The Peer and the Peri)

Twenty-five years ago, Iolanthe, a fairy, committed the capital offence of marrying a mortal. The Fairy Queen reduced her sentence to exile, on condition that she leave her husband and never see him again. Iolanthe’s son, Strephon, has grown up, half fairy, half mortal. He loves Phyllis, who is a Ward of the Court of Chancery. The House of Lords have also fallen in love with her.

As the curtain rises, the Fairy Queen pardons Iolanthe. Her son, Strephon, then announces his desire to marry Phyllis. Meanwhile, the House of Lords appeal to the Lord Chancellor to give Phyllis to one of them. Phyllis demurs, announcing her desire to marry Strephon. The Lord Chancellor refuses. Strephon is crushed and Iolanthe tries to comfort her son in a tender moment. This is misconstrued as a fling with a young girl and Phyllis, in anger, decides to marry one of the Lords.

The fairies take Strephon’s side, punishing the Lords by sending Strephon into Parliament and casting a spell to make them pass any bill that he wishes. Meanwhile, the Lord Chancellor decides he wants to marry Phyllis. To prevent the Lord Chancellor from marrying Phyllis, Iolanthe reveals herself to him as his long dead wife. She is condemned to die by the Fairy Queen who subsequently discovers that all the fairies have fallen in love and married all the peers. She can’t execute everybody, so she gives up and marries a mortal herself. With everyone happily coupled, they all fly off to fairyland.


Our 2017 Show: H.M.S. Pinafore (or, The Lass That Loved a Sailor)

His Majesty’s Ship, “Pinafore,” is anchored in the harbor at Portsmouth. The sailors are busy scrubbing the decks for the expected arrival of Sir Joseph Porter. K. C. B. Little Buttercup, a bumboat woman who is by no means as small as her name would imply, comes aboard with a stock of “snuff and tobaccy and excellent jacky,” not to mention “excellent peppermint drops.”

It transpires that a handsome young sailor, Ralph, is in love with the Captain’s daughter, Josephine. She, however, is to be betrothed to Sir Joseph Porter, who duly arrives attended by “his sisters and his cousins and his aunts.” In the meantime, Ralph plans to elope with Josephine, the crew assisting. The plot is overheard by Dick Deadeye, the lugubrious boatswain.

As Act Two begins, Captain Corcoran is alone on deck and sings to the moon. Little Buttercup comes to him and reveals her affection. He tells her that because of his rank he can only be her friend; but she hints darkly that a change is in store for him, saying that “things are seldom what they seem.”

Sir Joseph returns, complaining that Josephine does not favor his suit. The Captain comforts him by averring that she is awed by his lofty station and suggests that he plead his cause on the ground that love levels all rank. Still Josephine does not respond, for her heart is set upon Ralph.

Dick Deadeye reveals the elopement plan, and he and the Captain lie in wait for the crew, “carefully on tip-toe stealing.” The elopers are captured, and the Captain is so exasperated that he actually swears, using a “big, big D” which is overheard by Sir Joseph Porter. For this serious breach of morals, a horrible example of depravity before the whole crew, the Captain is ordered to his cabin.

Affairs are interrupted by Little Buttercup, who discloses a secret, telling how the Captain and Ralph had been accidental]y exchanged while they were both babies. Whereupon, Sir Joseph, with true Gilbertian logic, sends for Ralph and makes him Captain, and at the same time reduces Corcoran to Ralph’s former humble grade of “able seaman.” Now, since it is out of the question for one of Sir Joseph’s exalted station to marry the daughter of a mere seaman, his Lordship nobly consents to the marriage of Ralph and Josephine. The erstwhile Captain consoles himself with Little Buttercup.

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