Under the artistic and musical direction of Michael Harms and John Ricciardelli, the North Toronto Players have explored exciting, new takes on the classic G&S musicals. In the past 20 years NTP has set The Mikado in various locales: a Japanese karaoke bar, a spaghetti-western saloon and a “Sopranos”-inspired New Jersey tavern. The Pirates of Penzance have been a biker gang in the 1950s and again in a 1960s Mad Men inspired corporate setting. Iolanthe was married to a Canadian senator (in the days when that was a good thing). The Yeomen of the Guard were antiterrorist spies. Ruddygore became a movie theatre where the cursed members of the House of Murgatroyd inspired horror movie villains. Princess Ida moved to ancient Greece (in the days when that was a good thing). And the HMS Pinafore explored the Star Trek galaxy.
These adaptations have inspired remarkable sets and costumes over the years, but have gone well beyond the outward trappings. Michael and John have extensivly re-written lyrics and dialogue. They have even added or rearranged music to create cohesive new productions that explore the idea: “What would Gilbert and Sullivan have come up with if they had written this today?” NTP’s commitment to connect G&S with contemporary audiences will culminate in 2016’s grand experiment: for its 50th production, NTP will bring together favourite melodies, choruses, themes and sensibilities from the brilliant works of W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan to create an original libretto for an all new G&S operetta.
No matter what innovations or changes NTP has experienced over the years, the company has always focused on providing quality entertainment for its supporters and a warm, welcoming atmosphere for everyone who chooses to become a member.