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by Robert Rollin

OLOLast Friday evening the Ohio Light Opera performed Cole Porter’s 1955 Broadway musical, Silk Stockings in Freedlander Theater at The College of Wooster. The show jumps between Paris and Moscow to depict a love story between Stephen Canfield, a sophisticated and somewhat world-weary American theatrical agent, and Comrade Ninotchka Yaschenko, a Soviet apparatchik.

Yaschenko is sent to Paris to bring back famous Russian composer Peter Ilyich Boroff, who has overstayed his official visit. Canfield manages Borof and also the dim-witted American diva Janice Dayton, who is in Paris to make an independent film about Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Canfield’s plan is to use Boroff’s communist party-approved Ode to a Tractor in the movie for $50,000, and to take a large cut for his commission.

Porter and his librettists George S. Kaufman, Leueen McGrath, and Abe Burrows add three bumbling but good-natured Soviet agents, several other minor characters, and a troop of chorus girls to the Paris mix to create a frivolously amusing and complex entertainment. Read the rest of this entry »


by J.D. Goddard

OLOBeginning in the 1870s, two Englishmen — playwright William S. Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan — revolutionized the musical theatre, creating a series of witty, melodic operettas that set a new standard for stage professionalism. Sullivan’s music sparkled with fresh melody, and Gilbert’s librettos blended silliness and satire in settings that ranged from pure fantasy to the utterly realistic. Innovative producer Richard D’Oyly Carte publicized these shows as “light operas”, but by any name, they were musicals — some of the finest the world would ever see in any language.” —John Kenrick

On Thursday afternoon, June 27, I traveled to Wooster to be delightfully entertained once again by a musical production of the Ohio Light Opera, the resident professional company of The College of Wooster. This was the opening performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s 1878 operetta H.M.S. Pinafore (The Lass that Loved a Sailor). This season marks the fifteenth time the OLO has counted Pinafore among its 120 productions over the past 35 years.

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