Japan

Young Victorian Theatre Co. approaches 'Mikado' mindful of controversy

Young Victorian Theatre Co. approaches 'Mikado' mindful of controversy

For most of the past 133 years, Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta “The Mikado” has been widely enjoyed for its extraordinarily tuneful score and its droll satire of British government and society, thinly disguised by use of a fictional Japanese setting. Today, this 1885 work comes with what might be considered an asterisk attached — a warning that it can cause offense.

Complaints about the depiction of Asian culture and characters in “The Mikado” dogged a Seattle production in 2014 and led to the cancellation of another in New York the next year. In 2016, responding to objections from the local Asian-American community, a San Francisco company extensively altered its planned “Mikado,”...

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