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THEATER All 'T,' some shade in Transgressive's double bill
by Aaron Hunt
2018-09-10

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Audiences will take tea with Queen Elizabeth and dine on champagne, cucumber sandwiches, and gay pride cake during Transgressive Theatre-Opera's double-header of one-act comic operas. Also on the roster: jury duty in the case of two men bound by leather and S&M, and embroiled in a breach of promise dispute. The snacks and shenanigans are part of TT-O's staging of Trial By Jury and The Masque at Kenilworth.

Trial By Jury premiered in 1875, but TT-O has updated W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan's early work, casting the arguing couple as two men and making the judge in the case a sexually enterprising woman.

The Masque at Kenilworth was commissioned in 1864 by the Birmingham Music Festival, the libretto's conceit being a courtly entertainment for Queen Elizabeth during a mythical visit to Kenilworth Castle in 1575. Sullivan penned the libretto at only 22—leaving some to opine that it was an unfitting outing for a composer at the beginning of a promising career. Rarely performed, the opera shows a youthful Sullivan already capable of composing lush choral music and fresh melody.

Performances are Sept. 21-22 at Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 1650 W. Foster AVe. Tickets are $30; visit TransgressiveTheatre-Opera.org .


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