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April 04, 1994 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-04-04

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, April 4, 1994

Zesty 'Not Mikado' butchers pop culture

With the glamour of a rock concert and the
glitz of a Las Vegas revue, the Birmingham The-
atre presented Saturday night "The Not Mikado:
A Hip-Hopperetta," a satirical and very funny
musical loosely based on Gilbert and Sullivan's
1885 opera, "The Mikado."
The Not Mikado
Birmingham Theatre
April 2, 1994
Conceived and directed by Worth Gardner,
"The Not Mikado" provided zesty commentary
on the complexity and absurdity of today's pop
culture. It was very similar to the original "Mi-
kado," in that both were stage productions per-
formed by carbon-based life forms. The similari-
ties generally ended there.
Gardner took the original Gilbert and Sullivan
storyline and infused it with more pop culture
references than you'll find in both "Wayne's
World" movies and a week's worth of "Entertain-
ment Tonight."The setting was still Titipu, Japan,

where the emperor-the Mikado- made flirting
a crime punishable by death, but the characters,
the sassy dialogue, and the variety of music styles,
ranging from country-western to calypso, had a
distinctly '90s feel.
The story centered on Nanki-Poo (David
Gunderman), aleather-clad, punk-rockin', Paulie
Shore clone on roller blades. Complications arose,
however, when his love interest, Yum-Yum
(Courtenay Collins), became slated to be married
to Ko-Ko, the Lord High Executioner (Kurt Johns).
One of the musical highlights from Act I was
"Behold the Lord High Executioner," where Ko-
Ko sings merrily about the people he'd like to
whack. Included in his list are Snoop Doggy Dog,
Howard Stern, drama critics and Barney.
As a Responsible Drama Critic, I have to say
that it is a sad, sad day when actors must resort to
making jokes about decapitating lovable, purple
dinosaurs for a few cheap yucks. As a product of
'70s and '80s popular culture, however, I say
bring on the cleaver.
"The Not Mikado" could have succeeded on
the quality of the dialogue and the lively dance
numbers alone, but what made this a memorable
show was the strong performances by the nine cast

members. Particularly noteworthy were Kurt
Johns, as the malaprop-prone Ko-Ko, whose New
York accent was a mixture of a young Marlon
Brando and a cranky Archie Bunker, and Howard
Kaye, as the excessively stuffy Poo-Bah.
Equally entertaining but under-used were
Wendy Perelman and Rebecca Hirsch, as the
mall-talking duo, Peep-Bo and Pitti-Sing. Not
only did they take time out at the beginning of Act
II to recap the events of Act I, but they also gave
a complete update of Andrea's wedding on
"90210," in case any of you missed that episode.
Eduardo Sicangco's costume designs were the
perfect mix of feudal Japan and Cindy Crawford's
"House of Style." The street-talking, crotch-
grabbing, CD-clad Mikado (David Earl Hart) wore
10-inch platform shoes and had a hairdo that
would make Patti Labelle sit up and take notice.
No description of the "Not Mikado" could top
that of Pitti-Sing's at the end of the second act.
"It's like when you go to the orthodontist and get
your braces off and run your tongue across your
teeth for the first time. Mmmm!"
THE NOT MIKADO will be playing through
April 24 at the Birmingham Theatre. Call (810)
644-3533 for more info.

e -

The Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives
is now accepting applications for
positions for the Wade H. McCree, Jr.
Incentive Scholarship Summer Initiative.
Applicatio dealine is April 7. 994.
Student Leaders work with a diverse group
of high school students from the Detroit Metropolitan area
who have been designated as University of Michigan Incentive
Scholars. Student Leaders reside in the residence halls
with the scholars and serve as role models and guides. They
also provide information about the trials and triumphs of
college life. Student Leaders should be very outgoing and
have a commitment to helping students develop personal
motivation for a college education.
Applications and complete job descriptions are available at:
The Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives
1042 Fleming Building, 936-1055
A non-discriminatory, affirmative action employer.

Courtenay Collins plays Yum-Yum in the satirical musical "The NOT Mikado."

Compare &



KEYBOARDS (Classical & Improv),


Post Office Box 1416 * Visalia, California 93279

April 4-11
Canned Food Drive
A canned food drive will be held throughout the week in
collaboration with local businesses. Contact the SERVE
office for location information.
Sponsored by Golden Key Honor Society
Recycling Invasion
Students will circulate through the residence halls
collecting recyclables and distributing information on
recycling. Call SERVE to sign up to participate.
Sponsored by enACT
Tuesday, April 5


Friday, April 8

A Night of Fun
6-11pm, location to be announced
Help provide a night of recreation for children of single
parent homes, including dinner, games, and movies.
Sponsored by Project SERVE Children & Youth
Committee and The Center for Single Parents.
April 8-9
Ozone House Bucket Drive
Diag, 9am-5pm
Bucket drive to raise money for direct services to
homeless teens. Sponsored by Ozone House..

Juggling 4 $
Diag, 12-fpm
Members of the juggling club, accompanied by live
music, will juggle to raise money for local
community agencies.
Sponsored by the UM Juggling Club and Project SERVE
Intergenerational Women's Group
Turner Geriatric Center, 1010 Wall St. 10am-12pm
Women of all ages bring a favorite or recently read book
to briefly discuss and recommend to the group.
Sponsored by Turner Geriatric Clinic
Learning Programs
Wednesday, April 6
Lockdown: Control Unit Prisons and the New
Brutality in the Prison System
location & time to be announced
Informative evening dedicated to learning about and
mobilizing against the recent proliferation of control
unit prisons. The evening will include a video and
discussion with current and former inmates.
Sponsored by the SERVE Board

Thursday, April 7

Pulling It All Together
South Quad, West Lounge, 7-9pm
Come share your experiences in a night of reflection
with others involved in service and social change.
Sponsored by the SERVE Board
Voter Registration Drive & Raffle
Diag, 11am-3pm
Register to vote and enter in a raffle for gift certificates
from local businesses. Sponsored by College Democrats
Celebration of Life-Long Learning
Whitney Auditorium, 1309 School of Education, 7pm
Children from Bach Elementary, tM students and
faculty, and seniors from the Turner Geriatric Clinic
come together to read their original writing and
celebrate life-long learning.
Sponsored by the SERVE Board.
Ticket America
Steps of the Union, 11am- 2pm & 3-4pm
Help ticket gas guzzling cars with informational
"tickets." This program is in response to gas guzzling

April 8-10
Hemophilia Teen Retreat
Ann Arbor ICC Education Building
Weekend retreat for teens with hemophilia or other
bleeding disorders. Focus on HIV/AIDS education,
group building, etc. Sponsored by Project SERVE and
the Hemophilia Foundation of Michigan
Saturday, April 9
Gallup Park Clean-Up
Gallup Park, 10am-2pm
Help with the annual clean-up of Gallup Park.
Participants will use canoes and paddle boats to clean-
up around the river edge and on the islands. Others
will walk around the park and pick up refuse. There
may also be an opportunity to help paint recreational
equipment. Sponsored by Alpha Phi Omega and the
City of Ann Arbor = Department of Parks and Recreation
Sunday, April 10





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