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The Hot Mikado 

When: Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m., Sundays, 2 p.m. and Sundays, 2 p.m. Continues through Dec. 11 2011
Price: $20

At 72 years old, David H. Bell's swing-era musical The Hot Mikado hardly qualifies as an updated version of anything, let alone Gilbert and Sullivan. That said, it's still got some fabulous chorus-line numbers and a few saucy jokes, even by today's standards. The original Broadway production featured an African-American cast with Bill Bojangles playing the title character (and emperor of Japan). A new one, currently in repertory at Masquers Playhouse under the direction of Ellen Brooks, features a multi-racial cast whose talent varies in quality. Fortunately, it has a few stars. Keith Stevenson is brassy and growly as the title character; Amy Lucido makes a charmingly coquettish female lead; and Debra Harvey absolutely slays as spurned noblewoman Katisha. It has enough clever one-liners to keep young audience members entertained, and enough coded lewdness to amuse their parents. And it's mercifully short, clocking in at just under two hours. Through Dec. 17 at Masquers Playhouse (105 Park Place, Pt. Richmond).$20. 510-232-4031 or Masquers.org

— Rachel Swan

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