There are just three perfromances left of THE MIKADO at the Freeport Performing Arts Center. Set in the fictional Japanese village of Titipu, Gilbert & Sullivan's comic opera satirizes aspects of British society, culture and manners circa 1860 that have remarkable parallels to modern-day American society. But setting aside the deeper meaning: the music is terrific, the characters are marvelous, and the story is full of the comic twists, turns and wordplay you expect from G&S. They will keep you laughing right to the end.
Directed by Stephanie Ross with music direction and accompaniment by David Delano, the cast stars Jake Junkins as Ko-Ko, the Lord High Executioner, who must behead himself for having committed the capital crime of flirting. He fast-talks and schemes his way through a series of increasingly ridiculous conflicts. He is to marry his ward Yum-Yum (Laura Collard), who is in love with Nanki-Poo (Jon Libby), the diguised son of The Mikado (Don Labbe) who has run away from his father's court to avoid marriage to Katisha (Betty Gravelle). Ko-Ko's partners-in-crime are Pooh-Bah (Ben Proctor), who has been appointed to all public offices regardless of conflicts of interest, and Pitti-Sing (Dorothy Shull), one of Yum-Yum's best girlfriends and a bit of a schemer herself. Yum-Yum is attended by Pitti-Sing and Peep-Bo (Sarah Grinder), a frank and earnest "little maid from school."
This able cast is supported by a chorus loaded with ringers, members of Greater Freeport Community Chorus and other area choruses who really know their way around this type of music. Musical highlights include an a capella version of the madrigal "Brightly shines our wedding day" that consistently brings down the house and powerful solos by Proctor and Gravelle.
Tickets for The Mikado are on sale now online HERE and at The Thrift Store at Freeport Community Center on Depot Street. They are $10 in advance, a $5 savings over the $15 at-the-door price.
Final performances run Friday, August 3, 7:30pm, Saturday, August 4, 7:30pm, and Sunday, August 5, 2:00pm. All shows are at Freeport Performing Arts Center, 30 Holbrook Street.
There is plenty of onsite parking, but do allow a few extra minutes to navigate summer traffic in town. The FPAC is wheelchair-accessible and air-conditioned (bring a sweater...sometimes the AC is a after the warm air outside!). Box office opens 45 minutes before showtime, and house opens 30 minutes before showtime (open seating).
More information about the show is available online at www.fcponline.org.