But Wakefield West Riding Operatic Society will make you think again with their jazz-inspired update Hot Mikado, which comes to Theatre Royal Wakefield on May 10-14.
David Bell has created a new version of the classic Japanese satire, relocating it to the American jazz era of the 1930s and early 40s.
The libretto remains the same in essence, but with American ‘jazz speak’ delivery added and the score orchestrated with a jazz/swing/blues style.
And those three little maids? Well, they’re given an Andrews Sisters twist.
The Mikado has been a shining jewel in the crown of Gilbert and Sullivan since the operetta was first performed in 1885.
Following in the Gilbertian tradition of mix-ups, silly heroes and heroines, and lampoons of individuals and institutions, The Mikado has remained a great favourite among the opera-going public.
The delightfully dizzy Yum-Yum and her ardent admirer, Nanki-Poo, devious Ko-Ko and frustrated dragon, Katisha are still the central characters in Hot Mikado, while the Mikado himself has a show-stopping tap routine with his entourage of groupies.
The Mikado has acquired a new sound and a new look in this new show, but has kept its warm heart and its great sense of fun.
Hot Mikado is performed at 7.15pm, with a Saturday matinee at 2.15pm, Tickets cost £12.50, £13.50 and £14.50, available from www.theatre royalwakefield.co.uk or the box office on 01924 211311.