Talk about staying power — musicals written by comedic duo W.S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan in the 1800s still manage to bring the house down. The team’s comic operas feature worlds where logic and reason are thrown out the window in favor of whimsy and fantasy. In Iolanthe, currently being produced by the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Houston, the worlds of fairies and mortals collide. The lovely Iolanthe has been exiled from fairyland for marrying a mortal. She raises her fairy/mortal son Strephon as a man. A confused love plot ensues that ends with the fairies putting Strephon in the English parliament and casting a spell that make his peers pass any bill he sets forth. Strephon’s most radical proposal? That entry to parliament should be based on intelligence rather than class. British actor Alistair Donkin, who is also the show’s stage director, stars as the Lord Chancellor. Funny and outlandish, Iolanthe is also a brilliant critique of the competence of the people in power. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Cullen Theater, Wortham Center, 501 Texas. For information, call 713-627-3570 or visit www.-gilbertandsullivan.net. $36 to $46.
Fridays-Sundays. Starts: July 20. Continues through July 29, 2012