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July 6, 2010

A reminder of Young Victorian Theatre Company's 40th anniversary season

If you were not diligently checking the august Sun over the July Fourth weekend, you may have missed a little article by moi about Baltimore's Young Victorian Theatre Company, so I thought I'd better make mention of it here. I'd hate for anyone to be deprived.

This weekend, Young Vic opens its 40th anniversary season of producing Gilbert and Sullivan operettas with a staging of "Iolanthe," the same work that launched the company. Back in that day, it was a mostly student-run operation. Things have gotten steadily more professional over the decades. The cast for the 2010 "Iolanthe" looks very promising (and sounded so during a brief bit of rehearsal I heard last week), and the team of stage director Jim Harp and conductor Phillip Collister is likely to produce notable results.

"Iolanthe" may be overshadowed, especially in this country, by "H.M.S. Pinafore," "The Mikado" and "The Pirates of Penzance," but it's packed with clever ideas and brilliant music. There are good reasons why lots of G&S aficionados rank it very high. Here's a little taste -- the opening chorus of ever-not-so-dainty fairies from a Stratford Festival production:

Posted by Tim Smith at 10:03 AM | | Comments (0)

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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