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Get Your Patter On: G&S Fest 2010

The New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players (NYGASP), America’s preeminent professional G&S repertory company, launches its G&S Fest 2010, presenting four classic shows between January 8 and 17, 2010. The fest plays at New York City Center - Main Stage, West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, New York, New York 10019.

This year’s Fest presents what are arguably the three most popular and widely-performed shows—including by schools—that instantly say “Gilbert & Sullivan”: The Mikado, H.M.S. Pinafore, and The Pirates of Penzance. Also included is the less-frequently performed Ruddigore.

The Fest begins with the ever-popular (and much-spoofed) Mikado, which Gilbert, a former lawyer, had swathed in Japanese decor to disguise his swipes at British realpolitik.

The duo’s first production together was H.M.S. Pinafore, which took the stage when England was thick with class consciousness. But Pinafore presented the revolutionary notion that when True Love strikes, class distinctions are moot. (Or are they?)

The second G&S collaboration, The Pirates of Penzance, is jolly fun, but with two morsels of food for thought: that a) accident of birth can be a bummer; and b) pirates are really all "noblemen who have gone wrong."

In 1869, Gilbert had written a short play, Ages Ago, for an intimate theatre presentation. For the famed British theatre had hit a nadir in the early mid-Victorian period, and playgoing was shunned by respectable folk. To indulge thespian thirsts, however, plays were allowed to be performed only at private gatherings. The productions were at first mounted very simply, often in parlors of private homes, and in order to avoid censure by calling them “plays”, were known as “Illustrations.” By 1875 theatregoing was respectable again, and Ages Ago later became the basis for the G&S collaboration that was Ruddigore.

This year, NYGASP presents an all-new production of Ruddigore, eagerly awaited by G&S fans everywhere.

Performance Schedule:

The Mikado
Fri, Jan 8 @ 8:00pm | Sat, Jan 9 @ 8:00pm | Sat, Jan 16 @ 2:00pm

The Pirates of Penzance
Sat, Jan 9 @ 2:00pm | Fri, Jan 15 @ 8:00pm

H.M.S. Pinafore
Sun, Jan 10 @ 3:00pm | Tue, Jan 12 @ 7:00pm: FREE Kids Night

Thu, Jan 14 @ 8:00pm | Sat, Jan 16 @ 8:00pm | Sun, Jan 17 @ 3:00pm

"So give three cheers and one cheer more for the" three Great Classics and old Ruddigore!

More information can be found at

G&S Fest 2010
January 8-17, 2010
New York City Center - Main Stage
West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues
New York, New York 10019

The New York Times Arts & Leisure Weekend On Sale Now

As one of New York's most anticipated cultural events to kick off the new year, The New York Times Arts & Leisure Weekend features must-see speakers from theater, art, dance, film, music, literature and media.James McAvoy

Pre-sale tickets for 2010's installment of Arts & Leisure weekend are now available. The four-day TimesTalks event will take place from Jan. 7 through Jan. 10, 2010 at the TimesCenter in Midtown Manhattan.

Joining some of The New York Times' journalists are NBC late-night host Jimmy Fallon, Precious director Lee Daniels and the film's star Gabourey Sidibe, Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi and judges Gail Simmons and Tom Colicchio, Golden Globe award-nominated actor James McAvoy (Wanted, Atonement) and more guests still to be announced. There will be a special opening night discussion with Cirque du Soleil writer-director David Shiner, choreographer Jared Grimes and dancers from the cast. A performance will follow.

The latest addition to this year’s line-up is the five-time Tony Award-winning star of A Little Night Music, Angela Lansbury interviewed by Anthony Tommasini

• Previously announced is the star of the new film Crazy Heart, Jeff Bridges interviewed by Lynn Hirschberg

• Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash interviewed by Jon Pareles

• Best-selling crime novel authors Lee Child (Gone Tomorrow) and Carol O’Connell (Bone by Bone) interviewed by Janet Maslin

• Tony Award-winning actor Alan Cumming interviewed by Patrick Healy

• Director and star of the award-winning new indie film Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire, Daniels and Sidibe interviewed by Patricia Cohen

• NBC late-night talk show host Fallon interviewed by Bill Carter

• Author and star of the autobiographical Broadway show Wishful Drinking, Carrie Fisher interviewed by David Carr

• Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights Beth Henley, Donald Margulies and John Patrick Shanley interviewed by Robin Pogrebin

• Talent from Bravo’s hit television reality show Top Chef, Padma Lakshmi, Eric Ripert and Gail Simmons interviewed by Frank Bruni

• Golden Globe-nominated actor James McAvoy interviewed by Melina Ryzik

All My Children creator and head writer Agnes Nixon, actors Rebecca Budig, Susan Lucci, Cameron Mathison, Debbi Morgan and executive producer Julie Hanan Carruthers discussing the 40th anniversary of the groundbreaking daytime drama, with Jacques Steinberg

• Star of Jim Sheridan’s film Brothers, Natalie Portman interviewed by Patrick Healy

• The star of the upcoming Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge, Liev Schreiber interviewed by Lynn Hirschberg

• Performers from Cirque du Soleil’s Banana Shpeel with writer-director David Shiner and choreographer Jared Grimes interviewed by Jason Zinoman.

Tickets are $30 per event and are general admission. Additional information and announcements to come are available at

The New York Times Arts & Leisure Weekend
Jan. 7 to Jan. 10, 2010
242 West 41st Street
New York City

Circle Mirror Transformation Briefly Returns

Playwrights Horizons' recent production of Annie Baker's play Circle Mirror Transformation is returning for a limited engagement.

The play, which chronicles the lives and happenings of four small-town Vermont residents who have enrolled in a drama-class experiment at the local community center, will be performed at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater in Lincoln Square from Dec. 15, 2009 to Jan. 17, 2010. The comedy features Obie Award-winners Reed Birney, Deirdre O'Connell and Heidi Schreck, as well as Tracee Chimo and Tony Award-nominee Peter Friedman.

Tuesday through Friday performances start at 7:30 p.m. Saturday performances are held at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday performances take place at 2 and 7 p.m. Added Monday evening performances for Dec. 21 and Dec. 28 start at 7:30 p.m.

More information on Circle Mirror Transformation's brief return to the theater can be found at:

Circle Mirror Transformation
Limited Engagement
Dec. 15, 2009 to Jan. 17, 2010
Peter Jay Sharp Theater
416 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036

Columbia University Premieres KafkaFest

MFA Directing students in their second year at the prestigious Columbia University, School of Art have just premiered KafkaFest, the first festival of its kind to feature Franz Kafka-inspired works.

KafkaFest is a 10-day venture of new theater and art sparked by the work of this famed fiction writer. From Dec. 3 through Dec. 13, 2009, Columbia students will put on six original shows for free to the public in various locations on the university's campus.

The schedule of performances includes:

Rain Machine

directed by Kon Yi
Dec. 4 to Dec. 6, 2009
Horace Mann Theater
8 p.m. Friday & Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday

A Letter to My Father
directed by James Rutherford
Dec. 4 to Dec. 13, 2009
Conference Room, Schapiro Hall
8 p.m. 12/4, 8 & 10 p.m. 12/5, 5 p.m. 12/6, 8 p.m. 12/7, 8 p.m., 12/9, 8 & 11 p.m. 12/11, 7 & 10 p.m. 12/12, 5 p.m. 12/13

Room 603
directed by Carin White
Dec. 10 to Dec. 13, 2009
Room 603, Dodge Hall
8 p.m. Thursday & Friday, 4 & 6 p.m. Saturday & Sunday

directed by Jess Smith
Dec. 10 to Dec. 13, 2009
Schapiro Theatre
8 p.m. Thursday, 7 p.m. Friday, 2 & 7 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday

Kafka Parables
directed by Jonathan Vandenberg
Dec. 11 to Dec. 13, 2009
Horace Mann Theater
8 p.m. Friday & Saturday, 3 p.m. Saturday & Sunday

Look Away
directed by Anna Brenner
Dec. 10 to Dec, 13, 2009
Schapiro Theatre
9 p.m. Friday, 3 & 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday

In addition to the Kafka-driven performances, the Columbia School of Art will also feature other artists within the university community. Arrive before the performances, and there will be pre-show discussions with Anne Bogart, Gideon Lester and more to be announced.

To reserve tickets and find additional information, head over to:

Dec. 3 to Dec. 13, 2009
Columbia University, various locations

615 West 115th Street
New York, NY 10025

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