“The Mikado,” a classic operetta, presented by Chandler-Gilbert Community College performing arts department, will open today, June 24.
“It’s fun silliness,” said director Sally Jesse. “It’s escapist material; don’t come looking for great meaning.”
The light-hearted comedic show was first produced in 1885 by British theater duo Arthur Sullivan and W.S. Gilbert, who are known for their numerous collaborations, including “Pirates of Penance.”
“The Mikado” is set in Japan and features a comedic plot centered on the love triangle of the characters of Ko-Ko and Nanki-Poo ,who both wish to marry Yum-Yum.
“Mikado gets students, community members and the audience to be exposed to a different type of musical theater other than Broadway,” said Marc Denton, the musical director.
The cast includes both students and non-student community members. Many of the main roles will be rotated between cast members for different performances. Prominent local actor Jeffrey Stevens is featured as Pooh-Ba, the High Lord of Everything Else.
Although it may seem questionable that jokes from over a century ago will be funny to audiences today, many of the jokes have been modernized, said Jacob Petersen of Mesa, who plays Ko-Ko.
“Gilbert and Sullivan allows for updates,” Jesse said. “And because of that, you can play with what’s happening around you. Many of the jokes were created by cast members.”
The mentioning of Lady Gaga and Hugh Hefner are interwoven into this updated version.
“We put our own personal spin to the show, while still keeping it true to the feeling of the (original) show,” said Jordan Peterson, who plays Pish-Tush. Peterson is a 2008 graduate of Mountain Pointe High School in Ahwatukee Foothills.
“Hopefully it will tickle your tummy,” Stevens said. “People should come to the show and escape.”
Chandler-Gilbert Community College, 2626 E. Pecos Road in Chandler, will debut “The Mikado” on Friday, June 24 at 7:30 p.m. The show will continue on Saturday, June 25 with a matinee at 2 p.m. and a performance at 7:30 p.m. “The Mikado” will play out June 27 to 29 with 7:30 p.m. performances each night. Tickets prices are $10 for general admission, $9 for seniors, $7 for students, and $5 for the 2 p.m. matinee, and can be purchased by calling the CGCC Box Office at (480) 732-7343.
• Stacie Spring is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a senior at Arizona State University.