Gilbert and Sullivan put a smile on the horror genre in Ruddigore, which receives a resourceful revival with skillful singing at Theater Ten Ten on the Upper East Side through May 24. 2009. The production can also be seen at 8 pm on May 30 at the Doctorow Center for the Arts in Hunter, New York.
The production's big challenge is overcoming its church basement performance space, which has the ambience of an elementary school cafeteria that doubles as an auditorium. Director David Fuller addresses the institutional ambience by creating a framing device that sets the production at a sanitarium. As for the devilish acoustics, you can address the hyper-resonance by arriving early and choosing a front seat, where the intelligibility of Gilbert's lyrics seems to be clearest.
Jason Wynn does a very good job playing the score on keyboard and directing the talented singers.
Here's a glimpse of another production of Ruddigore.