Tell a Tale of Cock & Bull

Managing Director, Sarah Vardigans, Stepping Down –
Cheryl Blalock becomes Executive Director

Continuing our year of change at the Lamplighters we are sad to announce the retirement of Sarah Vardigans from the role of Managing Director, after serving the Lamplighters so effectively for the past 11 years. Sarah brought a tremendous level of dedication, drive and leadership to the Company but is about to embark on a different path, as a volunteer for the Peace Corps in Senegal.Lamplighters outgoing Managing Director Sarah Vardigans

Sarah stated “I had the great fortune to become part of the Lamplighters Family in May 2006. I know that everyone understands the tremendous personal significance of this organization, and how blessed I feel to be a part of it.

But my three children are now young adults… The results of the 2016 election have shaken many of us to the core. For me, the election brought to light the importance of trying to make a tiny bit of difference in this divided world. Therefore, last December, I applied to join the Peace Corps. I am profoundly honored to tell you that I have been accepted, and I leave for Senegal in February 2018 for a two-year service as "Business Advising Extension Agent" - i.e. helping local people run and expand their businesses. I am currently taking the necessary steps to get medical clearance, and, of course, there is an enormous amount for me to do both at home and at work to prepare for this new adventure. I will be staying in my position at the Lamplighters until Gala - October 15. Then I plan to travel and spend time with friends and family before my departure.”

All are welcome to visit the Lamplighters HQ (469 Bryant Street, SF) on Monday, October 16, starting at 7 PM, for an informal potluck party to say farewell to Sarah.

Lamplighters incoming Executive Director Cheryl BlalockAlthough we will miss Sarah, we are delighted to welcome her replacement, Cheryl Blalock, who will be joining us as Executive Director on October 16. For many years, Cheryl combined a full-time business career with a part-time music career, and she has performed over 40 lead roles with many local companies including her performing debut with the Lamplighters 1982-1988 - starting out in the chorus of Ruddygore and moving on to principal soprano roles in La Belle Hélène, The Gondoliers, Countess Maritza, Czardas Princess, and Where's Charlie?

Cheryl has served on the board of directors for Lyric Theatre, actively driving fundraising and marketing, and is currently a Board Member of the James Toland Vocal Arts Competition, an international voice competition based in Oakland. She has directed numerous Main Stage, Discovery and Outreach shows for Lyric Theatre and served as a faculty member for nine years at the San Francisco Girls Chorus, teaching students from middle school to adults. She performs both traditional and contemporary chamber music and as a professional soloist with local symphonies and churches, and maintains a private voice studio in San Mateo. 

Cheryl's business experience is broad, having led global account teams for strategic customers in the electronics industry, and managing accounts as large as $500M. In 2014, she was able to combine her business career with her passion for music when she joined Masterworks Chorale as Executive Director. 

Cheryl will be a great asset to the organization. She understands the culture of the Lamplighter family, she has a formidable business background, and a love for and knowledge of Gilbert & Sullivan. Please join us in welcoming her to her new role at the Lamplighters!

Patterday Night Live!

As you by now probably know, our upcoming Gala is a spoof on the Emmy Award winning late-night comedy show Saturday Night Live. Patterday Night Live! will feature skits that include Batman and the Avengers, the Coneheads, Game of Thrones, Church Lady, Hans and Franz, the little voices inside Trump’s head, and much, much more. The performance is an original, full-length, musical parody and the afternoon includes a raffle, silent auction, live auction, and a post-performance champagne reception with the cast. The Lamplighters are known for our tradition of having the costumed cast meet the audience in the lobby after each performance. At our Gala we bring the tradition up a notch by adding champagne and non-alcoholic beverages to the mix, and moving the party to the Green Room. We’d love to see you there!

Herbst Theatre, San Francisco
Tickets: 415-392-4400 •

15 October, 2017
Silent Auction at 3pm • Performance at 4pm

We are always looking for top quality items, services and experiences to include in our Gala auction. If you have something that you think would do well in the auction please download this donation form and email it to us at Thank you so much to all who have donated so far.

Patterday Night Live!

Theatre Bay Area Awards Nominations

Please join us in congratulating Melissa Wortman (Outstanding Costume Design, Patience) and David Möschler (Outstanding Music Direction, Patience) for being finalists in this year's Theatre Bay Area Awards Celebration! The Awards Ceremony is on Monday, October 30 at 7 PM. Details here.

We would also like to extend our congratulations to other Lamplighter finalists in non-Lamplighter shows, including:

Jacob Bronson - outstanding male actor, 1776, Spreckels Theatre Company
Sam Faustine - outstanding male actor, Little Shop of Horrors, Ray of Light
Nicole Helfer - outstanding choreography, No, No, Nanette, 42nd Street Moon
Nicole Helfer - outstanding choreography, Pride and Prejudice, IAM Theatre
John Melis - outstanding male actor, Beauty and the Beast, Broadway by the Bay
Phil Wong - outstanding male actor, The Four Immigrants, TheatreWorks

Lamplighters Patience 2017

The Gondoliers Update

We are still in the process of auditioning and casting The Gondoliers. As usual, we have a very difficult job of choosing between a host of talented performers but hope to have an announcement soon.

A pair of handsome Gondoliers suddenly become kings and humor and exuberance abound as they attempt to adjust to their new social status. Set by the sun-dappled, lazy waters of the Grand Canal, the singing Gondolieri and Contadine, and the “Cachucha” danced at the Royal Court at Barataria, make The Gondoliers an exuberant, happy valentine, wrapped in some of Sullivan’s most tuneful music and tied with one of Gilbert’s most fanciful libretti. Within this joyful opera Gilbert ingeniously skewers issues of social equality and the class system with his usual brilliant wit and groundbreaking lyrics alongside Sullivan’s lovely, lilting score.

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco
Tickets: 415-978-2787 •

February 2, 2018 at 8pm
February 3, 2018 at 2pm and 8pm
February 4, 2018 at 2pm, 2018

Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek
Tickets: 925-943-7469 •

February 9, 2018 at 8pm
February 10, 2018 at 2pm
February 11, 2018 at 2pm, 2018

Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts
Tickets: 650-903-6000 •

February 17, 2018 at 8pm
February 18, 2018 at 2pm

We still have a few tracks available for sponsorship on our Gondoliers CD. Have your name listed for posterity in the liner notes of our CDs. Sponsor a track on any of our upcoming CDs listed here. To sponsor a track call us at 415-227-4797 or pay online. Alternatively you can email us at to reserve your song then send a check to Lamplighters, 469 Bryant Street, San Francisco, CA 94107. Just be sure to note which track you would like and how you would like to be listed.

Lamplighters The Gondoliers 2018