Edgy show has cult potential

  • By Theresa Goffredo Herald Writer
  • Friday, March 11, 2011 12:01am
  • LifeEverett

Burlesque blended with steampunk.

It’s a combination that Northwest Savoyards stage director Danielle Villegas believes will titillate the audience watching her version of “Ruddigore.”

Add in a bit of “Clockwork Orange,” cross-casting, an amazing score and choreography done by a vaudeville-trained professional, and this production could go cult, Villegas said.

“It’s edgy definitely,” Villegas said. “And there is lots of fun stuff to watch.”

Villegas is proud of this production and can’t brag enough about her lead actors.

“All have awesome voices and all are strong actors,” the director said.

To pull off the story of “Ruddigore,” a strong cast is a must.

This lesser-known of the Gilbert & Sullivan genre is a parody of melodrama. But audiences today may need a reminder about what melodrama is: Think evil guys in black capes, Nell tied to the train tracks and any episode of “Rocky and Bullwinkle.”

But because this is parody, this melodrama is “flipped on its head,” and good becomes evil and heroes become villains, Villegas said.

Villegas could have played off the farcical melodrama concept but instead went with burlesque because the story also includes a group of professional bridesmaids, which reminded Villegas of the original definition of burlesque: pushing the envelope to the point of incongruity.

Mix that with the steampunk movement — futuristic technology mixed with romance in a post-industrial period — and Villegas had her show.

“These two adjectives really helped me amplify the period of the show,” she said. “And it’s a pretty fantastical show.”

Villegas was also able to pull in steam and gears and clockwork and mechanisms ala “Clockwork Orange.”

Villegas said her novel approach to this production has really brought out the talent, including Meagan Castillo as Rose Maybud, Lance Zielinski as a comedic hoot playing Richard “Dick” Dauntless, Gina Wilhelm with the killer voice as Mad Margaret and Nick Fuchs, doing a cross-over role with superb acting as Dame Hannah, Villegas said.

Choreography is done by Yulia Hancheroff, a Russian trained doctor who has worked all over the world.

“The dancing in this will be something else,” Villegas said.

“Ruddigore”

Opens at 8 tonight with shows at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday through March 20 at Historic Everett Theatre, 2911 Colby Ave, Everett. Tickets are $22 and $19. Call 425-258-6766 or go to www.EverettTheatre.org.

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