Gilbert and Sullivan devotees come and play!

I’m listening to the soundtrack of “Topsy Turvy”, a film about how Gilbert and Sullivan came to write and produce “The Mikado.” Who else saw the film and loved it and/or has the soundtrack or other G&S films/CDs, etc.

I’ve liked Gilbert & Sullivan operettas ever since I was a kid. I have complete sound recordings of “The Mikado” and H.M.S. Pinafore", have seen Pinafore on stage and a movie version of “Pirates of Penzance”, but I didn’t seen “Topsy Turvey.” I heard that there were some morally objectional parts in the film. Were there?

I’m a late comer to G&S, but I appreciate their humor and music in a day when songs are mostly about sex and the music is of questionable quality.

Topsy Turvy does have a scene in a French brothel with partial nudity. And Sullivan is depicted in an ongoing affair with a married woman (although their scenes together are PG13 not X).

If you manage to find a copy, you can zip through the brothel scene and simply enjoy the film for the historical accuracy/atmosphere, the wonderful musical performances (from at least 4-5 operas), and the fine acting on everyone’s part.

Look for Andy Sirkus as the choreographer–he’s hilarious.

The DVD is no longer being produced and sold (why I don’t know), but you can get the soundtrack, which is excellent.

I didn’t know about this one, I’ll have to check it out :slight_smile:

Don’t listen to G&S much, but sure, they’re fun. I love ‘Ruddigore’ (Vincent Price made an excellent Despard). I think the only one I’ve seen on stage was ‘The Pirates of Penzance’, but there are plenty of usually low-budget video versions to be had (special effects by PowerPoint, that bad, but hey, as long as it sounds good).

I was in ‘the Gondoliers’ in high school (humble chorus member only, and being an all-girls school that involved cross-dressing which has probably scarred me for life or something) :smiley:

And I’ve seen all the better-known ones - Pirates, Pinafore, The Mikado - as well as their one-act work ‘Trial by Jury’ which is about a lawsuit stemming from a broken engagement.

They really did write some glorious words and music didn’t they :harp:

I don’t have a huge amount of knowledge on Gilbert & Sullivan, but I did see “Topsy Turvy” and really enjoyed the movie.

Incidentally, Veggietales did an episode based on “The Mikado”. It was called “Sumo of the Opera”. It was great. My kids love it.

Actually, for anone who watches Veggietales out there, there are many references to Gilbert & Sullivan throughout the series. It’s obvious that their creator is a G&S fan.

Scout :tiphat:

My dh and I have attended productions of Pirates and Pinafore at our local community theater. They were lively interpretations, if a bit amateur. We missed their Mikado, though. :frowning:

What struck me when watching Topsy Turvy was how small the stage was on which these productions were first done. So, our local theater productions are probably closer to how they were originally done than many put on in larger theaters. There’s nothing quite like seeing them in an intimate setting, done with lots of vigor and youthful imagination.

It’s a pity more of our high schools don’t do G&S these days. I think the kids would have a lot of fun doing them; besides learning something about the origins of musicals, absurdist humor, and the Victorian era.

I’ve heard Gilbert and Sullivan could hardly stand each other and worked by mail only.

Their relationship had many ups and downs because they were so very different from one another. No doubt they went through a period in which they didn’t see each other, as you describe, but not for the whole of their careers.

I’m a G&S fan and loved Topsy-Turvy! They did a remarkable job capturing the era, particularly the Japanese Exposition and how The Mikado came to be. Good movie.

For about a decade I was in many G&S operettas with a local theater group that did only G&S. I’m a contralto, so I usually played the fun charaacter roles like Ruth in Pirates of Penzance, Buttercup in H.M.S. Pinafore, Mad Margaret in Ruddigore, and the eponymous Iolanthe. I did get to play one ingenue role, Phoebe in Yeomen of the Guard, and I was Pitti-Sing in Mikado.

I really wish that high schools would do G&S – the storylines are so fun, and the music and lyrics are glorious! So many musicals that high schools perform need to be cleaned up (for Catholic schools, any way). Grease, for example, needs a whole lot of cleaning up – as do Sweet Charity and Cabaret. These plays are popular around here, and they’re entirely inappropriate in their original form!

I say BRING BACK G&S!!!

'thann

My wife and I rented this movie and watched it together back when we were dating (she doesn’t watch a lot of movies, but she loves Gilbert and Sullivan). One of the really moving moments I remember is the scene with the actress sitting in her dressing room singing “The Sun Whose Rays” to herself very sadly. That song has had a lot more depth for me ever since.

Edwin

We recorded the film from our TV when it ran on one of our Dish Network stations a couple years ago. If we hadn’t we would have it now because, sadly, no more copies have been produced or are being sold.

You must have had a great time playing those parts. I’d never heard of G&S until I’d graduated from college!

And I so agree about having the high schools do G&S. They’d be much better on several levels.

My wife and I rented this movie and watched it together back when we were dating (she doesn’t watch a lot of movies, but she loves Gilbert and Sullivan). One of the really moving moments I remember is the scene with the actress sitting in her dressing room singing “The Sun Whose Rays” to herself very sadly. That song has had a lot more depth for me ever since.

Edwin

Yes, the actress’ sad life made that song come to life, as did knowing something about the lives of the others in the film. This is why performing arts need to be performed and not just read in our schools.

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