‘Mikado’ boasts talented cast of 25 singers/actors at Woodstock Opera House

Staff Report

WOODSTOCK, Illinois — Gilbert and Sullivan’s renowned comic 1885 operetta, The Mikado, is expected to satisfy audience tastes for comedy and music in an upcoming TownSquare Players (TSP) production at the Woodstock Opera House. After all, a key character is even named Yum-Yum.

Director Ward Green of Wonder Lake, Music Director Sue Falbo of Lake in the Hills, and Choreographer Kathy Peiffer of Woodstock are leading a talented cast of 25 actors in a show that will take audiences back to what Green calls the “first sitcom ever written.” Producer Margaret Miller of Crystal Lake and her staff will stage nine performances at the Woodstock Opera House Nov. 7-23.

This is TSP’s second Gilbert and Sullivan show in the past three years. The Pirates of Penzance was produced in November 2011 at the Opera House.

For those unfamiliar with the plot: Nanki-Poo, son of the Mikado of Japan, has fled his father’s imperial court to escape marriage with Katisha, an elderly lady. Disguised as a traveling musician, he met and fell in love with Yum-Yum, the young ward of Ko-Ko, a cheap tailor in the town of Titipu. Yum-Yum, however, is already set to marry Ko-Ko, and Nanki-Poo is in despair. A plot is hatched to wed Nanki-Poo to Yum-Yum, but a royal visit from the Mikado and Katisha may spoil everything.

Actors from throughout northern Illinois are participating in this 129-year-old classic, including: Alex Fayer (Nanki-Poo), Jay Fayer (Pish-Tush), Karen Jorgensen (Chorus) and Kenzie Parry (Peep-Bo), all of Crystal Lake; Grace Shanks (Chorus) of Garden Prairie; Angelina Straus (Chorus) of Harvard; Desiree Richardson (Chorus) and Noah Richardson (Chorus) of Huntley; Heidi Allen (Chorus) of Lake in the Hills; Susan Colwell (Chorus), Keely Wise (Chorus) and Betsy Wolfe (Katisha), all of Marengo; Patsy Moeller (Chorus), Janaan Rose (Chorus), Bob Sepot (Chorus), Chris Warren (The Mikado), Natalie Warren (Chorus/Pet) and Sheri Warren (Pitti-Sing), all of McHenry; Jeff Little (Pooh-Bah) of Waterman; Catherine Yore (Chorus) of Wonder Lake; and Betsy Cosgray (Chorus), Daniel Cosgray (Chorus), Dan Kreisman (Ko-Ko), Lynne Kreisman (Chorus) and Megan Marshall (Yum-Yum), all of Woodstock.

Other staff members helping bring The Mikado to the stage for McHenry County’s oldest community theater group include: Audra Madison (technical coordinator) and Dana Esp (makeup artist) of Crystal Lake; Cassie Green of DeKalb (set builder, light designer and set designer); Susan Colwell (costume designer) and Betsy Wolfe (executive producer and wigs/makeup), both of Marengo; Caleb Thompson of McHenry (orchestra director); Spencer White of Woodstock (stage manager).

An opening-night reception is planned at the Opera House immediately after the first performance Friday, Nov. 7. Refreshments will be served, and all audience members are invited to attend to mingle with costumed cast members.

Performances are scheduled for 8 p.m., Nov. 7, 8, 15, and 22, and 3 p.m., Nov. 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23. To purchase tickets, go to www.woodstockoperahouse.com, call the Woodstock Opera House box office at (815) 338-5300, or visit the box office at 121 E. Van Buren St., Woodstock, Illinois. Individual tickets are $23 and $18 for main floor seating, $23, $18 and $13 for balcony seating. Group discounts are also available.

TSP is the oldest active community theater group in McHenry County. It was established in 1968 and incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation in 1973. The purpose of TSP is to promote, sponsor, support, produce, instruct and engage in all the performing arts and other related activities.

Posted Nov. 5, 2014

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