Theater Review: 'The Yeoman of the Guard'

'The Yeomen of the Guard' has all the beloved ingredients of the Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas.

Theater Review 88 (photo credit: )
Theater Review 88
(photo credit: )
The Yeoman of the Guard By W.S. Gilbert & Arthur Sullivan Directed by Robert Binder Conducted by Paul Salter Choreography by Arlene Chertoff Encore Theater December 24 The Yeomen of the Guard has all the beloved ingredients of the Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas - the witty one-liners, the tongue-tripping patter songs, the fair maid pining for her handsome lover, the mature contralto (always a figure of fun), the clown, the rousing chorus and Gilbert's improbably melodramatic plot. Then, of course, there's Sullivan's music. Yeomen is considered by many to be the finest of his compositions, and indeed the complex score has some splendid moments, a challenge for any amateur company. Encore and the Jerusalem Gilbert and Sullivan Society rose to the occasion with aplomb. The chorus and the orchestra were well prepared, the action moved along at a spanking pace, and Musical Director Paul Salter conducted his singers and musicians with a firm hand. Aviella Trapido was outstanding as Elsie, a strolling singer, and Lisa Woo, as Phoebe, delivered a fine performance. Of the male singers (some of them not yet ready for a solo role), Bezalel Manekin was spirited and funny as Wilfred, head jailer at the Tower of London. The Yeomen were resplendent in their scarlet Beefeater uniforms, and altogether Ben Hashbaz's costumes and set were a feast for the eye.