Gilbert & Sullivan's The Mikado

Written by Sir William Schwenk Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan
Directed by Cy and Jane Hoffman

Poster by Richard Boehler
Click on the poster to purchase tickets

The Mikado,  the world-famous opera by Gilbert and Sullivan, will be performed at The Adobe Theater April 21st - May 14th, 2017.

A year before the action begins, Nanki-Poo, son of the Mikado (Emperor) of Japan, fled his father's imperial court to escape marriage with Katisha, an elderly lady. Disguised as a traveling musician, he met and fell in love with Yum-Yum, the young ward of Ko-Ko, a cheap tailor in the town of Titipu. But Yum-Yum was already betrothed to her guardian, and Nanki-Poo left in despair.  The opera opens with Nanki-Poo's return to Titipu, where he is eagerly seeking Yum-Yum after hearing that Ko-Ko has been condemned to death for the capital crime of flirting. Much to his dismay, Nanki-Poo learns that Ko-Ko was reprieved at the last moment and made Lord High Executioner instead.

Ko-Ko, meanwhile, has received a letter from the Mikado, who is concerned that there have been no recent executions in Titipu and threatens severe repercussions if one does not take place within a month. That’s when Ko-Ko discovers Nanki-Poo with a rope, determined to take his own life rather than live without Yum-Yum.  Having found a willing volunteer to be executed, Ko-Ko seizes this opportunity and offers Nanki-Poo one month of luxurious living before the execution. Nanki-Poo agrees on the condition that he be married to Yum-Yum right away so that he can spend his last month in wedded bliss.  But just as the wedding celebration begins, a law is discovered that decrees a condemned man's wife (Yum-Yum in this case) must be buried alive with his corpse -- and then things really get complicated!

The Mikado is directed by long-time Adobe directors Cy and Jane Hoffman, who were introduced to Gilbert and Sullivan as children and have loved their works ever since. Growing up in New York City, they had the opportunity of seeing several G&S productions. As adults, Cy & Jane were part of two G&S productions (The Mikado and HMS Pinafore) with the Los Alamos Light Opera. “Then we got involved with Opera Unlimited’s summer day camp in Albuquerque,” Cy said. “Gilbert and Sullivan shows are wonderful vehicles for the kids -- the music is very good, but not too hard, and the everyone loves the humor and the costumes.”

The Hoffmans have adapted The Mikado to a simple set and a cast of 12 people. The cast includes Hi Tillery (The Mikado), Jack Litherland (Nanki-Poo), Tim MacAlpine (Ko-Ko), Christina Nuki Akerson (Katisha), Warren Asa Wilgus (Pooh-Bah), Brian Lambe (Pish-Tush), Madi Frost (Yum-Yum), Kiersten Johnson (Pitti-Sing), Casey Hennigan (Peep-Bo), and Michelle Boehler, Patricia Kirby, and Steven Weitz (Ensemble).

Tickets are $22 general admission, with a $3 discount for seniors, students, ATG/TLC members, active and retired military, and First Responders. For Opening Weekend only, all tickets are $15. Reservations may be made here.

Click here for the cast and crew bios.

Come Blow Your Horn

Written by Neil Simon
Directed by Marty Epstein

Poster by Caitlin Hecsh
Click on the poster to purchase tickets

Come Blow Your Horn was the springboard script for Neil Simon, one of America’s most beloved comedic playwrights. It opened on Broadway on February 22, 1961, and ran for 677 performances. The New York Times said Come Blow Your Horn was "A slick, lively, funny comedy...smoothly plotted and deftly written...Mr. Simon has served up a multitude of sprightly lines. Best of all, he has provided some explosively hilarious moments rooted in character.” Come Blow Your Horn was quickly followed by other comedy showpieces like Barefoot In The Park (1963), The Odd Couple (1965), Sweet Charity (1966), Promises, Promises (1968), The Sunshine Boys (1972), Murder by Death (1976),Rumors (1988), and The Goodbye Girl (1993), just to mention a few.

Semi-autobiographical, Come Blow Your Horn is the story of young and inexperienced Buddy Baker, who leaves his parent’s home to live with his “ladies’ man” older brother, Alan. Both Buddy and Alan work for their father, who sells wax fruit. Buddy wants to write plays for television or the theater. His father says wax fruit provides a more stable future. ’'Plays can close,” he tells Buddy. “Television you turn off. Wax fruit lays in a bowl till you're a hundred.’’ Add to this mix a mother who is adept at emotional manipulation and prone to hysterics, and several several serious and casual girlfriends, and the stage is set for fireworks all around.

Neil Simon was born on July 4th, 1927, and grew up in New York during the Great Depression. His parents suffered financially, and that colored their relationship to each other and their son. (he characterized his parent’s marriage as “tempestuous”) To escape difficulties at home, Simon often took refuge in movie theaters. He especially enjoyed comedies with silent stars like Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Laurel and Hardy "I was constantly being dragged out of movies,” he said, “for laughing too loud.” He has also said:”I think part of what made me a comedy writer is the blocking out of some of the really ugly, painful things in my childhood and covering it up with a humorous attitude, to do something to laugh until I was able to forget what was hurting.”

Director Marty Epstein has gathered an experienced cast of Adobe regular and newcomers. They are: Michael Weppler (Alan Baker), John Goffard (Buddy Baker), Philip J. Shortell (Father), Alaina Warren Zachary (Mother), Adrienne Valdez (Peggy), and Heather Donovan (Connie).

Tickets are $17 general admission, with a $3 discount for seniors, students, ATG/TLC members, active and retired military, and First Responders. For Opening Weekend only, all tickets are $10. Click here to purchase tickets.