Great singing, Entertaining, Dated, Funny, Disappointing
About the Show
New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players present a new take on the classic operetta, which incorporates the backstory of its own creation into the plot.
The history and inspiration for writing 'The Mikado' takes center stage in this production, which combines real-life figures from Victorian London’s D'Oyly Carte's Opera Company with the operetta's fictional characters. Join Messrs. Gilbert, Sullivan, and D’Oyly Carte on a fantastic voyage to a land where the timeless libretto, beautiful music, and many classic characters await, including three little maids from school, a wandering minstrel, a hilariously corrupt public official, and a Lord High Executioner who is too tenderhearted to perform his duties. At the heart of this tale is a love triangle as a beautiful school girl is engaged to the Executioner but loves the wandering minstrel. Comic complications, naturally, ensue.
"A new production that makes a solid case that, in the midst of the wreckage of political incorrectness, the work is a comic gem worth salvaging...I found myself won over by the show’s handsome designs, sharp acting and (for the most part) impressive singing, and came to admire the adroitness with which the director, David Auxier, defused the work’s most damaging cultural land mines...What’s left is a tightly choreographed comedy of manners with coolly precise slapstick."
"The re-imagined production bends over backwards in its attempts to be a rollicking entertainment that anyone can enjoy…Prancing about the stage with exuberant showmanship and handling Gilbert's verbal wit with crackling dexterity, David Macaluso is the evening's energetic comic engine…As is customary with NYGASP, the singing of the soloists and ensemble members is first-rate under music director Aaron Gandy, who conducts the twenty-five piece orchestra."
"NYGASP's reimagined 'Mikado' is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, the production is gloriously sung and amusingly played. On the other, the new lengthy prologue and motley costumes both seem big mistakes. The mix of English and Japanese styles may be politically correct but the stage picture looks like a wardrobe trunk has been raided and no one received the costumes they were supposed to wear. There must be a better solution than this."
"In the most important areas, the text and music, ‘The Mikado’ remains largely untouched. What the company has done is change what was offensive…No one in the cast I saw, a mix of veterans and newcomers, was less than capable, and several actors were delightful…That this production of 'The Mikado' is as successful as it is is a cheering example of doing good that also turns out well."
"I was pleasantly surprised at how good Sullivan's music is -- not great, but very good. The musical values of this production were excellent. Fine singing, good orchestra. However, all the camping and shameless mugging of the principals reminded me of why I don't like productions of Gilbert and Sullivan. This kind of awful hamminess seems to go with the territory...However, the audience was obviously full of fans of G&S and of this company and seemed to relish every moment."