The original concept was by Charles Berigan and David Fuller. I like it very much. Mr. Fuller also directed this production. The cast were all eager and energetic musical theater singer-actors, many with classically trained voices. (Several appeared in this show courtesy of Actor's Equity Association.) In some ways I'm a purist, but this casting worked, and even lent credibility to the community production concept.
David Arthur Bachrach's role as Sir Evelyn Estebrooke, British Consul to Singapore, was more important than Sir Evelyn's role as the Mikado. Sir Evelyn was host and patron for the evening's proceedings, and acted as master of ceremonies. Mr. Bachrach was in character from the very beginning, handing out the Singapore programs and chatting up the audience as Sir Evelyn.
Pooh-Bah is often played as a great stick in the mud. I liked David Fuller's portrayal, where the stiff persona is merely posturing that falls away easily to reveal a good-hearted chap. I found his instant character shifts as he described all his roles in city government quite amusing. (I've seen other actors attempt these shifts without the same success.)
The Katisha of Chrysten Peddie was a delight to see and hear, as were Yum-Yum's sisters Lorinne Lampert as Pitti-Sing and Michelle Seipel as Peep-Bo. The ensemble was really a double-quartet, with each vocal part covered once--typical of the sort of community theater production portrayed. This lent an intimate feel to some of the choruses that was unfamiliar but quite welcome. Although not a typically operatic sound, the ensemble had a pleasing sound.
Kudos must go to the production team. David Fuller's direction showed great attention to character and effective traffic control. Judith Jarosz's choreography was charming. (Mr. Fuller and Ms. Jarosz are Co-Artistic Directors of Theater 2020, and also deserve kudos for creating and keeping alive and vibrant this delightful small company.) Costumes by Ricky Lurie were beautiful--quite appropriate 1940s wear, still visible when the actors donned Japanese-looking robes to take their Mikado characters. Hair and make-up were uncredited, but these, too, were quite effective.
The Singapore Mikado has four more shows--March 1 matinee, March 6 and 7 at 8 p.m., and March 8 matinee. I would encourage you to go.