Who's Afraid of Gilbert and Sullivan?

"This is worse than that time we did that Gilbert and Sullivan parody.” That was a Tina Fey line from 30 Rock, and it was a devastating punch at a similar show, Aaron Sorkin's "Studio 60," in which a fictional late night comedy show attempted to wow its audience with a song about itself set to the music of "A Modern Major General." 

In the fictional world of the series, this bit garnered a huge ovation from its audience. From out here where we were watching, it was unbelievably lame, partly because so few people have a strong enough relationship to Gilbert and Sullivan to make it work. And maybe that's a shame.

At its best, Gilbert and Sullivan is pure joy and silliness and sweet melodies. In the tradition of much modern comedy, it takes nothing very seriously. And its worst it's so drenched in its own conventions as to seem unapproachable. On today's show, meet the people who still love it.

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  • John Dreslin - Music Director, CT Gilbert and Sullivan Society
  • Bob Cummings - Artistic Director and Founder, CT Gilbert and Sullivan Society
  • Gerald Moshell - Professor of Music, Trinity College
  • Richard Vaughn - Simsbury Light Opera Company