(photo credit: )
By W.S. Gilbert
& A. Sullivan
Translated and directed by Yuval Zamir
The Fringe Opera
Mandel Music Center
Gilbert & Sullivan devotees rejoice! Yuval Zamir and his gifted bunch of singer/actor/musicians have created a campily stylish, witty and effervescent Hebrew language adaptation of this G&S favorite that leaves you humming, foot-tapping and smiling ear to ear. Alright, it does sag just a tad in the middle, but that’s a correctible blip.
To begin with, Zamir’s translation/adaptation of the libretto, complete with the near-obligatory updates to songs like I’ve got a Little List
, is not only spot-on, but sends up our political and social culture. Add to that Paulina Adamov’s malleable set of revolving shoji screens and Anin Rashbam’s evocative costumes working with Noam Huberman’s fantastically coifed wigs – not to forget Uri Rubinstein’s deft lighting, musicians Eyal Amir (musical director) and Assaf Finkelstein – and we’re off.
Titipoo is in an uproar. The Mikado has decreed that the punishment for flirting is death. Seeking a patsy to enforce the decree, the town notables elevate Koko the tailor to the station of Lord High Executioner. Enchanted by his brand-new importance, Koko seeks to wed Yum Yum, the town beauty. Enter Nankipoo, a wandering minstrel (pssst! He’s really the Mikado’s son). He and Yum Yum want to marry, but there’s Koko, and the Mikado’s decree. Ah! But here comes the redoubtable Katisha and she claims Nankipoo is promised to her. Well, of course it all works out to happily ever after.
The six-member cast sings all the roles and the chorus. They are Danny
Lashman as Nankipoo, Yossi Tzabari as Koko, baritone Tzachi Siton as
Pooh Ba, soprano Hagar Leibowitz as Yum Yum, mezzo soprano Dana
Muscatblit as Katisha and Guy Bracha as the Mikado, Pish Tush and
others. They are all simply splendid, vocally and stage-wise, with the
trained singers providing that extra polish. Give yourselves a lift.
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