The lovely Angelina sues Edwin for a breach of promise of marriage and captivates the Judge’s heart, in Gilbert & Sullivan’s delightful Trial by Jury, the most successful British one-act operetta of all time!
Including opera in my love of musical theatre has always been a challenge for me. Until I came across the Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company this year, that is. Stephen Hage reached out to me and invited me to review H.M.S. Pinafore, and it was wonderful.
Bollywood Dance Scene’s Spicy Masala Chai was one of the first shows I put on my schedule (see my review here), and GSVLOC’s Trial by Jury happened to have a show scheduled in the same place in the slot before SMC. Done deal!
I arrived at Rarig about 30 minutes before the show started and was pleasantly surprised to find the line already out the door. I don’t know about you, but I just love the energy of a buzzing crowd.
We all settled in, prepared to enjoy the ridiculously fun ride that is Trial by Jury.
As you may have guessed, the one act show takes place in a courtroom. Complete with a 12-piece orchestra conducted by Marina Liadova – totally normal, right? What I love is that besides providing the music, the orchestra takes on a personality of their own and feel like an additional cast member in and of themselves.
Members of the jury and the court audience filter in and the madness begins. There’s the Edwin the Defendant, played by the charming Felix Aguilar Tomlinson, who has gone back on his promise to marry Angelina the Plaintiff, played by the lovely and sweet Grace Lowe. Edwin’s joined by two aloof “floozies,” played by the delightfully silly Sarah Wind Richens and Madeline Veenker, which certainly doesn’t help his case.
Alas, Edwin still proposes (pun intended?) that he marry Grace today and one of the floozies tomorrow. Steve Hendrickson as The Learned Judge decides “That seems a reasonable proposition,” but we question his judgement since his grand entrance includes him sporting a flask.
This is just a small part of the absurdity that is a Gilbert and Sullivan show, and GSVLOC brings us beautiful operatic voices, lots of giggling, and an all around entertaining Fringe show. They excel at performing to the audience in a way that will make you feel like you’re part of the show.
With a run time of approximately 35 minutes, I only wish it was longer! For more information and to read more reviews, see the Trial by Jury page here.
The Minnesota Fringe Festival runs July 30 – Aug 9. Check out the Fringe website for more details.