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Gilbert & Sullivan: Mikado, The

Gidon Saks , Henry Ingram    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 29.98
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Frequently Bought Together

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$ 78.19

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Product Description


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

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 10 2014
By Dave
had to have it since I was Nanki Poo in my high school production an years ago
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Canadian entertainment March 11 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a fun Canadian version of the Mikado.
Several "in" Canadian jokes.
Eg. "The Smoking Separatist"
The is escapism entertainment at it best.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a most glorious production.... March 25 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A true visual treat for all musical theatre audiences.. and a must for G&S fans....
the wit and irreverance originally scripted by Gilbert and Sullivan, is brought to life with this superb production by the Strafford Festival and CBC...
That I also got to witness the performance of a dear friend as Pish-Tush in this production was a double treat...
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5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing piece of Canadian theatrical history! Jan. 29 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is an absolutely fantastic musical! I was lucky enough to see The Mikado with this cast on stage in Stratford, Ontario back in 1982 and it has richly informed many aspects of my life ever since. I would love to see a hi-def remaster of this production, but until such time I am very happy to have it on DVD!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good performance Sept. 2 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Recording was originally on VHS which limits the quality. Some songs are dubbed. (which makes the sound quality better than they would have otherwise been).

I like the Mikado and I like this performance. It's the only Stratford Mikado available on video - so I wanted to own it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Executed Aug. 9 2004
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Stratford Production! March 5 2004
By Student
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
5.0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING Dec 25 2003
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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