Around the Island

‘Topsy-Turvy’ recalls Gilbert & Sullivan era

There was a time when every community and every school had a theater group that produced Gilbert and Sullivan operas; they were the happy staple of local entertainment. Those days are — sadly — gone now, but next Tuesday, November 24, Movies at the Library will present “Topsy-Turvy,” a film that looks at the touchy partnership between William S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan, and the creation of their most popular work, “The Mikado.”

This is a jewel of a film with many glittering facets. It is a minutely detailed examination of the creative process and one of the best movies ever made about the theater. It is also an incisive portrait of life in London at the zenith of the British Empire. It is luscious to look at and, of course, delightful to hear, with marvelous renditions of some of the best Gilbert and Sullivan songs. And the acting is superb — especially notice the wonderful character actors! “Topsy-Turvy” is a beautiful embrace of all things theatrical.

Don’t miss this entertaining, witty and deeply humane film next Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the cinema on the lower level of the library. As always the popcorn and bottled water are gratis and entrance is free as well.

See you at the movies!