"The Mikado" runs this weekend at the new University Center for the Arts at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Student ticket prices are lower for these performances, thanks to a grant from Associated Students of CSU. Tickets are $8 for students and $15 for the general public. Call 491-4TIX.
With slapstick humor, CSU's production of "The Mikado," an 1885 English opera set in Japan, showcases underclassman talent.
Written by Gilbert and Sullivan, "The Mikado" will be playing at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the University Center for the Arts, 1400 Remington St.
"The whole Japanese thing is a thin disguise for Gilbert and Sullivan to poke fun at British Victorian society," said Katie Yeager, assistant director of "The Mikado." Yeager is a senior music performance student, who was asked to co-direct the production by Director Todd Queen.
"Be prepared to laugh. You should have an empty bladder before you come to the show," said Stuart Dameron, who plays the character Pooh-bah, the self-proclaimed master of ceremonies who wheedles himself into each character's way.
"When we started rehearsing, we had to set a rule that if something you're doing isn't funny, then you're doing it wrong. You really have to come out of your shell," Dameron said.
Stuart, a freshman music education major, is one of the many underclassmen starring in the production.
"(The Mikado) gives us an opportunity to showcase the talent of our underclassmen," Yeager said.
The opera, which Yeager describes as "more of a musical than an opera," is chockfull of humor, as is evidenced by the characters' names alone. A production for those audience members who aren't familiar with the traditional opera style, "The Mikado" seeks to entertain and incite laughter, rather than provoke deep thought. Audiences won't have to decipher a foreign language either; "The Mikado" is all in English.
"I go to rehearsal and laugh for three hours. (The Mikado) is easy to do, and it's fun to listen to. There is no serious message. It's all purely for wit and comic relief. Slapstick!" Yeager said.
Sharon Timmons, a sophomore music and business major, plays the role of Katisha, a frustrated maiden promised to someone who does not return her love.
The cast works very well together, she said.
"We all have a really good energy. We're all best friends," Timmons said. "(The Mikado) is lighthearted and funny, and people enjoy British humor. There's no such thing as over the top with Gilbert and Sullivan."