Die Fledermaus: It’s a Party and Everyone’s Invited

I thoroughly enjoyed the performance of “Die Fledermaus”, an operetta full of twists and tricks that got huge laughs and a standing ovation from the crowd.
“Die Fledermaus” in German translates to “The Bat” in English, so I didn’t know what to expect when I walked into the Frank Arts Center last week and I was pleasantly surprised. Initially, I was afraid that I was going to be stuck listening to a two and a half hour opera in German. It was a great relief when I heard the first few words of the show. Good news: You don’t have to brush up on your German before the show, it is sung in English. This is not your traditional stuffy opera either; the show is actually a comedy that is half singing and half dialogue.
The operetta begins with a confession of love for Rosalinde (Jessica Adkins), who is already married, from a young man, Alfred (Patrick O’Grady), singing off-stage. Then enters the chambermaid, Adele (Allyson Bayer). The maid receives a letter from her sister inviting her to a soiree that evening. It is too bad that the young maid has to work. However, she has to go to this party. In order to get out of working, she devises a plan. It is absolutely hilarious when the young maid begs the madam of the house, Rosalinde, for the night off. The plot thickens when you find out that Rosalinde’s husband, Eisenstein (Paul Cabell), is scheduled for jail time and he too receives an invitation to the same party.
The host of the party is Orlofsky (Shannen Banzhoff), a young prince in his teens whom no longer feels excitement anymore. The “decorated child” even goes into an explanation about his disgust of opera and especially those by Johann Strauss (the composer of Die Fledermaus). There are few things that would cause this young prince to laugh, but when he did the whole audience laughed along with him. He is especially tickled by the predicaments Eisenstein gets himself into.
Between the manipulative chambermaid, Roselinde’s twisted love triangle, and Eisenstein’s unfaithfulness, there’s something to laugh at for everyone. Some of my favorite lines from the operetta came from Orlofsky, but I cannot deny the talents of the other actors. Adele was a charming character, and her outright cockiness in the second act was enough to keep a smile on my face and a good chuckle every now and then. I had a great laugh in the third act when the jailer, Frosch (Brian D. James), and the prison director, Frank (Eduardo Rivera), were both sloshed. As the situation got worse, the drunken and uninformed jailer continued to smile and repeat how “mighty merry” the prison was.
I applaud the entire cast and crew that contributed to this excellent performance. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the vocal performances by the cast and ensemble and the orchestra did a fantastic job. “Die Fledermaus” is definitely one I am pleased to have seen. The Shepherd University Music Department had performances on on Feb. 8 and 9 and 8:00 P.M.. Admissions is free for all Shepherd students. All you have to do is show your rambler. General admission is only $15 and $10 for children. This performance is one that everyone should enjoy.

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