Morgan gives us a teen's perspective on our penultimate 2011 Focus Theater: Lamplighters Music Theatre!
LOCATION: Centralized on Bryant Street in San Francisco, but performs in theaters throughout the San Francisco and elsewhere, including in Walnut Creek, Livermore, and Napa.
LAMPLIGHTERS IN THREE WORDS:
Hysterical, extravagant, classic (mmm, what more could you ask for?)
FAVORITE LAMPLIGHTERS PLAY:
Such a tricky question! The Mikado, with their rendition of The Secret Garden coming in at a close second. Any production of Pirates of Penzance is incredible too, as well as their yearly satirical Lamplighters Gala fundraisers.
PEOPLE TO KNOW AT LAMPLIGHTERS:
Baker Peeples, the incredible resident musical director of the Lamplighters. A man of extraordinary musical talent, Peeples manages to maintain the traditional opera/operetta musical format while still keeping his productions sounding clean, precise, and fresh. He is also always dressed impeccably; expect him to be looking sharp in a tuxedo during every performance!
FAVORITE THING ABOUT LAMPLIGHTERS:
The Lamplighters is like witnessing a tiny piece of history. It focuses mainly on the productions of Gilbert and Sullivan, seasonally rotating their classics such as The Mikado, Yeoman of the Guard, and HMS Pinafore, and occasionally interspersing them with other operas/operettas such as The Secret Garden. Gilbert and Sullivan wrote their pieces in the mid to late 1800s. At that time, these pieces were considered to be the most edgy, scandalous works of the day. Going back and witnessing them in the 21st century is like examining history: not only is it incredible to witness just what things were considered "raunchy" during the 1800s, but it is also fascinating to contemplate just how relevant so many of these issues remain today.
WHO WOULD YOU TAKE TO A "CLASSIC LAMPLIGHTERS" SHOW?
Probably Gilbert and Sullivan themselves! I'm sure it would be fascinating for them to see how their works are still being produced and discuss with them how timeless these pieces really are.
ONE IMPORTANT THING TO KNOW ABOUT LAMPLIGHTERS:
Don't be intimidated by the concept of opera/operetta! While it may seem slightly out of your comfort zone if you aren't used to the format, don't be scared! Baker Peeples stresses the importance of diction like no other music director, so you will without question hear all of the words-and thus hear all of the jokes-without any problem. Also, the Lamplighters often provides supertitles projected above the stage, just in case anyone has trouble deciphering the story line. So just sit back, relax, and enjoy!