Friday, April 03, 2015

Oberon Presents Gilbert & Sullivan's "The Mikado" - Chicago-based Hypocrites Once Again Take Cambridge By Storm!

The Hypocrites
Cast of "The Mikado"
American Repertory Theater
Through April 5

Last season, the American Repertory Theater invited Chicago-based Hypocrites to perform their madcap version of "The Pirates of Penzance."  They won the hearts of Cambridge audiences and Gilbert & Sullivan aficionados who came in droves. They have returned to renew their love affair with area audiences with an equally saucy interpretation of "The Mikado."

Under the superb Direction of Sean Graney and Thrisa Hodits, The Hypocrites manage to walk a very fine line between lovingly curating the well know and well worn material written long ago by Gilbert & Sullivan, and adding ironic wrinkles and contemporary allusions that freshen up the presentation for 21st Century audiences.  It would be equivalent to painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa without harming the original work of art, and without upsetting DaVinci purists.  During the show at the Oberon, I paid attention to those who were mouthing all of the words - a significant percentage of the full house.  They seemed to be having the time of their life, as were all of the rest of us who gladly allowed ourselves to fall under the winsome spell of this troupe that I can only describe as "organic, free-range minstrels"!  How appropriate for Harvard Square..

The Hypocrites
Cast of "The Mikado"
American Repertory Theater
Through April 5
As you can see from the photo above, this production of "The Mikado": is a fully immersive experience.  Acting and singing take place throughout the Oberon performance space.  If a performer needs to use the space where someone is sitting, he simple points to the person who needs to move or she taps that person on the shoulder, and things flow smoothly.

These women and men - actors and musicians - are professional performers of the highest order.  They told the story with relish, panache and a joie de vivre that spilled over to each audience member - from the youngest child to those of us who were almost contemporaries with Sir Arthur Sullivan.  By the end of the evening, there was enough goodwill flowing through the house that it could have effected a rapprochement between the feuding Gilbert & Sullivan had not the actual writing of "The Mikado" had not already accomplished that task and healed their rift.

Performing members of The Hypocrites include:

  • Shawn Pfautsch as Nanki-Poo and Katisha
  • Emily Carey as Yum-Yum and The Mikado
  • Rob McLean as Ko-Ko
  • Matt Kahler as Pooh-Bah
  • Ryan Bourque as Pish-Tush
  • Lauren Vogel as Pitti-Sing
  • Dana Omar as Peep-Bo
  • Doug Pawlik as Mouse 1
  • Erik Schroader as Mouse 2
  • Kate Carson-Groner as The Barker
Andra Velis Simon serves as Music Director.

As Spring weather finally begins to settle in to our region, I can think of no finer way to finish the job of defrosting your soul and spirit than by making a pilgrimage to the Oberon this weekend to join the party and share in the fun.

At this writing, all remaining shows are sold out except for the Easter Sunday matinee.  I suggest that you hop on the link below to secure one of the few remaining tickets.

Link for Tickets to The Mikado



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