Bringing together the swing and the jazz of Americana 1940s with the traditional elegance of Japanese culture is Hot Mikado, presented by the Chatswood Musical Society.
Based on the Gilbert and Sullivan classic The Mikado, the storyline doesn’t stray far from the original, but is brought up to date with a mix of jazz, blues, gospel, pop-culture references and, with this staging, a smaller cast and gender diverse casting.
In a society ruled by nonsensical laws, Nanki-Poo is still searching for his Yum-Yum, whilst disguised as a wandering minstrel to hide his true identity, Ko-Ko is still bending the law to suit his own desires supported by Pooh-Bah, Katisha is still chasing after her Nanki-Poo and the Mikado still governs over Club Titipu and all of Japan.
David Verdejo as the exuberant Ko-Ko is certainly a scene stealer, with his two major numbers “I’ve Got a Little List” and “Tit-Willow” the highlights of the show. Blake Lovely and Nina Marsh played the young lovers of Nanki-Poo and Yum-Yum with the right amount of naivety and energy. Special mention to Alisia Jedrzejczak, whose vocal stylings as Pitti-Sing in “For He’s Gonna Marry Yum-Yum” were outstanding.
Director and choreographer, Declan Moore, and musical director, Andrew Bartle, are to be commended for their work on this production; however opening night was plagued by major sound issues. The majority of the songs were inaudible, which was unfortunate as they carried a lot of the humour and plot lines. In the moments where there was a sound balance, it was apparent that this certainly is a talented group of actors and performers. It was just a shame they couldn’t be heard properly and hopefully this issue can be sorted for the remaining shows.
HOT MIKADO – SEASON DETAILS
Wednesday 27th September – 8pm
Friday 29th September – 8pm
Saturday 30th September – 2pm & 8pm
Sunday 1st October – 2pm
Location: The Independent Theatre, 269 Miller St, North Sydney