Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Musical Review: ***The Mikado

This musical, is a Japanese soap opera on steroids.  The Mikado, emperor of Japan is very much interested in an execution.  He orders the high executioner to perform one, but he has difficulty finding someone who wants to be executed.  he finally comes upon a young minstrel who feels suicidal as he cannot marry his girl who is engaged to the high executioner.  The high executioner agrees to the minstrel and Yum Yum being married if the minstrel agrees to being executed in a month.  However the term change, and the executioner only says he executed the minstrel rather than actually doing so.  Turns out the minstrel is the emperor's son in disguise, and when the emperor finds our he tells those involved, that it is not their fault, they could not have known who they executed; he was in disguise.  However the law didn't make allowances for not knowing so they are all scheduled to be killed after dinner.  So the minstrel/Emperor's son agrees to come back if the high executioner woos and marries his intended.  This is when I thought the show got interesting, and the song between Katisha and Ko-Ko is very well done.  I must admit, until this point I was nodding off.  Don't worry, all turns out well in the end.  Katisha agrees to marry, and when her intended shows up to relieve the executions, all is forgiven as she is married, as well as the Emperor's son.  Arthur Sullivan wrote the music and W.S. Gilbert the libretto.  It first played in Savoy Theater in London in 1885.  Very exciting costumes.  The original cast studied Japanese movements, so said the narrator. These non Japanese actors did as well as could be expected.

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