Friday, January 13, 2012

Mad for Mikado

What a cad, standing there smirking at the camera. Forty-something on a thirty-something-degree rake: he's practically falling into the audience. It was Jonathan Miller's The Mikado at New York City Opera. The 1930's, black and white, Gosford Park, man-eating Victrola version of Gilbert and Sullivan's most popular work. Huge gessoed palm trees (just out of the frame on the right) referenced grand hotel palm courts, while long cigarette holders, bob cuts and tortoise shell sunglasses a glamourous chic. 

The gentleman in question later made an appearance in white in the second act (do people have second acts anymore?) with a lovely lady of long acquaintance. No, that is not his wife, silly. But they are stage chums having once had to stand stock still together in Boito's Mefistofele - the Classical Sabbath scene to be exact. He got to wear a leotard with a fabulous painted and artfully padded physique (why go to the gym?) while she wore a sumptuous grecian gown of white with crisscrossing gold cord. Very flattering, I must say. Holding statuary poses for fifteen minutes while singing, they then had to the float off-stage with utmost grace- not an easy thing to do when the limbs have fallen asleep.

Wide awake for The Mikado, they had their Fred and Ginger moment dancing the Charleston during the Finale.  Her hat went mad one night, flying off her head. Neither missed a beat as he caught it.  

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