The Gondoliers is a fast moving, colorful and funny nonmusical one-act play adapted from Gilbert's book for the operetta with the same name by Gilbert and Sullivan. Since Sullivan's music is so delightful, Gilbert's equally delightful plot and words are often overshadowed. This is a wonderful way to guide students into an appreciation of the works of Gilbert and Sullivan with the suggestion that Sullivan's score be used for background music. Two Venetian gondoliers, Giuseppe and Marco Palmieri, marry two pretty Venetian maidens, Tessa and Gianetta. And they live happily ever—whoa! This pleasant scene is suddenly interrupted when the grand inquisitor reveals that Giuseppe and Marco are not brothers after all ... one of them is the long-lost heir to the throne of Barataria. But no one knows whether Giuseppe or Marco is the king. No one, that is, except the prince's former nurse, Inez, who is now the wife of a pirate in a faraway land. There's also another complication. While Tessa and Gianetta are wondering which of them is now a queen, the Duke of Plaza-Toro reveals that his daughter was married to the young prince in infancy. This means that one of the gondoliers has two wives. Gilbert's lively dialogue, the lovable crazy characters, the hilarious plot complications—and the happy ending—all make for a happy, long-remembered play. With brightly hued Venetian costumes against a background of gondolas gliding by on a canal (they really do—right on your stage!), this can be the most colorful play you've ever mounted.
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