Synopsis by Hal Erickson
This TV adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado was produced by British Home Entertainment in 1966 and released to American public television one year later. John Wood heads the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in a virtually uncut version of the venerable comic opera. The story, set in an old Japan that never existed outside the imaginations of the authors, concerns Koko (Wood), Lord High Executioner to the Mikado. The timorous Koko is in danger of losing his own head because he's never chopped off anyone else's. He finally selects a willing victim named Nanki-Poo--who unfortunately is the son of the Mikado. The songs, including "Tit Willow", "A Wandr'ing Minstrel I", "The Object Most Sublime" and "Three Little Maids From School", are consummately performed, but the stage directions seem forced and stilted, as if done once too often in rehearsal. A shorter but more cinematic version of The Mikado was filmed in 1939, again featuring the D'Oyle Carte (including the peerless Martyn Green) and starring American crooner Kenny Baker as Nanki-Poo.
aristocracy, assumed-identity, daughter, death, departure, emperor, escape, execution, impersonation, Japan, lawyer, lord, love, man, minstrel, music, musical [play], on-the-road, prince, punishment, son, songwriter, tradition, traveling, victim, volunteer, wife, woman, youth