The Snow Drama Theatre presents a modern retelling of the social satire opera “The Mikado” by Gilbert and Sullivan.
The show received positive reviews nightly during its Jan. 31, Feb. 2-7 performances. Two additional shows are scheduled for Feb. 9 and 10.
The Mikado is a light-hearted operatic production for ages six and older. The show is set up to be accessible and understandable for people of all backgrounds. Opera can be intimidating to some, and the BYU-Idaho Drama Department understands that.
They installed a board on either side of the stage to project the captions of the show’s dialogue and singing.
This production of the Mikado is described as, “Gilbert and Sullivan’s popular social satire…reimagined for the 21st century,” according to the Theatre Department
The Mikado presents the topical story of Nanki-Poo, a wedding singer who crashes the corporate retreat of Mikado Industries in the city of Titipu looking for his lost love Yum-Yum. Unfortunately, Yum-Yum is betrothed to the new Lord High Executioner Ko-Ko.
This land is run by the “emperor” or CEO, the Mikado — played by David Olsen — who has decreed that flirting is a legal offense punishable by decapitation. With the sudden news of the CEO coming to Titipu, Ko-Ko and Nanki-Poo must negotiate a deal to each get what they want before one of them loses their head.
As this is a reimagined take on the original story, the Snow Drama Theatre’s version of this story is filled with fourth-wall-breaking characters, anachronistic references, local and BYU-I-specific jokes. Expertly designed costumes attributed to Japanese styles in popular culture.
Jade Lamprecht, a senior studying home design, attended the show to see her family home evening group “sister” in the production.
“I didn’t expect it to be really colorful…It was a lot funnier than I expected because when you hear an opera, you think something boring, but it was pretty funny,” Lamprecht said.
Opera is not always a popular genre, but the Snow Drama Theatre did everything it could to make this an accommodating experience for the operatic amateur.
“They had a lot of the anachronisms and 4th-wall breaks that made it kinda like a nice little intro for beginners to get into operas and…get more comfortable with opera,” said Mitchell Bower, a junior studying software engineering.
For any discerning audience with hesitations about certain topics, suicide and decapitation are regularly discussed throughout the opera. All discussion of these topics is generally done lightly to maintain the comedic tone of the play.
“Opera is one of the most joyful, creative forms of literature and art. My life is not my life without music,” said Owen Packham, who plays Pish-Tush in this production.