The Mikado
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★★★★ "Director Sean Graney's exuberant version of the musical goings-on in the town of Titipu (and Titipu is one of the great comic names of all time, untypeable, verily, without a titter) is yet better for the move uptown. On Wednesday night on Halsted Street, the people in the pre-Thanksgiving audience, featuring many large intergenerational families who clearly had out-of-town guests, were all wandering through designer Michael Smallwood's canvas walls like zestful explorers, cocktails in hand, proud as punch of their artistic adventurousness, calming their confused and uncertain families ('What is this again? Gilbert and Sullivan, you said?') with various whispered versions of 'Wait, you'll see.' With this kind of 85-minute satire, it's crucial that you believe the actors with their ukuleles and guitars actually could acquit themselves well in a traditional opera-house production and, in the case of Emily Casey's yummy Yum-Yum or Matt Kahler's prickly Pooh-Bah, or Shawn Pfautsch's catty Katisha, believe you do. Only it would be less fun. And it would take longer. And you would not be able to move around, unstuffing all that turkey. Or walk over and get a beer in the middle of the show. Or prick a balloon and get a whoop from all." -Chris Jones