I found myself somewhat further uptown from Broadway last night seeing The Collegiate Chorale's production of The Mikado at Carnegie Hall. Don't I sound fancy!
@MrTylerMartins brought this production to my attention and in classic Mildly Bitter fashion I wanted to see The Mikado because Steve Rosen was in it. I admit I am a Johnny-Come-Lately with respect to Mr. Rosen. I stumbled upon his work in CQ/CX (a title I still get backwards all the time). He gave the best performance in that show and I swore at the time I would be on the lookout for other things he did. Only by chance, I happened to catch him breathe life into a dreadful song from Kelly at If It Only Runs a Minute last month. He can act, he sings, and he's funny y'all. Very very funny. And adorbs.
There were other reasons to see this production of The Mikado...uhm Victoria Clark (who I last saw in How to Succeed in 1995), Jason Danieley, Kelli O'Hara, Christopher Fitzgerald...but I was there for Steve Rosen. Seriously I am this unpredictable and contrary.
It was my first Gilbert & Sullivan and I am glad I got to see a wonderful cast interpret The Mikado in this concert format. The story involved a wacky tale of love, loyalty and execution. Jason Danieley plays Nanki-Poo, son of The Mikado, who is hiding out as the second trombone player in the town band so he won't have to marry Katisha (Victoria Clark). Nanki-Poo falls in love with Yum-Yum (Kelli O'Hara) but she is engaged to Ko-Ko (Christopher Fitzgerald) the Lord High Executioner. Nanki-Poo convinces Ko-Ko to let him marry Yum-Yum for one month before he is executed as Ko-Ko must execute someone in his town before the month is up or he will lose his job or his head or both. Let's just say hijinks ensue after that...
Victoria Clark was hilarious as the angry Katisha and tore up the stage like a wronged-woman-hurricane. Christopher Fitzgerald was appropriately goofy and non-G&S purists enjoyed the updated the lyrics to one of his songs. Kelli O'Hara, as always, sounded like a frickin' angel. Steve Rosen had a smaller part as Pish-Tush (which sounds like something a grandmother would call her grandchild) but he was funny and sounded great even from the tippy top of Carnegie Hall where I was sitting.
Maybe the story/show went on a bit longer than I would have liked but you really can't complain with a group of top Broadway voices like this.
Anyway, keep an eye out for Mr. Rosen and the musical he co-authored called The Other Josh Cohen opening Off-Broadway later this year (or so says his bio).