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Gilbert and Sullivan Comedy ‘Iolanthe’ is Feb. 24-26

By: Sherry Squires   Published 9:59 am / February 13, 2012

Boise State’s departments of Music and Theatre Arts jointly present the comedy “Iolanthe” Feb. 24-26. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, and Saturday, Feb. 25, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26, in the Student Union Special Events Center.

Politics and aristocracy meet the fairies of Fairyland in Gilbert and Sullivan’s hilarious comedy “Iolanthe.” Widely considered one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s best works, “Iolanthe” is a zany ride to a place where romance, politics, money and magic meet — in ways only Gilbert and Sullivan could imagine.

Musically, the work has more complexity and depth than almost any other Gilbert and Sullivan collaboration, said musical director and producer Laura Rushing-Raynes. The musical score borrows compositional techniques from composer Richard Wagner’s ring cycle (think of the fairies as lightweight valkyries with their own musical themes) and, to a certain extent, parodies Mendelssohn’s ballet music from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

“We get a superbly engaging blend of musical comedy, opera and ballet — along with Gilbert and Sullivan-style absurd, satiric portrayals of British aristocracy, politics, battles between the sexes and class distinctions,” Rushing-Raynes said.

In addition to Rushing-Raynes, the collaboration between the departments of Music and Theatre Arts features Christopher Raynes as stage director, working closely with Idaho Dance Theatre co-artistic director Marla Hansen; Craig Purdy, conductor; Ann Price, stage voice and dialect coach; Mike Baltzell, technical director; and Keri Fitch design supervision. The cast is an intriguing and creative mix of music and theatre arts students, with the lead role of the Lord Chancellor, played by Alaggio Laurino, an art history major with an extensive musical theatre background.

To learn more about Gilbert and Sullivan and “Iolanthe,” visit math.boisestate.edu/gas/iolanthe/html, a website maintained by associate math professor emeritus and Gilbert and Sullivan fan Alex Feldman.

Tickets are on sale now at all Select-a-Seat outlets. All current full-time Boise State students, faculty, alumni and staff may get one free ticket at the Student Union Information Desk with their Boise State ID card. General admission tickets are $12 each. Non-Boise State students of any age, seniors (60-plus) and military members may purchase tickets for $10 with ID. Tickets also may be purchased at the door beginning one hour before show time. Doors open a half hour before the show.

For more information, visit theatrearts.boisestate.edu, call 426-3957 or send an email to theatrearts@boisestate.edu.