Monday, October 14, 2013

MT Soundtracker: Day 14

Hot Mikado (1986)

Original Cast Recording

Music: Rob Bowman
Lyrics: David H. Bell

Synopsis: Based on one of Gilbert and Sullivan's most frequently performed operettas, The Mikado, Hot Mikado is set in Japan in the 1940's. Nanki-Poo, the son of the Mikado of Japan, arrives at the village of Titipu disguised as a musician looking for Yum-Yum, a girl he has fallen in love with, thinking that the man she was supposed to marry (Ko-Ko) is to be executed. Turns out Ko-Ko has been made the Lord High Executioner and that he is to soon marry Yum-Yum but because he was not executed, someone else must be.

Interestingly, Bowman has used a lot of Sullivan't original music but re-orchestrated it to comply with the popular styles of the 1940's. Many of the melodies remain the same. The score is heavily jazz-influenced in particular. Elements of blues and gospel for instance are also identifiable. 
The song Tit-Willow made me giggle mostly because of my immaturity but it is also a slightly peculiar song. I very much enjoyed the thick, juicy harmonies taking place in many of the songs. 

Hot Mikado was a new adaption of the well-known show created after the composer and lyricist realised there was very limited material available for the 1939 Broadway production of The Hot Mikado which also was an adaptation of The Mikado but it had an African-American emphasis.
Hot Mikado has up to this point never been on Broadway. It has, however, been performed in several venues in the USA and a short West End run took place in 1995.  


  1. I don't think I have left a comment about your project yet, so here goes: thanks for writing these! I'm learning lots about musicals I didn't even know existed, your posts are very interesting! :)

  2. Thanks, Siiri! Glad you're finding them useful. I've learned tons of stuff making these up as well! :) x