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April 11, 2008     Cape Gazette
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April 11, 2008

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94 - CAPE GAZETTE - Friday, April 11 - Monday, April 14, 2008 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Society to feature 'The Mikado' as spring operetta Two-act comic opera slated for May 10-11 A semi-staged performance of Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta, "The Mikado," will be performed by the Southern Delaware Choral Society in its annual spring con- cert at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, May 10 and 3 p.m., Sunday, May 11, in the theater at Delaware Technical & Community College in Georgetown. Under the direction of John Ranney, the choral group will per- form the music of the entire operetta accompanied by a story narration which has been written and will be performed by Roo Brown of Lewes. Also featured during the performance will be guests, pianist Paul Fleckenstein and tenor Gary Briggle. "We are very excited to be doing something so original and unlike anything we have done before," said Southern Delaware Choral Society (SDCS) President Clement Edgar. "Members have been so enthusiastic and we are lucky to have such a fine selection of beautiful voices and, of course, the professional direction of John Ranney." The music to the two-act comic opera, which deals with themes of death and cruelty, was written by Arthur Sullivan, and the libretto by W.S. Gilbert. The ninth of 14 operettas written by the famous collaborators, "The Mikado," also" Submitted photo Clement Edgar, Southern Delaware Choral Society president, left, is shown with John Ranney, director. The choral society will present "The Mikado" May 10-11. known as "The Town of Titipu," opened March 14, 1885, at the Savoy Theater in London and ran for 672 performances. It was the longest run of any theater piece up to that time. The work has been translated into numerous lan- guages, and it is one of the most frequently played musical theater pieces in history. Setting the opera in Japan, the exotic locale, so far away from England, allowed Gilbert to sati- rize British politics and institu- tions more freely by disguising them as Japanese. The operetta encompasses a wide variety of musical scores for full chorus, solos, duets and trios. Major parts are sung by Paul Hanke as The Mikado, guest artist Gary Briggle as Nanki Po, Richard Freeman as Ko-Ko, Don McCabe as Pish- Tish, John Ranney as Pooh Bah, Lee Mitchell scholar Allison Clendaniel as Yum-Yum, Marsha Shull as Pitti Sing, Beverly LaFazia as Peep-Bo and Rebecca McDaniels as Katisha. Mounting a production of the "The Mikado" for anyone, includ- ing the Southern Delaware Choral Society, can be a daunting task. There are 'more than 60 singers, nine principal performers and a guest performer to sing 24 sophis- ticated songs in British accents while Ranney not only directs the music but sees to it that all those soloists are in the right place at the right time. Beside that, Ranney has to move around as he sings the role of Pooh-Bah, the Lord High Everything Else, a Noble Person of High Degree. Edgar, who just took over the presidential reins prior to the Christmas concert, is a big fan of the director. "John is a singer and an expert in choral music, having graduated from St. Olaf's College in Minnesota, the premier college in the world for a cappella singers," he said. "He's been there and done that." Ranney is also looking forward to a reunion with a former college classmate, guest tenor Briggle. At school they were both in a produc- tion of Gilbert and Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance." Edgar and Ranney agree that while this is among the most diffi- cult concerts for the choral socie- ty, it has also been fun and rewarding. Both men are totally confident that this will be a pre- mier concert for the popular choir. The Southern Delaware Choral Society is supported in part by grants from the Delaware Division of the Arts, the Sussex County Council, the Freeman Foundation and the City of Lewes. Information is available online at Tickets are $15 for the general audience and $10 for students and may be purchased at Puzzles in Lewes and Browseabout Books in Rehoboth or by calling 645-2013. For more information, visit dm Snarky Puppy fetching first show April 11 at Dogfish Features Grammy winning keyboardist 'Sput' Dogfish Head will host a night of progressive, genre-crossing music in Rehoboth Beach at 10 p.m. Friday, April 11, when it presents seven-piece world-jazz phenomenon Snarky Puppy. Hailing from Denton, Texas, Steppin' 0u and made up mostly of former music students from University of North Texas, Snarky Puppy blends a strong sense of musicali- ty and virtuosity with raw, organic musical instincts. Snarky Puppy's seven-piece act will perform Friday, April 11, at Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats. Rooted in the tradition of Herbie Hancock's Headhunters, Bjork, Wayne Krantz and James Brown, Snarky Puppy's unique blend of jazz, funk and world music brings strong, soulful grooves and uncompromised musicianship to the world of mainstream instrumental music. They have recently shared the stage with groups such as Victor Wooten's Soul Circus, Rudder, the RH Factor, Ari Hoenig and Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk through- out the continental United States. The band has won the favor of critics and music celebrities, elic- iting praise from Andre 3000 of Outkast ("excellent, excellent music") to bass virtuoso Victor Wooten ("totally killin' ") to jazz legend Marc Johnson ("incredible writing, incredible playing"). Snarky Puppy will feature Grammy Award winner Robert "Sput" Seafight on keyboards, whose performing credits include Snoop Dogg, Kirk Franklin and Erykah Badu, whom he plays with currently. The evening will thrill jazz, funk, soul, hip-hop, gospel, elec- tronica and rock fans as the band seamlessly weaves genres in its own innovative way. The Rehoboth Beach concert is Snarky Puppy's only free admis- sion performance of its tour. Snarky Puppy has music for sale on its own website and can be seen on In other local entertainment news..."The Old Lady and the Plumber" comedy show will take the stage, Saturday, April 12, at Jake's Seafood House, Route 1, Rehoboth. Tickets are $20 and now on sale for the 9:30 p.m. per- formance They couldn't be more differ-. ent. First, there's 30 years' differ- ence in their ages. He's tall; she's dumpy. He's a blond; she has blue hair. Brian Jones, the plumber, has concocted some of the zaniest props to be seen anywhere. Sheet metal and piaster aren't usually found in a comedy act, but he has found a way. He's been on the comedy stage for years and has played clubs up and down the East Coast, bringing an irreverent syle to his adult-content show. Mary Anne Nichols, the old lady with the amazingly honest oulook on aging, has a couple of props, too, but most of her act is a crusty observation of the senior scene. Nichols has been around the comedy circuit for years play- ing clubs from Canada tO the Cayman Islands. The duo gets together often to write new material and critique each other. They met at a comedy competition two years ago and they have been going strong ever since. For information and reser- vations call 644-7711. DEWEY BEACH Dewey Beach Club: 1205 Highway One. Every Thursday, Continued on page 98 Mary Anne Nichols and Brian Jones will perform their comedy act April 12, at Jake's Seafood House.