Over the years I have grown accustomed to high quality Gilbert & Sullivan operettas being performed here in the Chicago area on the University of Chicago and Northwestern campuses. I have so enjoyed these performances at Mandel Hall by the Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company and the University of Chicago Department of Music and at Cahn Auditorium by the Bienen School of Music. But little did I know, until recently, that there was another Gilbert & Sullivan production company located in Evanston, called the Savoyaires, that has been doing annual performances for fifty-three years.
Last night I went to see the Savoyaires’ performance of Thespis at the auditorium of Chute Middle School in Evanston. I was impressed. Although Thespis is one of the more infrequently performed operettas in the Gilbert & Sullivan canon, with a preposterous story (there is even a character named Preposteros in it) of the Olympian Gods and a theatrical company trading places for a year, it is truly great fun with fantastic music and characteristically intelligent humor. Kat Stevens, as the puckish Mercury, steals the show, although Kingsley Day as Thespis, the manager of the traveling theater company, also turns in a memorable performance.
I encourage you to see this performance as it is only playing this weekend and next. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.savoyaires.org.