Gilbert & Sullivan Patience

America’s foremost Gilbert & Sullivan repertory ensemble, the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players (NYGASP), continues its new spring season with “Patience” on Sunday, March 11th (5PM) at Peter Norton Symphony Space (2535 Broadway at 95th Street). This is a one performance only event!

Under the artistic and music direction of Albert Bergeret, the company has presented over 2,600 performances throughout the United States, Canada, and England. Incorporating a 25-piece orchestra, its productions feature contemporary energy while retaining a traditional respect for each of the G&S masterpieces. New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players is considered by many to be the nation’s “leading custodian of the G&S classics.”

Albert Bergeret comments on the production: "Although Patience satirizes the Aesthetic movement of the late 19th century led by Oscar Wilde, Gilbert’s universal lampooning of human excess is obvious. The rival poets portrayed could just as well be competing rock stars and the aesthetic maidens their fan club groupies. The ridiculous posturing of these two stars and their addiction to popularity translates to any era or fad. Sullivan’s score captures the contrasting elements of bucolic beauty, military pomp, and vaudeville flair. The NYGASP production paints the wittily comedic potential of the plot in broad strokes while also showcasing the pathos in Gilbert’s recognition of feminism."

Patience, or Bunthorne's Bride features the sweet and vivacious village milkmaid of the title who cannot comprehend the languid infatuation of all the other ladies in town with Reginald Bunthorne, a self-styled disciple of the aesthetic movement. In true Gilbertian fashion, Bunthorne’s only true interest is Patience, the one woman who does not fall for his overblown pretensions. In stark contrast is a band of Dragoon Guards, stuffy military men, who come home looking for their former sweethearts only to find them inexplicably enamored of the newly minted aesthete. When Patience decides it is her duty to take Bunthorne off the market, all of the former lovers are temporarily reunited, until the appearance of Archibald Grosvenor, another self-absorbed aesthete whose fatal curse is “to be madly loved at first sight by every woman” he comes across. The ladies immediately switch their affections to this new apostle, even though Grosvenor is really in love with his former childhood play fellow, the confused milkmaid. Bunthorne is devastated by the loss of his star status until he convinces Grosvenor to renounce aestheticism, but this backfires when the women all decide that if Archibald the All-Right “chooses to discard aestheticism, it proves that aestheticism ought to be discarded”. The Dragoons all claim their former loves, Patience rejects Bunthorne in favor of the now common Grosvenor, and Bunthorne is left with nothing to admire but his mirror and a lily – one of the symbols of the aesthetic movement.

The NYGASP 2011-12 season is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State’s 62 counties.

Performance times for The New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players’ 37th season at the Peter Norton Symphony Space (2535 Broadway at 95th Street) are as follows: Patience – March 11th (5PM); the season will conclude with Iolanthe – Saturday, May 19th (3PM & 8PM) & Sunday, May 20th (3PM).

G&S FEST tickets are priced from $87 to $67, with $8 off for seniors and half price tickets for children 12 and under. Information and tickets can be obtained by phoning (212) 864-5400 or by visiting Discounted multiple buy ticket packages are available only through the NYGASP office at 212-769-1000.

Photo Courtesy Of: William Reynolds