Photo Flash: HOT MIKADO At Drury Lane Theatre
Drury Lane Theatre continues their acclaimed "Year of the Director" by presenting award-winning director and choreographer David H. Bell's exuberant international smash hit musical HOT MIKADO. Bell, the original creator of the musical that has now been produced across the world, directs and choreographs the not-to-be-missed piece. Featuring an all-star cast led by TEd Levy (Emmy Award winner, Helen Hayes Award winner and Tony Award nominee), AureLia Williams (First National Tour of All Shook Up), and multi-Jeff Award winner Summer Naomi Smart (Wicked and Drury Lane Theatre's Ragtime and Sweet Charity) HOT MIKADO previews August 12, opens August 18 and runs through October 3 at Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace, IL. Drury Lane Theatre's HOT MIKADO is the first Chicago-area production on a proscenium stage, offering a fresh interpretation and newly imagined staging of the acclaimed musical. East meets West in this mesmerizing celebration of all cultures.
HOT MIKADO is an enchanting musical comedy adaptation of the classic Gilbert and Sullivan musical, The Mikado, by David H. Bell. David H. Bell is the winner of 11 Jeff Awards and has received 40 Jeff Award nominations as well as three After Dark Awards. He served as the Artistic Director of historic Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. and Associate Artistic Director of Atlanta's ALLIANCE THEATRE. His work has earned him five Carbonall nominations (Florida), a Dramalogue Award (Los Angeles), five AJC Awards (Atlanta), an Atlanta Circle of Dramatic Critics Award, a Laurence Olivier nomination (London), two National Endowment Awards, three Helen Hayes nominations and one Helen Hayes Award (Washington, D.C.), The Mac and Bistro Awards (NYC) and several National and International writing awards for creating HOT MIKADO. He has worked on Broadway, Off-Broadway, London, Paris, Berlin, Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Long Wharf Theatre, National and International Tours, and the Atlanta sequence of the closing ceremonies of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Bell is currently the head of the Music Theatre program at Northwestern University.
HOT MIKADO features an all-star cast including Julia Black as Peep-Bo, Devin DeSantis as Nanki-Poo (Ravinia Festival, Altar Boyz, Radio City Christmas Spectacular), Todd M. Kryger as Pooh-Bah (Showboat on Broadway and the National Tours of Showboat, Ragtime and Disney's The Lion King), TEd Levy as The Mikado (Emmy Award winner, Helen Hayes Award winner, Tony nominee, several award-winning collaborations with Gregory Hines and Black & Blue on Broadway), Andy Lupp as Pish Tush (Jeff Award winner and the National Tour of Disney's Beauty and the Beast), Susan Moniz as Pitti-Sing (Jeff Award winner, Grease on Broadway, Hot Mikado at Ford's Theatre and Marriott Theatre), Stephen Schellhardt as Ko Ko (Ravinia Festival, National Tour of Altar Boyz, Meet Me in St. Louis at Drury Lane Theatre), Summer Naomi Smart as Yum Yum (Wicked, Drury Lane Theatre's Ragtime, Jeff Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Sweet Charity at Drury Lane Theatre and Jeff Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for The Light in the Piazza at Marriott Theatre), and AureLia Williams as Katisha (First National Tour of All Shook Up, The SacrEd Ellington presented by Carnegie Hall, The Sopranos on HBO.) Also featured are Evan Autio (Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disney, Radio City Christmas Spectacular), Karen Burthwright (National Tour of Dirty Dancing), Matthew deGuzman (National Tour of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), Jarret Ditch (Drury Lane Theatre's Cabaret, Funny Girl and more), Stephane Duret (Drury Lane Theatre's Curtains, Ragtime, and Cabaret), Kent Haina (Assistant Director of Drury Lane Theatre's Thoroughly Modern Millie), Amanda Kroiss, Nate Lewellyn (Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival), Tammy Mader (Drury Lane Theatre's Pump Boys and Dinettes, Sugar and Oh Coward! at Writers' Theatre), Tommy Rapley (choreographer of 18 world premiere productions), Katie Spelman (Drury Lane Theatre's The Boys from Syracuse, Fiddler on the Roof at Marriott Theatre), Tiffany Trainer, and Sean Walton (Steppenwolf Theatre's Harriet Jacobs, Drury Lane Theatre's The Boys from Syracuse.)
Playful retro style combined with traditional Asian imagery is the trademark of the larger-than-life set designed by Marcus Stephens, which includes an artfully designed pagoda and giant Japanese bridge. Vibrant lighting by Jesse Klug transports audiences to a vivid Technicolor world. The unique all-new costumes by Jeremy Floyd combine elements of traditional Asian patterns, 1940s-era design and hip, modern style. Musical Director Michael Mahler (who co-wrote Knute Rockne: All-American with Bell and Buddy Farmer) breathes new life into the snappy, energetic score that features brilliant toe-tapping musical numbers including Three Little Maids, I am So Proud, This is What I'll Never Do, Here's a Howdy-Do, and The Mikado Song. Sound Design is by Cecil Averett, Props Design is by Matthew Cummings, and Costume Design is by Jeremy Floyd with Costume Manager Erika Senase.
HOT MIKADO first appeared at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. in 1986 and has since been seen around the world including London's West End, Dublin and Prague. The Boston Globe raved that HOT MIKADO is full of "Frothy fun...fine comic moments...excellent music!" and the Chicago Sun-Times called the production "Hugely entertaining!" Set in a mythical Japanese village in the 1940s, HOT MIKADO combines a passionate and provocative love story with a rhythmic soaring score featuring jazz, big band, gospel, blues, rock, and stunning choreography including jitterbug, swing, and tap. Nanki-Poo, the son of the Mikado, disguises himself and seeks out the lovely Yum-Yum, only to discover that she is to marry Ko Ko, the Lord High executioner. Ko Ko is required by the Mikado to execute one person within the month, and Nanki-Poo offers himself up as long as he can spend one month married to Yum-Yum. What ensues is a hilarious web of thrilling show-stopping discoveries that will keep audiences on The Edge of their seats.
The performance schedule is as follows: Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m. ($31), Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. ($31) and 8 p.m. ($38), Fridays at 8:30 p.m. ($45), Saturdays at 5 p.m. ($45) and 8:30 p.m. ($45) and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. ($45) and 6 p.m. ($40). Lunch and dinner theater packages range from $45.75 to $68 depending on the day of the week. Student tickets start as low as $19 and Senior Citizen tickets start as low as $27 for matinees and $41.75 for a matinee luncheon package. For reservations, call the Drury Lane Theatre box office at 630.530.0111, call TicketMaster at 800.745.3000, or visit www.drurylaneoakbrook.com.