West Michigan Savoyards is a Gilbert & Sullivan performing company that seeks to enrich the community of greater Grand Rapids and West Michigan and make community theater available to senior citizens and students.
Our 2017 production of Ruddigore was well-received by all who attended! Thanks to all for your support. Special thanks to the cast and crew who spent countless hours rehearsing, building sets, sewing costumes, and more.
2017 was the fifth year for our scholarship program. Area high schools were represented with essay papers relating Ruddigore to subjects including English, Government, Drama, Choir, and History. Click here for a list of winners and finalists.
2018 Production: April 19-22
Go to our Tickets page to purchase tickets online.
PLOT SUMMARY fOR THE GONDOLIERS – ACT I
The scene opens in
His Grace the Duke of Plaza Toro (Count Matadoro, Baron Picadoro), Her Grace the Duchess, their beautiful daughter Casilda, and their drummer, Luiz, now arrive in Venice from Spain. They have come to meet Don Alhambra del Bolero, the
When the Grand Inquisitor arrives, he explains that the prince was raised
In the next scene, the two gondoliers have married Tessa and Gianetta, and as they are extolling the virtues of marriage, Don Alhambra arrives and informs them that one of them is the King of Barataria, but no one knows which. Despite being Republicans, the gondoliers and their new wives are delighted, and agree to go to Barataria at once, acting as one individual until the actual king is identified. The Grand Inquisitor tells them, however, that ladies are not admitted until the actual king is identified, and then each couple can be reunited. The Grand Inquisitor neglects to mention that the King is married to Casilda, fearing that it would cause the men to refuse to leave their new wives. As the two wives are imagining what it will be like to be a queen, their friends enter, and Marco and Giuseppe announce their discovery and promise to reign in a Republican fashion. They announce that in their kingdom, “All shall equal be” and will create new posts such as “the Lord High Coachman on the Box, the Lord High Vagabond in the Stocks”. All the men then set sail for Barataria, leaving their wives behind in Venice.
In Barataria, the gondolier-courtiers are all enjoying living under “a monarchy that’s tempered with Republican equality”. Marco and Giuseppe have been doing all the work around the palace for the past three months – it is the privilege of royalty! They are happy enough with this arrangement, except that they are worried about having to share a single portion of rations between the two of them, and they miss their wives. Soon, however, all the ladies arrive, having risked the long sea voyage from Venice – they could no longer stand the separation. In delight, the reunited couples have a magnificent banquet and a dance (a cachucha).
The Grand Inquisitor arrives at the ball to find that the Republican gondoliers have promoted everyone to the nobility. He explains that there must be a distinction between commoners and those of rank, warning that “when everyone is somebody, then no-one’s anybody“. He then breaks the news that one of the gondoliers had married Casilda when a baby and therefore is an unintentional
The Duke and Duchess of Plaza Toro soon arrive with the beautiful Casilda. They are now dressed in style, and the Duke explains how he was applied for by the public under the Limited Liability Company Act, and how they now earn a very good living. Appalled, however, at the lack of pomp and ceremony with which they were received, he attempts to educate the two monarchs in proper royal behaviour. After a lesson in etiquette, the two Palmieri brothers are left alone with Casilda. She agrees to be an obedient wife, but warns them that she is “over head and ears in love with someone else.” Seizing this opportunity, the two men introduce their wives. The three ladies and two men sing a quintet about their unprecedented predicament.
Don Alhambra brings in the nurse who had tended the infant prince of Barataria twenty years ago. She reveals that when the Grand Inquisitor came to steal the prince, she had loyally hidden him away, and given Don Alhambra her own young son instead. Thus, the king is neither Marco nor Giuseppe, but her own son, Luiz. This resolves the romantic entanglements to everyone’s satisfaction. Casilda finds that she is already married to the man she loves, Luiz. The two gondoliers surrender their crown to Luiz and, though a bit disappointed that neither will be a king, they can return happily to Venice with their wives. There is a final dance for the full company, reprising the gondoliers’ Act I duet and the cachucha.
— Source: edited from Wikipedia