Yeoman of the Guard
The artistry lies in the intersection of silly story and witty music. The score features marvelously layered duets, trios and quartets—sung in this production by tall Tevye Ditter (the gallant Fairfax), Katie Baad (Elsie), Mike Baad (Sgt. Meryll), Elaine Berman (Dame Carruthers), Joseph Falla (the jailer Wilfred) and others. There’s also a chorus of 16 singers plus a 16-piece orchestra, which delivers good work under the brisk baton of conductor Sean Bianco (opera host at Capital Public Radio). Now add a marvelous cameo by buff black bodybuilder Brian Lewis, who says not a word but dominates his single scene as the shirtless, broad-shouldered Headsman, with his face covered by a hood.
This show doesn’t feature a standout professional-level performer like Craig Morphis (from last year’s Iolanthe at Davis Comic Opera Company), but Yeoman’s cast performs more evenly as a group. If you’ve never sampled Gilbert and Sullivan, this show represents a reasonably good place to give them a try.