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The Mikado (1967)

In a mythical Japan, Ko-Ko, a cheap tailor, has been appointed Lord High Executioner and must find someone to execute before the arrival of the ruling Mikado. He lights upon Nanki-Poo, a ... See full summary »

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(libretto) (as William S. Gilbert)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Donald Adams ...
Mikado
Philip Potter ...
Nanki-Poo
John Reed ...
Ko-Ko
Kenneth Sandford ...
Pooh-Bah
Thomas Lawlor ...
Pish-Tush
Valerie Masterson ...
Yum-Yum
...
Pitti-Sing
Pauline Wales ...
Peep-Bo
Christene Palmer ...
Katisha
George Cook ...
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Storyline

In a mythical Japan, Ko-Ko, a cheap tailor, has been appointed Lord High Executioner and must find someone to execute before the arrival of the ruling Mikado. He lights upon Nanki-Poo, a strolling minstrel who loves the beautiful Yum-Yum. But Yum-Yum is also loved by Ko-Ko, and Nanki-Poo, seeing no hope for his love, considers suicide. Ko-Ko offers to solve both their problems by executing Nanki-Poo, and an agreement is reached whereby Ko-Ko will allow Nanki-Poo to marry Yum-Yum for one month, at the end of which Nanki-Poo will be executed, in time for the arrival of the Mikado. But what Ko-Ko doesn't know is that Nanki-Poo is the son of the Mikado and has run away to avoid a betrothal to an old harridan named Katisha. The arrival of the Mikado brings all the threads of the tale together. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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It's unequaled on the screen! A brand new actual performance of The D'Oyly Carte Opera Co.

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Musical

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15 March 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Town of Titipu  »

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(Technicolor)

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1.66 : 1
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Version of The Mikado (1954) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A wonderful example of the Golden Age of D'Oyly Carte
19 May 2013 | by See all my reviews

The Mikado ties with Pirates of Penzance as my personal favourite of Gilbert and Sullivan's operettas. Its story is exceedingly charming and clean family fun, while the music is some of Sullivan's most beautiful(especially The Sun Whose Rays). And if you love The Mikado as much as I do, you'll love this D'Oyly Carte performance in their Golden Age. It is deserving of a better DVD in the future, with clearer audio and a sharper image, but this is the DVD we're talking about not the performance(the latter of which being the one under review). And this performance is absolutely wonderful, tying with the 80s Stratford production as the best Mikado available on DVD(the Eric Idle one I also am fond of). It is a very beautiful-looking and authentic-in-detail traditional performance, I genuinely felt that I'd been transported to exotic Japan, a feeling that not many of the other DVD productions have done. The performance is also complete, with all the dialogue and lyrics intact. Furthermore, the dialogue and lyrics are still hilarious. The orchestra play the music as if they also know that it is one of Sullivan's most beautiful overall scores, in a very stylish and sumptuous reading. The chorus sing vibrantly and are equally enthusiastic in their acting, and there was nothing questionable about the conducting either. The staging is as charming and witty as the operetta itself, the bit where Pooh-Bah talks to Pish-Tush just for the camera is a tad contrived but is not enough to bring the performance down.

And we also have the pleasure of having a dream cast in the lead roles. John Reed- though Martyn Green in the 1939 film plays with a little more subtlety- is hilarious as Ko-Ko, clearly enjoying every minute he's on stage(the little list song is deliciously funny without ever feeling crude) and he has a fine voice, making the not-easy music seem easy. Valerie Masterson's Yum-Yum is youthful, beautiful and charm personified, with one of the most gorgeously-sung and heartfelt renditions of The Sun Whose Rays I've heard anywhere. Christine Palmer has a rich voice, and is commanding regardless of whether the role of Katisha calls for venom or pathos, both of which Palmer meets splendidly. Phillip Potter is marvellous, his tenor voice is unstrained and nuanced with a strong touch of youthfulness and he doesn't come across as bland(like a lot of Nanki-Poos) as an actor either. I've not heard a better Pooh-Bah or Mikado than those of Kenneth Sandford- droll yet instantly appealing with a lovely creamy baritone voice- and Donald Adams, who dominates from minute one of his appearance with a regal presence but that doesn't restrain him from a couple of endearingly silly moments too. In conclusion, a wonderful performance, if you want a good example of the Golden Age of D'Oyly Carte this Mikado more than fits the bill. 10/10 Bethany Cox


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