* Notes *
This weekend Cal Performances presented Castleton Festival's Albert Herring. The production involves much abuse of artificial fruit. It was particularly unsatisfying when the title character threw fake peaches against a Plexiglas window in Act II. The use of astroturf was, however, entertaining.
The cast, as with The Rape of Lucretia, boasted not a few lovely voices. The three children (Harry, Cis, and Emmie) were amplified, but sounded clean and pure in tone. Rachel Calloway was perfectly hysterical as Mrs. Herring. Adrian Kramer and Tammy Coll made for a funny, attractive pair as Sid and Nancy. Benjamin Bloomfield (Superintendent Budd), Tyler Nelson (Mr. Upfold), Alexander Tall (Mr. Gedge), Ashleigh Semkiw (Miss Wordsworth), and Kristin Patterson (Florence Pike) all acted and sang their roles with ease. Brian Z. Porter did well as Albert Herring, his diction was clear. Best of all was Nancy Gustafson as a very amusing Lady Billows. Her voice is luminous, flexible, and never shrill. The musicians, conducted by Lorin Maazel, played directly, but were a bit loud for the singers.
* Tattling *
The audience members talked lightly, especially during overtures. There were a few watch alarms that sounded at each hour.