Last night we saw the local Lyric Theatre production of Gilbert & Sullivan's "The Grand Duke," G&S's last collaboration and a show rarely performed.
It was great! The music was sprightly, the orchestra was very good, the singing were excellent, the costumes were fabulous, and the dancing was well planned and executed. The lyrics were just plain hilarious: Parenthetical comments about orthography in rhyming quatrains; songs with laments in Greek (for the stage full of Athenians dancing in attitudes).
All these years I had heard the show was not first-rate G&S; that it was tired, stodgy, just the old war horses going through the motions. Not true! Not even remotely true. Imagine, rather, G&S deciding that this was their one last chance to write a "G&S" -- and who to do it better?
It was witty; it was grand. All the parts are written for actors playing actors, and all the songs are sung by lyricists with voices. If you've never seen "The Grand Duke" (and that includes almost all of us), you must see it. And even if you have seen it, you should see this one. There are three more performances. Go.