Slideshow: BACK ON THE BOARDS - WISH YOU WERE HERE, Gilbert & Sullivan Austin, premiering November 24 at 7 p.m.

(screen captures from video by Zack Kearns)



G&S Austin is “Back on the Boards” on Thanksgiving Eve, November 24, 20212


A lively offering of familiar Gilbert & Sullivan numbers in traditional staging celebrates the holiday months of 2021. Streaming free of charge via the GSA website from 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving eve, November 24, through the end of the year, the program brings celebrated Austin performers to you in duets and solos on the stage of the Worley Barton theatre. The collection is a sampler of delights, including numbers from The Mikado, The Pirates of Penzance, HMS Pinafore, Iolanthe, Ruddigore, and The Yeomen of the Guard.


Directors Jan Jones and Holton Johnson bring back some of the best—Art DiBianca as the very model of a modern major general, for example, Shelby Schisler as Mad Margaret, and Sam Johnson as the Pirate King—and provide new faces and new combinations. Director Holton Johnson and GSA Music Director Jeffrey Jones-Ragona also step up for powerful entertainments.


All fifteen scenes took place on the GSA “home stage,” recorded with meticulous attention to lighting, sound, and video to Jeanne Sasaki’s accompaniment on the grand piano. The program is subtitled “Wish You Were Here” as the GSA reminder that the safety of its cherished audiences is at the heart of the company’s planning. The 400 seats of the theatre were empty as performers, directors, and technical staff collaborated to produce the gift of G&S wit and music for the holidays.


Planning for 2022 foresees a return to live performance, with a gala celebration of 45 years of GSA scheduled for February 24 at Chez Zee, a staged concert in March that places John Wellington Wells of The Sorcerer in contemporary Las Vegas, and a full run in June of The McAdo, set in a mythical Scotland and done with a libretto with fewer than twenty adjustments of the text.


Performing every year since 1976, Gilbert & Sullivan Austin is devoted to its participants (all of them from Austin!) and to its audiences (now from across the world, thanks to the company’s use of streaming technology).  Everyone is invited, everyone is welcome, as the innocent merriment continues!