Rosencrantz & Guildenstern

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are alive and well and living in Ithaca

Savoyards Musical Theatre (formerly known as Cornell Savoyards) presents W.S. Gilbert’s one act play, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern, September 19, 7:30pm and September 20, 3:00pm at the First Unitarian Society of Ithaca on the corner of Buffalo and Aurora.

But what is Gilbert without Sullivan? In addition to the play, the Savoyards will be performing musical interludes of Shakespearean music by Sullivan and scenes and monologues from Shakespeare’s comedies. Rosencrantz & Guildenstern was first performed in the Vaudeville Theatre in London in 1891, and the vaudeville, variety show theme is entirely in keeping with Gilbertean parody. In typical Gilbert fashion, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern save the day and Hamlet’s head as well.

The play, not to be confused with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead or even Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead, is a parody on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. On the website Critics At Large, Mari-Beth Slade writes that she doesn't like Shakespeare and that his back-stories are better than his plots. "I agree with Tom Stoppard and W.S. Gilbert that Hamlet’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are far more intriguing than a self-centered Danish Prince." (

“GERTRUDE: He’s going to soliloquize! Prevent this, gentlemen, by any means!”

“OPHELIA: The favourite theory’s somewhat like this: Hamlet is idiotically sane, with intervals of lunacy.”

Tickets purchased at the door: $10 (adults); $8 (students); children under 10 free. For more information: or

Cast: Doug Mathews, Lisa Frank, A.J. Sage, Douglas Booth, Paige Anderson, Robin Booth, Glen Palmer, Judith Andrew, Bryan VanCampen, Michael Donato, William Wallace, Kristen Park. Directors: Melissa Snyder-stage, Scott Miller-music; Bill Cowdery on piano.