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Atlanta Lyric Presents THE MIKADO 4/15-5/1

Atlanta Lyric Theatre, the metro area's only local professional musical theatre company, returns to its roots with Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado--April 15th through May 1st at The Earl Smith Strand Theatre (117 N. Park Square, Marietta) on the Marietta square. For information and reservations call 404.377.9948 or visit www.AtlantaLyricThetare.com.

The Mikado, or The Town of Titipu, was first performed at the Savoy Theatre, London, England in 1885 and played longer in its initial run than any other Gilbert & Sullivan opera. Since then it has been filmed twice, and performed in every possible style - jazzed, swung, and even as a ballet.

The Mikado was the very first staged production of Atlanta Lyric Theatre, formerly The Southeastern Savoyards, and was produced at the Emory University Student Center in 1980.

In this current staging, The Lyric stays within the opera's traditional mold, while combining a modern playfulness with a respect for the creators' original intent. The Atlanta Lyric Orchestra, under the baton of Robert Strickland, brings to life Sullivan's score and the legit singing of the company's outstanding performers, under the music direction of Frank Timmerman, brings lushness to the vocal lines. Gilbert's wit and always-relevant barbs aimed at the foibles of human nature also receive full attention.

The location is a fictitious Japanese town full of colorful characters - 3 little maids from school, a wandering minstrel, a hilariously corrupt public official, and a Lord High Executioner who may have a list of potential victims, but is too tenderhearted to actually perform his duties. Beautiful schoolgirl Yum-Yum loves the romantic minstrel Nanki-Poo, but is engaged to Ko-Ko the executioner.

This romantic triangle takes the usual course of thwarted romance until the arrival of the fearsome Katisha claims Nanki-Poo as her "perjured lover." In order to resolve the ensuing complications, Ko-Ko must use his wits to convince the most unattractive Katisha to marry him - in record time. That done, all other potentially dangerous circumstances are settled by the Mikado's all-encompassing pronouncement "nothing could possibly be more satisfactory."

The Mikado features those favorite Gilbert & Sullivan characters, Yum-Yum (Laura Floyd), Nanki-Poo (Wesley Morgan), and Ko-Ko (Jeff McKerley), the Lord High Executioner with his "little list" of potential victims, not to mention the fearsome Katisha (Keena Redding Hunt), the hilariously ridiculous Pooh-Bah (Danny Cook), and the politely sadistic Mikado (Jeffrey David Gibb) himself. Others in the cast include Mary Nye Bennett, Jeanette Illidge, JC Long, Marissa Druzbanski, Caroline Ann Freedlund, Patty Guenthner, Melissa Manning, Michelle Peck, Ashleigh Hoppe, Aneli Wells, Joseph Brewer, Daniel Burns, LaMichael Hendrix, Jason Royal, Preston Watson, and Timothy Parham.

The award-winning team of director Heidi Cline McKerley and choreographer Jeff McKerley brings The Mikado to life, with settings by Tommy Cox, costumes by Isabel and Moriah Clay-Curley, lighting by Joseph Futral, sound design by Bobby Johnston, and wig design by George Deavours.

This production is sponsored, in part, through the generosity of long-time Lyric patron and current Board member Marcia P. Lane.

Gilbert's lyrics and Sullivan's melodies have delighted over one hundred years of operetta lovers, but they are still as fresh as "the flowers that bloom in the spring."

All performances are held at The Earl Smith Strand Theatre at 117 N. Park Sq., on the historic Marietta Square.

For tickets and information call 404-377-9948 or visit www.AtlantaLyricTheatre.com.

Performance Schedule
April 15, 16, 17 Friday & Sat. @ 8:00, Sun. @ 2:00
21, 22, 23, 24 Thurs., Fri. & Sat. @ 8:00, Sun. @ 2:00
27, 28, 29, 10 & May 1, 2011 Thurs., Fri. & Sat. @ 8:00, Sat. & Sun. @ 2:00

Donations for Relief in Japan
A special collection will be taken at each performance of The Mikado for relief efforts of the good people of Japan who have suffered as a result of the recent earthquakes and tsunami. All funds collected will be presented to The American Red Cross and shared with The Japanese Red Cross.


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