My family and I saw the Opera Theatre of St. Louis's production of 'The Mikado' yesterday afternoon. It was very well done. The setting had been updated to modern Japan, so the male chorus was attired in stereotypical Japanese businessman suits, complete with cell phones and laptop computers. The female chorus alternated between tradition Japanese dress and Japanese schoolgirl outfits with 'Hello Kitty' backpacks.
The hero Nanki-Poo was a Japanese Elvis impersonator while Yum-Yum (his eventual bride) was a typical mid-teen with leggings and hair-decorations galore. Lots of lyrical silliness, and some of it nicely updated to contemporary standards – the entire crop of Presidential candidates was judged suitable for summary execution – "They will not be missed"! This was received with considerable audience enthusiasm.
Katisha, the elderly maid with claims upon Nanki-Poo, was quite hidious in a way that resembled a Disney cartoon female villain, complete with slabs of pancake make-up. Nonetheless, it was clear that she was a misunderstood soul and when, in a desperate attempt to save his own life, Ko-Ko, the Lord High Executioner himself, proposed marriage (with a face that resembled someone encountering Stinky Fruit for the first time) she melted.
So did he.
It was well sung and played, with a lot of zip and sparkle (hard to maintain given Sullivan's sometimes monotonous score) and to complete the joy both Godzilla and Pikachu made appearances.