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Savoyaires take a fresh look at The Mikado

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Jeff-nominated stage director Elizabeth Margolius brings her unique vision to Gilbert & Sullivan as the ever-popular The Mikado returns to the Savoyaires stage this month for the first time this century.

Since this spring, Margolius has directed The Last Cyclist for Genesis Theatrical Productions, The Land of Smiles for Chicago Folks Operetta, and Death Takes a Holiday for Circle Theater.

A Jeff nominee for best director of a musical for Bailiwick Chicago’s Violet and for best adaptation for City Lit’s Opus 1861, she is cofounder and artistic director of Directors Lab Chicago.

Also joining the Savoyaires this year are set designer Alan Donahue, a multiple Jeff winner with numerous credits at Chicago’s Lifeline Theatre; costume designer Kate Setzer Kamphausen, whose recent productions include Bailiwick Chicago’s Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and BoHo’s Tartuffe; and choreographer Todd Rhoades, who choreographed Camelot for Light Opera Works and has performed frequently at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Opera Theater, and Paramount Arts Center.

Returning for his sixth consecutive Savoyaires production is music director Timothy Semanik, recently named orchestra director at Bradley University. Also returning is lighting designer Tom Rusnak, whose previous Savoyaires design credits include Iolanthe and Princess Ida. The Mikado is the company’s tenth consecutive production under producer Laima Day.

Top: Katisha (Rosalind Hurwitz) and the Mikado (David Craven). Above: Pish-Tush (Lane Halverson), Pooh-Bah (Zachary Elmassian), and Ko-Ko (Kingsley Day). (Photos by Alan Teller.)

A hilarious tale about a make-believe “Japan” where flirting is punishable by decapitation, The Mikado overflows with Gilbert & Sullivan’s most infectious songs—including “A Wandering Minstrel I,” “I’ve Got a Little List,” “Three Little Maids from School,” “Let the Punishment Fit the Crime,” “Tit-Willow,” “The Flowers That Bloom in the Spring,” and “Here’s a How-De-Do.”

Performances will be held at Chute School Auditorium, 1400 Oakton St. in Evanston, on Fridays, Oct 11 and 18, and Saturdays., Oct. 12 and 19, at 7:30 p.m. and on Sundays, Oct. 13 and 20, at 3 p.m.

Tickets are $25/20/15 ($20/15/10 for ages 12 and under) and may be purchased by phone at (847) 563-0155, online at www.savoyaires.org/tickets, or by mail from Savoyaires, P.O. Box 126, Evanston, IL 60204.

The Savoyaires are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

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