Friday, March 15, 7:30 PM Saturday, March 16, 7:30 PM Sunday, March 17, 2:00 PM Mandel Hall 1131 E 57th St
A classic of British musical theater, German & Hood’s Merrie England unfolds to the backdrop of an idyllic, romanticized Tudor period... that is quickly unraveled by scurrilous love, jealous rivalries, harebrained murder plots, and witchcraft, of course. The heart of Queen Elizabeth I belongs to the frustratingly charming Sir Walter Raleigh—who, unbeknownst to his Queen, loves another: the Lady-in-Waiting, Bessie Throckmorton! When a love letter intended for Bessie falls into the hands of the rather unfortunate Jill-All-Alone, the horrid truth unravels, no thanks to the machinations of the Earl of Essex, and the Queen’s wrath swiftly follows. The only force standing between these unfortunate fellows and certain doom? An ill-conceived murder plot brewing in the court and, just maybe, the merry monarch’s gracious mercy.
Spurring over five hundred amateur productions during Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation year (1953), Sir Edward German’s Merrie England was the first new project launched at the Savoy Theatre after the death of Arthur Sullivan. Featuring masterful wordplay and a lively score in the style made famous by its predecessors, German’s patriotic operetta is a raucously fun tribute to the pioneers of English comic opera.