Monday, November 26, 2012

Review of The Hypocrites' The Mikado

Once upon a time I went to a show, and it was called The Mikado. All the actors were dressed in circus clothes, and the set also looked like a circus and smelled like a circus, and it was a circus. Literally, it was as fun as a circus. And there was literally a balloon pit. I am not lying. The same people that did Pirates of Penzance, Gilbert & Sullivan, wrote The Mikado. Sean Graney and Kevin O'Donnell made it much shorter and they also made the songs more funny. It was funny to begin with, but they made it even more funny, which is the best of all things you can do with a play.

The show was about a young man named Nanki-Poo (Shawn Pfautsch)and he was in love with a maiden named Yum-Yum (Emily Casey). But Yum-Yum is engaged to a man named Ko-Ko(Robert McLean) who is the Lord High Executioner, which is an executioner that is lord high--that means he's very powerful. So Nanki-Poo is trying to hang himself because he was in love with Yum-Yum and she was the only girl he ever loved. But then the Lord High Executioner, who will have his place taken away if he doesn't execute someone, he finds him trying to hang himself and says "Why don't you come and have me execute you because if you don't then you'll miss all this fun stuff like fireworks--oh no you'll miss that because you'll be dead--but crying and Yum-Yum's attention will totally be taken away." And Nanki-Poo says, "Her attention will totally be taken away?" like it is the best thing ever. Nanki-Poo is a "second mandolinist" which is "too low" for a maiden. But he is actually The Mikado's son and that is the perfect thing for a maiden. He will agree to be executed only if he can marry Yum-Yum for the time that he is alive. But the problem is if women's husbands are executed then they'll have to be buried alive. At the end they do get married, but I don't want to spoil too much.

One of my favorite parts was when Ko-ko kept saying "Let's go over where the Chancellor can't hear us" and "Let's go here where the chief justice can't hear us." It's funny because he's saying all of these different kinds of people but the funny thing is is that the Pooh-Bah (Matt Kahler) is actually all those different positions and Ko-ko is talking to the Pooh-Bah. And the Pooh-Bah doesn't even seem to notice that Ko-ko is saying "Let's go over where you can't hear us. Let's go over where you can't hear us." But the Pooh-Bah keeps saying "good idea" because he doesn't want to lose his positions. It was hilarious because of how it was said and how the actors acted, and the lines are also funny.

I thought it was interesting that Shawn Pfautsch played both Nanki-Poo and Katisha because Katisha is a girl who wants to marry Nanki-Poo. They can not get married if the same person is playing the person that the person is getting married to. I thought, "Oh, good" when Katisha got married to Ko-ko because then Nanki-Poo was not dead and Shawn didn't have to do a quick change back and forth every two seconds to marry himself. I wanted Katisha to find love, but I didn't want her to marry the main character who was in love with someone else. I don't think they would have been happy together. They had very different interests. She came in playing a weird saxophone song. He played very nice and soft music, but she played weird nightclub music.

There was this song called "Three Little Maids from School" which was about Yum-Yum and her two sisters Pitti-Sing (Christine Stulik) and Peep-Bo (Dana Omar). Pitti-Sing had a really funny voice--it was very high. I thought it was the best hysterical voice ever. One of my favorite moments was when Peep-Bo showed off how smart she was when Nanki-Poo said to Yum Yum, "We'll make minutes hours, hours days, and days years and then we will have been together for 25 years." And then Peep-Bo (Hey! Bo Peep! But Peep-Bo!) says, "Then this conversation has lasted 4 hours and 18 minutes." That shows that she is very smart. The three little maids, none of them are exactly smart, but she just showed that that day she was the smartest of the little maids.

One of my favorite parts was when they used this little song that sounded like a vocal warmup. The Pooh-Bah, Ko-ko and Pish-Tush (Ryan Bourque) performed it like it actually was a vocal warm up. It went like this: "To sit in solemn silence on a dull dark dock, in a presidential prison with a lifelong lock, awaiting the sensation of a short sharp shock by a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block." I think I have actually heard that before, and it was nice to have a part of the play that I knew because I have never actually seen this operetta until now. I liked the tongue-twister element of it. The performers seemed like they were having fun but also doing a difficult task because it is actually a difficult element to a play to add a tongue twister in. People could laugh kindly at you--like it is a funny thing--or they could laugh mockingly at you if you mess up or they could laugh funnily at you. But it didn't seem like they messed up at all which I thought was amazing.

I thought it was funny in the scene where Nanki-Poo was singing with Yum-Yum about how they would never kiss again. But instead of saying "kiss' they would pucker up their lips and make a smooching noise. It told me that they really wanted to be together but they thought they could never do it. It was more funny than tragic. There is like a tiny sliver of tragic in there. And when they are singing "We'll never do this again," they almost kiss but it is illegal to flirt. Speaking of flirt--every time that somebody said "flirting" the rest of the cast would say "flirting" in a whisper as if it were a horrible thing to even say the word flirting. Actually it is not such a horrible thing to say the word flirting, but they make it sound like it is, which I think is fuhlarious.

People that would like this show are people that like balloons, comedy, and Pooh-Bahs that have many jobs. This show is perfect for kids because it is very humorous. Kids would not have very much trouble following the story because it has a very easy plot. Don't think if you are going to an opera house that the show there will be the same. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see a balloon pit in a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta! If people don't want to see a balloon pit or people riding tiny tricycles, they should not see this play. But what I really want them to do is take a chance. If they do, I think they will completely change their minds.

Photos: Matthew Gregory Hollis

1 comment:

missg said...

Great review, Ada!! I totally want to go see this!!