What if Lennon and McCartney had parted ways before Revolver? Smith and Wesson before the .357 Magnum? Gilbert and Sullivan before The Mikado?
Wait. Gilbert and who? Before the what? So it goes for the great British comic-operatic team of W.S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan, who were once bigger than The Beatles and hotter than Dirty Harrys handgun thanks to ageless, Victorian-era wonders like Mikado, The Pirates of Penzance, and H.M.S. Pinafore.
The Mikado was their masterpiece, one that very nearly didnt get made. Mike Leighs sublimely entertaining film Topsy-Turvy shows why, and how, it was conceived, while capturing the veddy-proper tone of the times and exploring the ways in which Gilbert and Sullivan subverted their societys mores. Spot-on, chaps!
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If you dont know your Titipu from your Yum-Yum, check out the free screening of Leighs 1999 effort.
Sun., Aug. 24, 1 p.m., 2008