Gilbert and Sullivan's Ruddigore, one of their very best, and the least-known of their very best, is running at Lyric Theatre in San Jose. It continues next weekend, so you may go too.
The sets, though not the costumes, are black-and-white designs inspired by Edward Gorey. This worked better for the spooky castle in Act 2 than for the fishing village in Act 1.
The orchestra and music direction (conductor, Jeff Yaeger) were excellent, best in an amateur G&S show I've ever heard. The rhythms bounced along invitingly, whether the singers could keep up or not.
Some could, some couldn't. The results here were mixed.
Despard (Jordan Eldredge) was pretty good, threatening in Act 1 and dignified in Act 2. So was Mad Margaret (Rachel Larsen) who was, unusually, clothed entirely differently in the two acts, which helped a lot. Robin (the inevitable Michael Cuddy) was at his best comically attempting to be evil at the start of Act 2. Rose (Erin McAdams) was a strong singer and a good actress, but had too much innate poise and self-confidence to be suitable for the part of the naive Rose. She'd be better off in other G&S operas playing, say, Phyllis or Elsie. Some of the best singing came from Roderic (Mike Halloran, an old classmate of B's) in the accompaniment to the song by Dame Hannah (Linda Kessel Solis) on the little flower and the great oak tree. The male chorus sang well, and the female chorus acted and danced well. The unfortunate fellow playing Richard (first-timer Jonathan Tilley) could do none of these three things very well. Let us draw a gentle curtain over him.
A murrain on the footrace being run downtown this morning that impeded our arrival, and especially on the decision to close the roads around Chavez Plaza without closing the left turn lane from San Carlos onto Chavez Plaza. That confused everybody.