Friday, September 19, 2008

Benefits for St. Vincent DePaul Place

The 28-year-old Middletown-based Connecticut Gilbert & Sullivan Society will revive "Patience," in October as a benefit for St. Vincent DePaul Place, which served 80,000 meals to the needy and homeless last year. "Patience" is a satire on the aesthetic movement which flourished in Britain between 1870 and 1885, chief proponents of which were Oscar Wilde, Algernon Swinburne and James Whistler. The work pokes fun at affectation and excess in cultural fads and ubiquitous commercialism. Performances are Oct. 24 and 25 at 8pm and Oct. 26 at 2pm in "the old Middletown High School" (now Woodrow Wilson Middle) on Hunting Hill Avenue.

This comic masterpiece premiered in London in 1881; Oscar Wilde was handsomely paid to lecture on the work in the States prior to its tour. "Patience" was moved to the lavish Savoy Hotel and Theatre, built for the presentation of G&S works; it was the first theatre to be lit by electric light. "Patience" is now enjoying revivals, recordings and DVDs made by many international companies.

Featured in the CG&SS revival are Dave Henderson, Katherine Yeager and Jeff Soun Long of Middletown, Allan and Victoria Church of Meriden, Bill Ziegler of Chester, Carol Connolly of New Haven, Kathleen Thompson of Hebron, Caroline Ismail of Waterford, Hal Chernoff of Simsbury, Renee Haines of Southington, and Don Shirer of Westbrook. There are 50 performers, a 23-piece professional orchestra, and a production staff of 25 artists, stage hands, costumers, set designers, painters and administrators. Sue Sweeney is rehearsal accompanist. Robert Cumming will direct and Dr. John Dreslin will conduct.

Fifty percent of profit from "Patience" will be matched 50% by the Mayor of Middletown. Tickets are $25 (adults) and $15 (students) prior to Oct. 19; adult tickets are $30 thereafter and at the door. Checks to CG&SS may be mailed to CG&SS, Box 2152, Middletown, with a small self-addressed, stamped envelope enclosed.

The revival/benefit is aided in part by Pfizer, Bank of America, and the Middletown Foundation for the Arts.

For further information call 1-800-866-1606 or visit

Press contact: Bob Cumming, 1-800-866-1606 or 860-873-1207.

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