A yum-yum opera

THEATER

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click to enlarge Robin Bartunek (clockwise from left) , Stephen Quint, Kimilee Bryant and Laurelyn Watson star in The Mikado. - Michael Nemeth
Michael Nemeth
Robin Bartunek (clockwise from left) , Stephen Quint, Kimilee Bryant and Laurelyn Watson star in The Mikado.

For those readers whose entire familiarity with Gilbert and Sullivan is The Simpsons' Sideshow Bob singing a toe-tapping version of "HMS Pinafore" ("And a one, and a two ... 'We sail the ocean blue, and our saucy ship's a beauty'"), shame on you. Yes, this is pop opera, versus the grand opera of the Italians and Germans. But it is great stuff nonetheless, and represents the link between classic opera and the Broadway musical. What other high-culture masterwork includes characters named Yum-Yum, Nanki-Poo and Ko-Ko? This weekend, the Mahaffey Theater presents the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players' production of The Mikado — a traditional staging sprinkled with modern references and slapstick, if past reviews are any indication. We guarantee you'll know at least half of the melodies ("A Wandering Minstrel I" for starters). A portion of proceeds benefits the theater's Class Acts educational program. Nov. 24-25, 8 p.m. Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg, $25-$55, 727-892-5767, www.mahaffeytheater.com.

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