Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado
Written by Sir William Schwenk Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan
Directed by Cy and Jane Hoffman
“Brilliantly directed by Jane and Cy Hoffman.” Read Matthew Yde’s rave in its entirety at here.
The Mikado “…is a lot of fun, though, and the Adobe Theater production is highly enjoyable.” Read the full review here from Talkin Broadway.
The Mikado, the world-famous opera by Gilbert and Sullivan, was 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).
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