Helping to put the gasp back in NYGASP (New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players) is a special Metropolitan Transportation Authority tie-in to the company's upcoming show, The Gondoliers. At the Canal Street station, between the #6 and N-R train lines, a section of unused track has been intentionally flooded, with five Venetian-style gondolas bobbing up and down on the water's surface.
The conception, by Russian artist Alexander Brodsky, heralds two events: the Canal Street complex's renovation, and NYGASP's performances of Gilbert & Sullivans operetta, The Gondoliers, at Symphony Space, Dec. 27-Jan. 5, 1997.
"The Public Art Fund has teamed up with MTA Arts for Transit to bring a delightful diversion to our customers during the holiday season," said MTA chairman, E. Virgil Conway. "Alexander Brodsky's remarkable installation should be seen by all New Yorkers... Brodsky's project confirms the power of temporary public art to create magical and thought-provoking moments in the most diverse public spaces."
Artist Brodsky hopes the project "will evoke the memory of the real, very important canal that had been at this place many years ago in the very beginning of New York City."
As for NYGASP, they will present The Gondoliers with their usual full orchestra, large ensemble, sets and costumes. Artistic director Albert Bergeret directs and conducts the show, which concerns the search for the rightful air to the throne of Barataria. Featured in the cast are Stephen O'Brien, Jocelyn Wilkes, Susan Case, Brandon Jovanovich, Andrew MacPhail, Edward Prostak, Nancy Balach, Philip Reilly and Ana Rojas. Bill Fabris choreographs. NYGASP will follow Gondoliers with The Pirates Of Penzance, Jan. 9-Jan. 19, featuring Steve Quint as the Major General.
For tickets to both NYGASP shows, call (212) 260-6652. The Canal Street event is free and runs to Jan. 31, 1997.
-- By David Lefkowitz