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REVIEWS

The Mikado, by Gilbert & Sullivan
Now that's entertainment you can't get from your couch!
Friday, February 22, 2008
4.0
It’s obvious that the first person to review this production of The Mikado was looking for a more “classical operatic” version instead of this comedic presentation. I personally went to enjoy live comedic musical theater in the setting of British humor (not always appreciated by some) delivered by local professionals. I got exactly what I went for. Not only did the actors deliver entertainment not achieved by sitting on one’s sofa with the boob tube blasting but the production as a whole was so successful that the audience was guffawing throughout not only opening night but closing matinee as well. These actors GAVE their time, energy and effort (sans pay) to entertain everyone; even the sourpusses. And entertain they did!

The easy part of this review is the costumes and stage. The costumes and wigs were beautiful and the stage perfect for smooth transition between scenes for the actors. Sally Robertson did a fabulous job culling the auditioning artists to pick the right group for what she had in mind; casting the right people perfectly. Her decision to ad current information to the dialogue developed yet another surprising layer of humor to the production as does a good, carefully used condiment. It helped keep the audience connected to the production. Susan McEwen’s tireless energy was apparent in the orchestral delivery. Even though the horn section was weak at first, they pulled it together for the closing matinee.

Camilla Zaepfel WAS Yum-Yum as Nick Morrett WAS Ko-Ko and Katie Rouse WAS Katisha. Their unique, professional touches enhanced the character development of their respective performed personalities. Jeffrey Gibb’s obvious operatic experience sometimes gave him difficulty in the delivery of simple lines but he evolved and was magnificent in his closing performance. Matthew Carter’s incredible comedic timing was sheer perfection in his portrayal of Pooh-Bah which can only come from innate talent honed by years of experience. Lindsey Martin’s albeit limited appearance was refreshing and energetic. Ava Thibodeau’s rich mezzo soprano voice enhanced the scenes deliciously. Her facial expressions were the “exclamation mark” to all the comedy taking place on the stage around her and I found myself guffawing in delight at her understanding of her part. Kevin Harry was not only added “eye candy” to the stage but “ear candy” as well. His touches of his own brand of dramatic comedy were well timed and successful. Marcus Megahee’s duets with Camilla were a delightful, convincing blend which left me swooning at their combined talent. Last but not least, Aaron Gotlieb’s quiet, black, background comedic relief was fabulous. His was timing impeccable and became something to look forward to in the upcoming scenes.

After going opening night, I emailed about 50 of my friends to encourage them to get off their couches and come witness an amazing production of live, musical theater. I got back about 25 emails thanking me for my recommendation. After all, it is the “lay person” who digs into their pockets and comprises the majority of the viewing audience and should be the target for entertainment. This production encourages me to renew my love of theater by attending more performances – both musical and non. Thanks guys!

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