Review: Patience

SN&R reviews a new production from Light Opera Theatre of Sacramento.

Who could you possibly be pointing at? Everyone in the village is behind you.

Who could you possibly be pointing at? Everyone in the village is behind you.

Photo courtesy of Light Opera Theatre of Sacramento

8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; $15-$20. 24th Street Theater, 2791 24th Street; (916) 258-5687; Through September 24.
Rated 5.0

Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience may be the silliest among their comic operas, and Light Opera Theatre of Sacramento is bringing out all the silliness.

The musical is a satire on the Aesthetic Movement, which was popular in Britain at the time of its writing in the 1880s and favored visual and sensual qualities over other practical considerations.

The object of almost every woman’s affection here is Reginald Bunthorne (Charlie Baad), who writes things like “Oh! to be wafted away from this black Aceldama of sorrow …” until a new “idyllic poet,” Archibald Grosvenor (Timothy Power), comes onto the scene. His poems are more of the “Gentle Jane was as good as gold / She always did what she was told” variety.

There is the puling milkmaid Patience (Kate Murphy), who doesn’t like poetry at all, but who is loved by both poets nevertheless.

And then there are the dragoon guards (though—I’m sorry—they look more like hotel bellhops) who used to be engaged to the maids and now have been usurped by their newfound love of poetry and poets. Colonel Calverly (Mike Baad) sings the show’s signature patter song and, with decades of experience, Baad nails it.

Perhaps the star of this production, however, is its 20-piece orchestra under the baton of Troy Turpen. It’s an almost-unheard-of sized orchestra for community theater, yet they played flawlessly and were able to both fill the theater and also play softly enough so as not to drown out the singers—not an easy task.