THE MIKADO Returns to New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players in January

Performances run January 6-14.

By: Dec. 13, 2023
THE MIKADO Returns to New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players in January
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New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players (NYGASP) continues its expanded 49th season with its critically acclaimed new production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado. The repertory company is presenting 6 performances at New York’s Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College (68th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues) on Saturday, January 6 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, January 7 at 3:00 p.m.; and Saturday, January 13 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, January 14 at 3:00 p.m.  

The Mikado, which was first performed at London's Savoy Theatre in 1885, pokes fun at topical aspects of Victorian society, but Gilbert & Sullivan cleverly cloak their satirical barbs behind a charming love story set in an imagined town in Japan, and NYGASP continues the time-honored tradition of topical updating for a modern audience. You're sure to recognize someone on the "Lord High Executioner's" comical list of people who "never would be missed".

The show abounds with absurdity and astounding wit, clever wordplay, memorable tunes and endearing characters. The romantic love story follows Nanki-Poo, the son of the Mikado (the Japanese emperor), who has fled his father's court in disguise as a "Wand'ring Minstrel" to avoid marrying Katisha, an elderly suitor, and to find and marry his own beloved, the delicious maiden Yum-Yum, one of "Three Little Maids From School". Yum-Yum, however, is the ward of Ko-Ko, the "Lord High Executioner", and has become betrothed to him against her will. As usual in a Gilbert & Sullivan imaginative plot, the tangled web unravels and everyone (well, almost everyone) lives happily ever after.

The new NYGASP production, which premiered in NYC in late 2016, features an original prologue that introduces the audience to the real life characters of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, which originated The Mikado in 1885 London, and emphasizes the work's satire of human foibles and excesses that transcend generational and national bounds. The production centers the fantastic elements of juxtaposing a Victorian world with an imagined Japanese setting allowing the opera to be a truly inclusive experience for all audiences and artists. The New York Times described this production of The Mikado as "a comic gem" with "handsome designs, sharp acting and impressive singing."

The comic opera will feature original choreography and direction by NYGASP Stage Director David Auxier-Loyola, who also authored the show's prologue.

The show's cast includes: clever patter man David Macaluso as Sullivan and Ko-Ko; playful Matthew Wages as Richard D'Oyly Carte and pompous Pooh-Bah; creative David Auxier as author Gilbert and town leader Pish-Tush; charming John Charles McLaughlin as romantic hero Nanki-Poo, rising star Hannah Holmes as lovelorn and overbearing Katisha; beautiful soprano Rebecca L. Hargrove  as self-aware Yum Yum;  Sarah Hutchison as maiden sister Peep-Bo; mellifluous mezzo Elisabeth Cernadas as adventurous Pitti-Sing; and dynamic bass David Wannen in the title role. 

The ensemble features: Caitlin Borek, Camilo Estrada, Chris-Ian Sanchez, James Mills, Katie Hall, Abby Kurth, Lance Olds, Logan Pitts, Maurio Hines, Michael Galante, Michelle Seipel, Sabrina Lopez, Viet Vo, and Alexandra Imbrosci-Viera.

The production will showcase scenery designed by Anshuman Bhatia, costumes by Quinto Ott and lighting by Benjamin Weill. The Mikado is produced by NYGASP Executive Director David Wannen. Founder and Artistic Director Albert Bergeret, shares the podium with Associate Conductor, Joseph Rubin conducting the 25-piece orchestra.

Performance schedule:

January 6 at 2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.

January 7, 2024 at 3:00 p.m.

January 13, 2024 at 2:00 p.m.* & 7:30 p.m.

January 14, 2024 at 3:00 p.m.

*Family Overture: Musical introduction and plot summary made entertaining for the entire family (12:45 in theatre prior to the Saturday afternoon performance)