When: July 31-Aug. 2, 8 p.m. and Sat., Aug. 2, 2 p.m. 2008
Only Handel's Messiah and Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker seem to come around more often than Gilbert & Sullivan's The Mikado. Who better to present this ever-popular musical comedy than the Lamplighters (formally known as Lamplighters Music Theatre), who have devoted 56 seasons to such fluff? Nanki-Poo, Yum-Yum, and Ko-Ko: the names may not be endearing to Japanese Americans, but The Mikado is, first and foremost, a fantasy, and a quintessential British Empire one at that. As usual, Baker Peeples, whose name seems worthy of a G&S character, conducts. At the Lesher Center for the Arts (1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek) on Thursday, July 31 and Friday, August 1 (8 p.m.), and Saturday, August 2 (2 p.m. and 8 p.m.). $13-$46. Lamplighters.org or 925-943-7469.
Jason Victor Serinus