Houston G&S: A Topsy Turvy Mikado

The Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Houston will be holding auditions for its summer production of A Topsy Turvy Mikado! All are invited to audition for principal or chorus roles. An accompanist will be provided.

Prompted by Mike Leigh’s highly successful film, Topsy Turvy, which catalogued the artistic trials and tribulations of the relationship between W.S Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan, Alistair Donkin, our long standing Stage Director has created an entirely new version of The Mikado which takes place onstage at London’s Savoy Theatre at the last non dress rehearsal, prior to the arrival of the costumes, some 5 days before the premiere in March 1885.

During the course of this production the successful auditionees will be playing, not the characters from The Mikado – Ko Ko, Pooh Bah, Yum Yum, Katisha etc – but the actors who actually created the roles over 120 years ago – George Grossmith, Rutland Barrington, Durward Lely, Rosina Brandram, Jessie Bond etc. All of the performers will be in Victorian day dress befitting a rehearsal, not Japanese costumes, wigs and makeup.

In addition to the roles of the original actors, there is also a role for W. S Gilbert himself who will be played by an actor sitting in the sound booth at the rear of the auditorium using a ‘God mic’ to give instruction and corrections to the cast onstage.

To be completely authentic we will be using the original libretto from 1885 which has some variations from the libretto used in modern productions. This will show how the production developed in rehearsal but will also have certain of the musical items in their original positions, often in different Acts! There will also be insights into the private lives of some of these original actors – a drug addict, a recovering alcoholic etc.

The only cast members onstage wearing Japanese costume will be members of Houston’s Japanese community who, through the good offices of the Japan America Society, have agreed to stage a representation of the Japanese Exhibition in London’s Knightsbridge district which gave Gilbert the idea of a setting for The Mikado during the Overture to each performance.

Friday, July 19, 2018 – Sunday, July 28, 2018
July 19, 20- 8:00pm
July 20, 21, 27, 28- 2:30pm
(6 Performances)

The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts
Zilka Hall
800 Bagby Street
Houston, Texas 77002

PRINCIPAL AUDITIONS: Please refer to the information below for required music/dialogue for each role. No additional music or monologue is necessary. Please bring a copy of your own music. Please fill out the audition form below and bring it with you to the audition.

CHORUS AUDITIONS: Please prepare a song of your choosing- preferably from the Gilbert & Sullivan repertoire. Please bring a copy of the music for the accompanist if you choose to prepare your own song. Please fill out the audition form below and bring it with you to your audition.

All auditionees must be at least 18 years of age or have graduated from high school.

Music Rehearsals are tentatively scheduled for Sunday, June 9, 2019 – Sunday, June 16, 2019.
Staging Rehearsals are tentatively scheduled for Sunday afternoons and Monday - Thursday evenings from June 17, 2019 – July 3, 2019.
Additional Community Outreach Performances at venues around Houston will be announced at a later date.

Sign up for a time slot at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0a49afa82da0fe3-2019

For further information, contact Lisa Marut-Shriver, Audition Coordinator, at auditions@gilbertandsullivan.org

Houston, TX, United States
Tuesday, 29 January 2019