Picture a little town in Japan where flirting is punishable by death. Unsurprisingly, its citizens are finding the law rather, well... tiresome. They appoint Ko Ko, a lowly tailor, as Lord High Executioner, himself condemned for flirting and so not likely to execute anyone. Throw in the beautiful Yum Yum, her ardent admirer Nanki-Poo, errant son of the Mikado, and the man-eater Katisha, and you have one of Gilbert and Sullivan's most famous comic operas in all its wonderful absurdity.Synopsis complet
Génèse du musical
Hot Mikado is a musical comedy, based on Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado, adapted by David H. Bell (book and lyrics) and Rob Bowman (orchestrations and arrangements). After researching the 1939 Broadway musical, "The Hot Mikado", and being disappointed at the amount of surviving material that they could find, Bell and Bowman created a new adaptation, "Hot Mikado". "Not much remains, however, of the 1939 show’s African-American emphasis, save the cool hipster style which even then was beginning to be eagerly pre-empted by Americans of every ethnicity."
Their original production ran from March 18–July 27, 1986 at Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC, where Bell was artistic director. Bell directed and choreographed the production. The musical also had an early Chicago production, among other revivals and ran in London's West End in 1995. It has enjoyed many additional productions in North America and the UK since then. In 2010, it ran at the New Repertory Theatre in Watertown, Massachusetts. and the Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace Theatre in Chicago. International productions have included a long-running Prague staging and a run in Dublin.
The plot of Hot Mikado does not stray far from the Gilbert and Sullivan original, with a similar satiric tone. Katisha is played as a vamp. Ko-Ko is characterized in a manner similar to such characters as Sergeant Bilko. An extra male character, Junior, is added, who takes some of Pish-Tush's lines and sings the solo in "Braid the raven hair." The show is set in Japan in the 1940s, with suggested settings and costuming combining Japanese design with American 1940s design. The set uses Japanese architecture, executed in the textures of The Cotton Club (neon, brass, mahogany). The costumes include zoot suits, snoods, wedgies and felt hats, executed in the colorful silk kimono textures of Japan.
The score uses much of Sullivan's original music but is reorchestrated using 1940s popular musical harmonies and arrangements and a wide range of styles, including jazz, hot gospel, blues, rock, Cab Calloway swing, and torch songs. The 'Three Little Maids' sing in Andrews Sisters' style. Many of the songs of Hot Mikado have the same name and melody as in The Mikado, but often have a twist. For example, the song "I Am So Proud" has the same melody for the verses, changing only towards the end, where it folds into a more jazzy round. The dances called for include the Lindy Hop, tap-dancing, the jitterbug and other 1940s dances.
Liste des chansons
"We Are Gentlemen of Japan" – The Gentlemen
"Wand'ring Minstrel" – Nanki-Poo and the Gentlemen
"And the Drums Will Crash" – Pooh-Bah and Ensemble
"Behold the Lord High Executioner" – Ko-Ko and the Gentlemen
"I've Got a Little List" – Ko-Ko and the Gentlemen
"Three Little Maids" – Yum-Yum, Peep-Bo and Pitti-Sing
"This Is What I'll Never Do" – Yum-Yum and Nanki-Poo
"I Am So Proud" – Pooh-Bah, Pish-Tush and Ko-Ko
"Let the Throng Our Joy Advance" – Nanki-Poo, Yum-Yum and Ensemble
"Katisha's Entrance" – Katisha
"For He's Gonna Marry Yum-Yum" – Pitti-Sing and Ensemble
"Hour of Gladness" – Katisha
"Finale/Act One" – Ensemble
"Braid the Raven Hair" – Pish-Tush and Ensemble
"Sun and I" – Yum-Yum
"Swing a Merry Madrigal" – Nanki-Poo, Pitti-Sing, Yum-Yum and Pish-Tush
"Here's a Howdy-Do" – Nanki-Poo, Yum-Yum and Ko-Ko
"Mikado Song" – The Mikado and Ensemble
"Alone and Yet Alive" – Katisha
"Tit-Willow" – Ko-Ko
"Beauty in the Bellow" – Ko-Ko and Katisha
"Finale" – Ensemble
Liste des rôles
The Mikado, Baritone - The Big "Cat" of Japan
Nanki-Poo, Tenor - The Son of the Mikado
Yum-Yum, Soprano - The Ward of Titipu's Lord High Executioner
Pitti-Sing, Mezzo-Soprano - Yum-Yum's Sister
Peep-Bo, Soprano - Yum-Yum's Sister
Pish-Tush, Tenor - The "Coolest" Gentleman of Japan
Ko-Ko, Baritone - Lord High Executioner
Pooh-Bah, Bass - Lord High "Everything Else"
Katisha, Contralto - Spurned Elderly Suitor of Nanki-Poo
Also 6 gentlemen of Japan and 3 ladies of Japan
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