The Pittsburgh Savoyards make Pittsburgh history this spring as they conclude their 85th season with the Pittsburgh Premiere of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Thespis, OR: The Gods Grown Old stage directed by Robert Hockenberry and music directed by Guy Russo.
Audiences will be transported to Mount Olympus, where the elderly pantheon of deities complain of feeling old and lament their waning influence on Earth. An acting troupe headed by Thespis, the legendary Greek father of the drama, makes their appearance and convinces the gods to trade places with them temporarily. The actors turn out to be comically inept rulers, committing such errors on Earth as ruining the weather, starting wars, and even getting rid of all the wine!
After seeing the ensuing mayhem below, the angry gods return, sending the actors back to Earth as “eminent tragedians, whom no one ever goes to see.”
Although it was the first collaboration between Gilbert and Sullivan, Thespis productions are a rare treat. While Gilbert’s libretto still exists, no musical score was ever published, and much of Sullivan’s original music was lost to history. Happily, composer and the former University of Pennsylvania musical director Bruce Montgomery has expertly recreated the missing score. The Pittsburgh Savoyards brings this lost operetta to Pittsburgh audiences for the first time!
Performances are at The Greater Pittsburgh Masonic Center, 3579 Masonic Way, Pittsburgh, for two weekends: April 28, 28, and 30, and May 5, 6, and 7. Tickets are available at: https://www.pittsburghsavoyards.org/wordpress/thespis-2023/
Categories: Show Previews
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