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Gilbert & Sullivan: Mikado, The


List Price: CDN$ 29.98
Price: CDN$ 19.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Gilbert & Sullivan: Mikado, The + Pirates of Penzance + Gilbert & Sullivan - H.M.S. Pinafore / Trial By Jury - David Hobson, Anthony Warlow, Colette Mann, Tiffany Speight, John Bolton Wood, Richard Alexander, Opera Australia, State Theatre, The Arts Centre
Price For All Three: CDN$ 71.21


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Product Details

  • Actors: Gidon Saks, Henry Ingram
  • Format: Classical, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All RegionsAll Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Knightscove-Ellis International
  • Release Date: June 21 2004
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 1569383464
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #19,221 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Amazon.ca

A video of a 1982 performance at Canada's Stratford Festival (live, though with some singing dubbed), this is very much a theatrical experience, with the buoyancy of a show played before an audience. The cast and spectators take obvious pleasure in each other, and in classic Gilbert and Sullivan tradition, several numbers are encored. Subtlety is not this production's strong point, but you don't look to G&S for subtlety. As Ko-Ko, Eric Donkin doesn't exactly create a character. His performance is that of a vaudeville clown--he even wears a Japanese version of baggy pants. But his straight-to-the-audience delivery is irresistible. Gidon Saks plays the title role in Japanese-theater style, drawing out his syllables, rising to a scream at the end of a sentence. Though these mannerisms are a bit much, his demented tyrant of a Mikado is gripping and even spooky.

The production is not lavish, with a single, unadorned set and fairly basic staging. But there are some brilliant effects such as the entrance of the Mikado, enclosed in a litter, which his carriers open to reveal him standing magnificently in a miniature interior. Many of the comic lines have been updated, and with impressive wit. It's too bad that their topicality results in a lot of 1980s Canadian references, which will leave 21st-century non-Canadians feeling left out. Still, this is a highly satisfying interpretation of a classic. --David Olivenbaum


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Glen Koehn on Aug. 9 2004
Format: DVD
My seven year old daughter has watched this DVD about twenty five times, so the performance is etched in my brain.
It consists of fine, athletic acting and good singing, with fairly minimal sets. The orchestration has been tarted up, as some have noted, but it's not too bad. Richard MacMillan's entertaining Pooh-Bah sticks in the mind particularly, as does Gidon Saks' maniacal Mikado.
There are a few Canadian references which are fast becoming too topical even for natives of the North: wage and price controls ("six and five"), former Prime Minister Mulroney's pretty wife Mila (left off the little list), and even a brief digital salute to Pierre Trudeau from the irrepressible Pooh-Bah.
The CBC's production values are less than stunning. You get mediocre sound, no libretto, and the same tourist promotion video that is seen on other DVD's in the Stratford set. However, the wit and polish of the performance make up for any deficiencies.
Overall, a very worthwhile buy for anyone except a real sourpuss, and enjoyable even after the twenty fifth viewing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Hazen B Markoe on June 30 2003
Format: DVD
While some Gilbert & Sullivan devotees may quibble with this Canadian version of their masterpiece, THE MIKADO, there's no denying this version's infectious energy and fun. This production by the Stratford Festival is awash with high-jinks antics, solid acting and a boldness rarely seen since the Kevin Kline/Linda Ronstadt version of THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE. Director Brian Macdonald directs this production with a sure hand and a fine sense of humor. Eric Donkin makes for a solid and delightfully uptight Ko-Ko, while the tall and very lanky Richard McMillan steals the show as the self important Pooh-Bah. Marie Baron's Yum-Yum is a pure delight, and Karen Wood is a delightful Pitti-Sing. Gidon Saks makes for a rather hammy, but delightfully fierce, Mikado. Henry Ingram seems a little old for the youthful Nanki-Poo, but he definitely gets into the spirit of this wonderfully broad production. Some fans may not appreciate the "modern" Canadian references nor the very slight liberties in the score, but this is probably the one production that doesn't treat the immortal work like a museum piece. This is definitely the best version on DVD to date and one that I would definitely recommend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 22 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This production of The Mikado is the best I've seen. The chorus is very strong and dances around the stage instead of standing at the back like a prop; and the lead singers are great. Ko-Ko steals the show, he is funny and "patters" perfectly, Pooh-Bah looks like he WAS born smirking, and Marie Baron fits the role of Yum-Yum perfectly, with a wonderful voice too. The Mikado, as others have said, was a little over-the-top with his elongated pronounciation, but Katisha was very good and Nanki-Poo had an excellent voice if he was a little wooden. The best in her part I thought was Pitti-Sing, who was cute and spirited and perfect. Buy it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on Oct. 14 2002
Format: DVD
The video/DVD is of a staged Canadian production, filmed from the proscenium-audience point of view with some close-ups, in full costume and makeup appropriate to the G&S script and score. The score is very well sung although the songs are dubbed, you have to pay special attention to notice this. The lip-sync is very, very good and since they don't have to worry about singing perfectly "live" with the camera, they can do more acting while mouthing their parts, and it all works very well. Some wonderfully stylized performances make it fun, expecially from Pooh Bah who is the tallest actor I've ever seen in a G&S opera! Folks who are addicted to perfect-score singing will notice some deviations (not bad ones, just different) but overall its well-done and includes encores that are usually performed of the most popular numbers at high speed for an appreciative audience. I recommend this version to Mikado-lovers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Student on March 5 2004
Format: DVD
I have never seen the Mikado performed before and after seeing this version any other would be disapointing. I enjoyed all the principal players, especially Richard McMillan ,Eric Donkin, Henry Ingram and Allan Stewart-Coates. Pooh-Bah was hilarious and Marie Baron's singing was excellent. I share it with my friends and watch it many, many times. I loved it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Grossman on Dec 25 2003
Format: DVD
This is a wonderful Mikado from all counts. This production was a great success and it's easy to see why.The only drawback is the "Little List" Canadian update but this is minor. Everyone shines, especially Katisha and Pooh-Bah. What a wonderful way to kill two hours amd what a happy feeling when it is finished.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn C. Low on Oct. 16 2002
Format: DVD
Get this one! I'm currently involved in a Mikado production and bought it to get some idea of what it was all about. As there aren't many choices out there, I settled for this one.What a scream! Pooh-Bah, Ko-Ko and the Mikado were wonderful (with Pooh-Bah definitely a scene stealer). The ladies were terrific as well (though Pitti-Sing looks much like Betty Boop..) I'd seen Eric Tonkin (Nanki-Poo) in a video of The Magic Flute years ago, and hated him, but he's great here. The partial dubbing was a bit distracting. And, in contrary to a earlier ... reviewer, the list song IS here, though updated for the 90's with a Canadian twist. My daughters (American and 13 & 15) got all the jokes, even the separatist...
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