In With the Old, Out Comes the New

As we’ve discussed before, creativity comes with a great deal of getting inspired, borrowing, and sometimes straight out stealing.

But who is to say that a derivative work cannot be equally as satisfying as the original? As long as the pieces are different enough, is it fair to say a certain one is better?

Take for instance the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera  The Mikado. The composers set the opera in Japan, far away from Britain, allowing them to satirize British politics more freely by disguising them as foreign notions.

Opera Australia’s 2011 production of The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan.

In 1939, the classic was adapted into a new piece entitled The Hot Mikado and performed with an all African-American cast. Primed with a lot more sass and a lot more swing, The Hot Mikado became a hit that is still performed to this day.

Now it’s been over 70 years since the original piece was given a facelift. Thus, theatres are still looking for ways to update the show and help it feel as novel and sexy as it was when The Hot Mikado first took the stage.

This recent production does just this by updating the 1940s American setting to a modern one that tips its hat to the original Mikado, complete with the “three little maids” in anime-style schoolgirl outfits. Up to you to decide which version you prefer – but I’d say there’s definitely room for both in the world of live performance.


Watermill Theatre’s production of The Hot Mikado in 2009

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes: A New Look, New Category and New Series!

Thoughts on Theatre went in for a touch up last night and now the blog is sporting a whole new look!

In addition to a new streamlined look, there is also a new category to present: Travelogues. As more and more content popped up in the realm of travel, it seems appropriate to give it a home. This is especially true as we will feature more travel stories in the future as we delve more into the world of See Rock City & Other Destinations.

The musical takes place in the following six locales:

1. Rock City 2. Area 51 3. Glacier Bay 4. Alamo 5. Coney Island 6. Niagara Falls

And I’m looking for insight from all of you! Have you traveled to one of these destinations? Do you have wild story about your time there and pictures to match?

I will be doing an interview series in the next few months on these places as well as other notable American landmarks (Route 66! Grand Canyon! Yellowstone!).

If you would like to share your memories and be a part of the fun drop me a line at:
colorandlighttheatre [at] gmail [dot] com with the subject line See Rock City Interview.

 So that’s the update! Thanks everyone for all of your support, thoughtful comments, and wonderful questions thus far. Here’s to making more memories together!

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6