Iolanthe

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What does an Ivy League Manhattanite deal with yearnings for high school musical stardom do for an encore? Why, participate in the Blue Hill Troupe, of course. This collection of bankers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and other assorted professionals by day become Savoyards by night (and weekend), mounting the works of Gilbert and Sullivan for charity since 1924.

This year’s offering, “Iolanthe,” sends up the House of Lords and the legal profession by mixing their fate with the world of fairies. How very British to smile at a legislative body with a centuries-long track record of doing nothing, but with great pomp and vanity.

The cast and crew are all volunteers, with the exception of Sarah Moulton Faux, a winsome City Opera soprano in the leading role of Phyllis, the ward of the Lord High Chancellor and the love object of every male character in the farce. Although her Barnard heritage does put her into the Ivy League tradition of the BHT.

In today’s supercharged and vitriolic American election season, it is refreshing to have the gin of Gilbert and the tonic of Sullivan in a light froth of good-hearted fun. Change is possible, if only we can still laugh at ourselves.

“Iolanthe” runs at El Teatro de Museo del Barrio through April 16.

Phil Neches

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