Unwrap Your Candies Now

There’s A New “Mikado” In Town And Houston’s Blues Legacy Lives On

The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Houston puts a twist on a classic operetta, and the Houston Blues Museum finds a new home for the music and memories of the city’s blues legends.

  • "A Topsy Turvy Mikado" and blues legend Lightnin' Hopkins (Photo Credit: Houston Gilbert & Sullivan Society and Unknown / Wikipedia / U.S. Fair Use)
    "A Topsy Turvy Mikado" and blues legend Lightnin' Hopkins (Photo Credit: Houston Gilbert & Sullivan Society and Unknown / Wikipedia / U.S. Fair Use)
  • Rehearsal of "A Topsy Turvy Mikado" (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Houston Gilbert & Sullivan Society)
    Rehearsal of "A Topsy Turvy Mikado" (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Houston Gilbert & Sullivan Society)
  • Rehearsal of "A Topsy Turvy Mikado" (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Houston Gilbert & Sullivan Society)
    Rehearsal of "A Topsy Turvy Mikado" (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Houston Gilbert & Sullivan Society)
  • Cast of "A Topsy Turvy Mikado" and staff of Houston Gilbert & Sullivan Society (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Houston Gilbert & Sullivan Society)
    Cast of "A Topsy Turvy Mikado" and staff of Houston Gilbert & Sullivan Society (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Houston Gilbert & Sullivan Society)
  • Jomonica Phoenix, Norie Guthrie and Sandy Hickey with the first of many Houston Blues Museum donations at the Woodson Research Center, July 19.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Fitlow)
    Jomonica Phoenix, Norie Guthrie and Sandy Hickey with the first of many Houston Blues Museum donations at the Woodson Research Center, July 19. (Photo Credit: Jeff Fitlow)
  • Lightnin' Hopkins - Gold Star promotional photo (Photo Credit: Unknown / Wikipedia / U.S. Fair Use)
    Lightnin' Hopkins - Gold Star promotional photo (Photo Credit: Unknown / Wikipedia / U.S. Fair Use)
  • Big Walter Price - Publicity Photo, 1950s-1960s.  (Photo Credit: Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library.)
    Big Walter Price - Publicity Photo, 1950s-1960s. (Photo Credit: Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library.)
  • An old Peacock Records recording of “Shirley Jean,” one of Big Walter Price’s biggest hits. (Photo Credit: Jeff Fitlow)
    An old Peacock Records recording of “Shirley Jean,” one of Big Walter Price’s biggest hits. (Photo Credit: Jeff Fitlow)
  • A suitcase belonging to Big Walter Price contained dozens of the musician’s old recordings.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Fitlow)
    A suitcase belonging to Big Walter Price contained dozens of the musician’s old recordings. (Photo Credit: Jeff Fitlow)

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In this episode of "Unwrap Your Candies Now," Ernie Manouse chats with Viswa Subbaraman, Music Director, and Steven McCary, Board President, about A Topsy Turvy Mikado, this summer's production by The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Houston. Created by Artistic Director Alistair Donkin, this new version of The Mikado was inspired by Mike Leigh's Academy Award-winning film and updates the original comic opera's approach to the depiction of Japanese culture.

And, recently it was announced that Rice University would become the new home of the archives of the Houston Blues Museum. Catherine Lu chats with Sandy Hickey and Jomonica Phoenix, museum co-founders, and Norie Guthrie, special collections librarian and archivist, about the Houston blues scene and the artifacts that will be preserved, digitized and shared with the public.

Share your comments, questions and ideas at UYCN@houstonpublicmedia.org.

Music used:
The Mikado Overture by Arthur Sullivan
Guitar Lightnin' by Lightnin' Hopkins
Leavin' Blues by Lightnin' Hopkins
Shirley Jean by Big Walter "The Thunderbird" Price
Pack Fair and Square by Big Walter "The Thunderbird" Price

 

This article is part of the Unwrap Your Candies Now podcast

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Catherine Lu

Catherine Lu

Senior Content Producer & Announcer

While growing up in Chicago and Houston, Catherine’s love for art, music and creative writing was influenced by her teachers and parents. She was once concertmaster of the Clear Lake High School Orchestra and a four-time violinist of the Texas All-State Symphony. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Catherine...

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