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I have a song to sing, O
Sing me your song, O
It is sung to the moon by a love-lorn loon
Who fled from the mocking throng-o
It’s the song of a merry man moping mum
Whose soul was sad and his glance was glum
Who sipped no sup and who craved no crumb
As he sighed for the love of a lady
 
Hey-di, hey-di, misery me, lack-a-day-de
He sipped no sup and he craved no crumb
As he sighed for the love of a lady

 
This past weekend, to celebrate the arrival of my cousin to the Bay Area (along with her thirtieth birthday), I took in a repeat performance of The Yeomen of the Guard by the Lamplighters Music Theatre. This was one of the first Lamplighter productions I ever saw and is the only one I have seen a second time. But it likely won’t be the last, as it looks like I have caught up in the Gilbert & Sullivan cycle to where I was when I first started subscribing in 2010. Unfortunately, because I haven’t been able to subscribe the past few years, I have missed a few key works that likely won’t come back into the rotation for some time.

In any case, this piece remains a delight, even though it has probably the saddest subject matter of all of Gilbert & Sullivan’s operettas. I was also happy to see that, with the help of supertitles, my French cousin seemed to get most of it. I guess even the tricky wordplay of Gilbert & Sullivan is nothing next to the Chinese she has been trying to follow for the past few years living in Shanghai.

While Jack Point was the ever-reliable F. Lawrence Ewing, most of the cast were new to me. Of particular note was Samuel Faustine who played Colonel Fairfax; I loved his clear tone and hope to see him again on the Yerba Buena stage very soon. His eventual partner in wedded bliss, Elsie Maynard, was played by Patricia Westley, who proved to be a serious counterpoint to Ewing on the lovely duet cited above. Rounding out the rather strong female half of the cast were Erin O’Meally as Phoebe and Sonia Gariaeff as Dame Carruthers. Another Lamplighter regular, Robby Stafford, played “man with the plan” Sergeant Meryll. Charles Martin was okay as Wilfred Shadbolt, but seemed a bit too old for the part.

Samuel Faustine as Colonel Fairfax (left) and F. Lawrence Ewing and Patricia Westley as Jack Point and Elsie Maynard (right).

Yeomen is the Lamplighters first production of the 2017-2018 season. They will continue the season next year in February with The Gondoliers (or The King of Barataria) and then close it out in March with a singalong version of Iolanthe, which I normally might not attend but since it is one of the major works that I haven’t seen yet (as well as my dad’s favorite), I may just have to suffer through the whole singing along thing.

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