Councilmember moonlights as executioner

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July 21, 2003 // UPDATED 10:59 am - April 30, 2007
By: Scott Russell
Scott Russell

During the day, he is mild-mannered City Councilmember Scott Benson (11th Ward). At night, he is the Lord High Executioner.

Benson, a theater guy since high school, has the role of Ko Ko, the Lord High Executioner, in Theater in the Round's upcoming production of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado.

The role "is not much different from my day job," Benson mused in an e-mail.

He had performed with the Gilbert and Sullivan Very Light Company for a number of years, he said. He took a hiatus from theater but jumped back in for this production because of the short rehearsal schedule.

"In 1996, I was the Mikado," he said. "I got demoted."

The story is about the son of the Mikado of Japan and his thwarted passion for the beautiful young girl engaged to the Lord High Executioner, the theater's Web site said. The songs include "A wandering minstrel I," "Three little maids from school are we," and "The flowers that bloom in the spring."

Performances run Friday-Sunday, July 18 to Aug. 17. For more information, go to