Cox and Box/Trial By Jury (2020)

Greetings

It is with regret that we have decided to cancel the upcoming performances of Cox and Box/Trial by Jury (April 17-May 2). With the current situation due to the Coranavirus (COVID-19) being very uncertain and the potential risk to our audience and our cast and crew we believe this is the best decision for everyone.

We are actively working on rescheduling the show to the middle of July with the hope that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) threat will have passed and we can resume a more normal life. Once we have confirmed plans we will pass that information on to you.

Please rest assured that we will refund any tickets already purchased or apply the purchases to the rescheduled performance. Please contact us at info@lightoperaofportland.org with your choice.

We greatly appreciate all of the support that you have provided us over the years and hope to provide more “Absurdity done in complete sincerity” soon. Like so many, this is providing a financial hardship for the company. Please consider donating to help us through, if you are able.

Regards
David W. Smith
Producer/Treasurer

Summary – Cox and Box

Cox and Box; or, The Long-Lost Brothers, is a one-act comic opera with a libretto by F. C. Burnand and music by Arthur Sullivan, based on the 1847 farce Box and Cox by John Maddison Morton. It was Sullivan’s first successful comic opera. The story concerns a landlord who lets a room to two lodgers, one who works at night and one who works during the day. When one of them has the day off, they meet each other in the room and tempers flare. Sullivan wrote this piece five years before his first opera with W. S. Gilbert, Thespis.

The piece premiered in 1866 and was seen a few times at charity benefits in 1867. Once given a professional production in 1869, it became popular, running for 264 performances and enjoying many revivals and further charity performances. During the 20th century, it was frequently played by the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company in an abridged version, as a curtain raiser for the shorter Gilbert and Sullivan operas. It has been played by numerous professional and amateur companies throughout the world and continues to be frequently produced. (from Wikipedia Cox and Box)

Cast

James John CoxLaurence Cox
John James BoxCarl Dahlquist
Sergeant BouncerJonny Roberts
Man on StreetDennis Britten

Summary – Trial by Jury

Trial by Jury is a comic opera in one act, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. It was first produced on 25 March 1875, at London’s Royalty Theatre, where it initially ran for 131 performances and was considered a hit, receiving critical praise and outrunning its popular companion piece, Jacques Offenbach’s La Périchole. The story concerns a “breach of promise of marriage” lawsuit in which the judge and legal system are the objects of lighthearted satire. Gilbert based the libretto of Trial by Jury on an operetta parody that he had written in 1868.

The opera premiered more than three years after Gilbert and Sullivan’s only previous collaboration, Thespis, an 1871–72 Christmas season entertainment. In the intervening years, both the author and composer were busy with separate projects. Beginning in 1873, Gilbert tried several times to get the opera produced before the impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte suggested that he collaborate on it with Sullivan. Sullivan was pleased with the piece and promptly wrote the music.

As with most Gilbert and Sullivan operas, the plot of Trial by Jury is ludicrous, but the characters behave as if the events were perfectly reasonable. This narrative technique blunts some of the pointed barbs aimed at hypocrisy, especially of those in authority, and the sometimes base motives of supposedly respectable people and institutions. These themes became favourites of Gilbert through the rest of his collaborations with Sullivan. Critics and audiences praised how well Sullivan’s witty and good-humoured music complemented Gilbert’s satire.[1] The success of Trial by Jury launched the famous series of 13 collaborative works between Gilbert and Sullivan that came to be known as the Savoy Operas.

After its original production in 1875, Trial by Jury toured widely in Britain and elsewhere and was frequently revived and recorded. It also became popular as a part of charity benefits. The work continues to be frequently played, especially as a companion piece to other short Gilbert and Sullivan operas or other works. According to the theatre scholar Kurt Gänzl, it is “probably the most successful British one-act operetta of all time”. (from Wikipedia Trial by Jury)

Cast

The Learned JudgeMike Mendyke
The PlaintiffBecca Stuhlbarg
The DefendantTom Hamann
Counsel for the PlaintiffKen Malucelli
UsherBIll Wuertz
Foreman of the JuryMarcos Galvez
AssociateTBD
First BridesmaidMandee Light

Chorus

Bridesmaids

Beth Kahlen
Catherine Huard
Mandee Light
Mele Howland

Gentlemen of the Jury
Allen Dennison
Carl Dahlquist
Jonny Roberts
Marcos Galvez
Thomas McAuley

Public
Anne Kalibaba Larkin
Bryna Montgomery
Dennis Kelly
Harold Williams
James Montgomery
Jan Rosenthal
Michael J. McGee

Crew

DirectorDennis Britten
Asst. DirectorBeth Kahlen
Musical DirectorDr. Linda Smith
Asst. Musical DirectorLindsey Lefler
ProducerDavid Smith
Production Technical DirectorDennis Freeze
Stage Manager/Prop MasterAmy Barnhart
Lighting DesignDennis Britten
LightingDavid Smith
Box Office ManagerTBD
House ManagerJanelle Reinhardt
AccompanistYvette Starkey
Costume CoordinatorAmy Barnhart
SetDennis Britten
PublicityLaurence Cox
OutreachGabrielle Widman
MembershipDr. Linda Smith
Program and Web SiteSheryl Wood
PostersDavid Smith
LogoTony Smith