Comic opera Sorcerer explores magic of love
The MIT Gilbert and Sullivan Players.
Directed by Wayne Vargas.
La Sala De Puerto Rico.
Friday, 8:00 p.m. Saturday, 2:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m.
By Teresa Esser
The Sorcerer is a delightful comic opera about the magic of love and the logistical problems associated with wanting to share romantic happiness with others. The story is set in the Victorian village of Ploverleigh. The play's first act opens with dancing and singing in celebration of the fact that two young people from the village aristocracy are about to be married. Alexis (Krishan Oberoi), son of Sir Marmaduke Pointdextre (Neal M. Addicott '97), an elderly Baronet, is about to be married to Aline (Suzy Glazer '98), daughter of Lady Sangazure (Mary A. Finn '81).
This union is heralded with great joy by all of the villagers except Constance Partlet (Susan E. Rushing '99), who is romantically depressed by her own crush on Doctor Daly (Ryan B. Caveney '96). Unfortunately for Constance, Dr. Daly remains politely unaware of her affections despite Mrs. Partlet's (Randi Kestin) every effort to alert him.
The strange thing about The Sorcerer is that although Alexis and Aline are being joined in holy matrimony, Alexis shows no desire to quit the village and begin his honeymoon. Instead of jumping on a coach and catching the first boat bound for the continent, Alexis takes his new bride on an excursion down one of London's side streets to visit the shop of Mr. Wells (Daniel P. Kamalic '99). There, Alexis hopes to purchase a potion that will cause the entire village to fall in love. It seems that young Alexis believes in love for love's sake, and he is rather obsessed with the notion that his idealized love can "transcend mere legal conventions" and create a utopian community of universal love and happiness, until now unknown to his fellow villagers.
Dr. Wells, of the firm of J.W. Wells & Co., Family Sorcerers, St. Mary Axe, is the character in this Victorian cast who most resembles an MIT student. Full of magical incantations and demonic audio-visual aids and possessed of an entire stockroom full of alchemical concoctions, Dr. Wells is happy to assist Alexis. Although some reservations are expressed about the wisdom of casting a spell on an entire town, Alexis pays them no heed and goes ahead with his romantic notions. He and Aline gladly serve out cups of the love potion to their unwary neighbors at the village tea-party.
The individual performances in The Sorcerer are generally strong, with kudos going to Caveney and Glazer. But the true star of the show is Kamalic, whose rapid-fire solos are both talented and amusing. The orchestra, directed by Bruce Miller, provides a high-quality musical performance and is an essential part of the comic opera. Watch for interesting musical diversions via the flute (Aranka Matolcsy) and flute/piccolo (Joy J. Nicholson '98).