Theatre Night 2014 – The Mikado
Fundraising Event for local community:
The Mikado; or, The Town of Titipu is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert, their ninth of fourteen operatic collaborations. It opened on 14 March 1885, in London, where it ran at the Savoy Theatre for 672 performances, which was the second longest run for any work of musical theatre and one of the longest runs of any theatre piece up to that time. Before the end of 1885, it was estimated that, in Europe and America, at least 150 companies were producing the opera. The Mikado remains the most frequently performed Savoy Opera, and it is especially popular with amateur and school productions. The work has been translated into numerous languages and is one of the most frequently played musical theatre pieces in history.
Music: Arthur Sullivan
Lyrics & Book: W.S. Gilbert
This production began rehearsals in early January. It’s directed by Alison Schamberger, musically directed by Spencer Bach, choreographed by Dawn Ewen, stage managed by Al Zylstra, and stars:
Source: Burnaby Now
- Thomas Lamont as Nanki- Poo
- Russell Cripps as Ko-Ko
- Jonathan Ichikawa as Pooh-Bah
- Andrew Sammons as Pish-Tush
- Eric Biskupski as The Mikado
- Laura Luongo as Yum-Yum
- Vanessa Coley-Donohue as Pitti-Sing
- Jennifer Moran as Peep-Bo
- Cathy Wilmot as Katisha
- The men’s chorus: Joseph Byrtus, Bon Dos Remedios, Richard Hobson, Scott MacGrath, Jesse Inocalla, Attila Mityok
- The women’s chorus: Keara Barnes, Cho Wang, Kaylene Chan, Jennifer Carr-Zingle
The idea for The Mikado first sprang into W.S. Gilbert’s mind when an old Japanese sword, which had been hanging on the wall of his study for years, suddenly fell from its place. Gilbert took this as an omen and determined to leave his own country alone for a while and turn his biting satire instead towards the East. He did not have to look far to research the subject of his new play. He found all the material he wanted in Knightsbridge, a little village of Japanese immigrants within a mile of his own home in South Kensington. Here, he witnessed the strange arts, devices and lifestyles of this proud race.
The story of The Mikado revolves around a young fellow named Nanki-Poo who has banished himself from the little town of Titipu. Nanki-Poo, it seems, has fallen in love with a beautiful young lady called Yum-Yum. Unfortunately, Yum-Yum is engaged to be married to her guardian, the tailor Ko-Ko. However, when Nanki-Poo hears that Ko-Ko has been condemned to death for the capital crime of flirting, he hastily returns to Titipu, only to learn that Ko-Ko has not only been granted a reprieve, but has been promoted to the post of Lord High Executioner. Apparently, those in power, wishing to slow down the rash of executions, reason that since Ko-Ko was next in line for execution, he can’t cut off anyone else’s head until he cuts off his own! The Mikado, however, soon takes notice of the lack of executions in Titipu and decrees that if no executions take place within the time of one month, the city shall be reduced to the status of a village. Ko-Ko, desperate to avoid cutting off his own head, vows to find a substitute, and as luck would have it, just at that moment, Nanki-Poo wanders onto the stage with a rope determined to take his own life rather than live life without his beloved Yum-Yum. Ko-Ko immediately siezes on this opportunity and offers the young lad one month of luxurious living at the end of which he would be relatively painlessly decapitated. 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, much to Yum-Yum’s distress, which decrees that a condemned man’s wife must be buried alive with his corpse!