The Trumpet Bray
Newsletter of the New England Gilbert & Sullivan Society
P.O. Box 367, Arlington, MA 02174-0004
NEGASS dues are $15 and up. Please send membership inquiries to Bill Mahoney at the above address, or contact President Richard Freedman at

The MIT G&S Players perform in a venue without a curtain, so one's impressions begin with the set. And it was a favorable beginning, for their recent PIRATES, with a clean and open rocky backdrop that gave the feeling of openness. Part of that openness came from the absence of a stage right barrier between the set and the orchestra.

Despite a couple of weak (brass?) entrances, the orchestra performed to a generally high standard, providing a suitable balance for several impressive singing performances. Michael Goodwin (Frederic) was a more than adequate romantic tenor. Andrew Sweet (Major-General Stanley) was clear and very effective, and rattled off his signature song at an astonishing pace. But Andrew was noteworthy primarily for his polished Broadway-worthy footwork and for the fact that he had pitched in where needed by taking on, superbly and with short notice, the added role of Stage Director. Chris Montgomery (the Pirate King) was popular with the audience, but more for his charismatic acting than for his voice. Randi Kestin (Ruth) was a little surprising in singing an effective enough contralto while looking nothing like the classic Wagnerian battle-axe. But the class of the show, vocally, was Mavie Marcos (Mabel), with an accurate, clear, and soaring coloratura voice.

Costumes and lighting were simple but effective. Choreography, as is common for this group, was scarcely present. But the choruses were charming, presenting a variety of individual characterizations. Costumes were attractive. Staging, pacing, etc., all combined to make a very creditable performance.