The Zoo

Arthur Sullivan

May 22, 2015 at 7:30pm
May 24, 2015 at 3pm
Huntington Avenue Theatre

The Zoo

A New and Original Musical Folly in One Act

Music by Sir Arthur Sullivan

Libretto by Bolton Rowe (B.C. Stephenson)


This “musical folly” by famed composer Arthur Sullivan, in collaboration with librettist B.C. Stephenson, displays all the vivacity and agility of the golden age of British comic opera. Two pairs of lovers overcome obstacles to their affections, aided and abetted by running commentary from a chorus of Ladies and Gentlemen of the British Public.

Performed on a double bill with Walton’s The Bear.

“Wonderful…cleverly selected and splendidly presented program.”

Arts and Culture Today

Cast and Creative

Daniel ShirleyDaniel Shirley
Æsculapius Carboy, a chemist in love with Lætitia

Chelsea BeattyChelsea Beatty
Lætitia, loved by Carboy

Colin Levin Colin Levin
Thomas Brown—but really—the Duke of Islington, a nobleman disguised, in search of virtue which he finds in Eliza

Sadie Gregg Sadie Gregg
Eliza Smith, a perfectly virtuous and highly principled young lady, in charge of the Refreshment Stall

Simon Dyer Simon Dyer
Mr. Grinder, Lætitia’s father, a retired grocer Stall

Creative Team

James Blachly, Conductor
Lynn Torgove, Stage Director
Stephen Dobay, Scenic Designer
Amanda Mujica, Costume Designer
Rachel Padula Shufelt, Hair and Make-up Designer
Dennis Parichy, Lighting Designer


Comic opera was imported from Italy and competed with French styles up to the revolutions of the 1770s-90s. In 1843, Parliament clamped down on popular entertainment by passing the Theatres Act: it specified that saloons, gardens, and cafés providing music could only be licensed if run as “theatres,” and that the Lord Chamberlain could vet and prevent any new plays threatening “the preservation of good manners, decorum or of the public peace.” Spoken drama was limited to the patent theatres, where grand opera also thrived (originally only the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and Covent Garden in London), so promoters began to raise funds to establish new venues.

Read the program notes


Photos and videos: Kathy Wittman / Ball Square Films.