How Hot Is Your Mikado?

The story behind Hot Mikado is, appropriately, an outlandish one — it’s a piece of musical theatre based on a jazz adaption of a Gilbert and Sullivan opera, which was itself one of the more over-the-top theatrical collaborations between the famed librettist and composer. The opera, The Mikado, was a topsy-turvy, comedic treatment of cruelty and punishment in a highly fictionalized 19th century Japan; The Hot Mikado was an all-black Broadway reimagination of the play during the late 1930s, featuring an exuberant adaptation of the score. Hot Mikado is adapted from that jazz production, though when creators David H. Bell and Rob Bowman set out to find the original production materials, they were mostly lost. As a result, the play has been put back together using the tidbits that they could find from The Hot Mikado, along with their own embellishments. The result is a lively creation that blends cultural elements and architecture from Japan with Swing Era fashion and sensibilities, along with elements of jazz, gospel, blues and torch songs throughout the play. Theatre Three (2800 Routh St.) presents the adaptation of the adaptation beginning this Thursday and through April 5, with shows at 7: 30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $10 to $50 at
Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2:30 p.m. Starts: March 12. Continues through April 5, 2015
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Jennifer Davis-Lamm