- 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:
- Studio: Knightscove-Ellis International
- Release Date: June 21 2004
- Run Time: 150 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 33 customer reviews
- ASIN: 1569383464
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #38,978 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
Gilbert & Sullivan: Mikado, The
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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.
The stage sets are simple yet effective and do not detract from the performers. The scene changes are done with acrobatic sublety and humour.
This is a performance where all the cast are enjoying what they are doing and it shows. Gideon Saks as the Mikado is exceptional and special praise must go to Richard McMillan ( Pooh Bah ) for an inspired and captivating performance ( I think he actually steals the show ).
This is a video that can be viewed time and time again. You will see something new each time. Two thumbs up on this one.
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Most recent customer reviews
Several "in" Canadian jokes.
Eg. "The Smoking Separatist"
The is escapism entertainment at it best.
the wit and irreverance originally scripted by Gilbert and Sullivan, is brought to life...Read more
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