MONMOUTH — Theater at Monmouth’s 46th season continues with the opening of Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera, “Ruddigore,” or “The Witch’s Curse” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17. Filled with what The Daily Gazette called Gilbert’s “humorous satire” and Sullivan’s “melodic genius which never fails,” “Ruddigore” combines wit and whimsy for a magical, mystical, murderous good time.

Many years ago, the Baronets of Ruddigore were cursed by a witch to commit a crime a day or be tortured to death. To escape this dreadful fate, the latest Baronet, Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd, disguises himself as a simple farmer, Robin Oakapple. Oakapple is in love with the Rose Maybud and wants to wed but their “rosy” future is doomed when his true identity is revealed.

Ruddigore showcases the talents of community members and actors from away, including Jamie Beth Weist as Mad Margaret; David Handley as Old Adam Goodheart; Matt Anderson as Richard Dauntless; Connor McAndrews as Robin Oakapple; Laura Whittenberger as Rose Maybud; Cynthia McGuire as Ruth; Timothy Madden as Sir Despard; Joe McGrann as Sir Roderick; Sabrina Yocono as Dame Hannah, and Karen Lipovsky as Zorah. Directed by founding artistic director Richard Sewell, choreography by Adam P. Blais, music direction by Rebecca Caron, costumes by Christine Niles, and lights by Jim Alexander.

Director Richard Sewell is the founding artistic director of Theater at Monmouth, where he directed classic plays from Shakespeare to Stoppard and everything in between; this production marks the first time he has returned in more than 20 years. A longtime actor, director, teacher and playwright, Sewell has written more than 16 plays and three adaptations. His plays have inspired productions, public readings or awards from theatres in Boston, New York, Los Angeles and Miami, among others.

Cumston Hall was the summer home of the American Savoyards from 1953 to 1960 presenting the works of Gilbert & Sullivan in traditional D’Oyly Carte style for 10 weeks each summer. For more than a decade, Theater at Monmouth has carried on this tradition presenting the works of Gilbert & Sullivan in both modernized and traditional productions. “Ruddigore” is the final production in TAM’s three-year commitment to produce Gilbert & Sullivan

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