(This is a biased review, written by one who simply cannot accept "Hot Mikado" or a Joseph Papp production as any sort of consolation for the fact that the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company folded in 1982.)

Gilbert and Sullivan, performed as God intended it be performed -- by members of the D'Oyly Carte, with all those delicious do-si-does and well-remembered gestures and every word clearly spoken -- returned yesterday for a brief moment to the Smithsonian.

Six members of the defunct company have put together a marvelous collection of favorite scenes from nine of the operas, and on a stage decorated only with a couple of potted palms, sans costumes or props and with only a pianist for accompaniment (the superb David Mackie), they took a willing audience back to the heyday of Savoy mannerisms and delights.sw sk

Alistair Donkin, an able succesor to Martyn Green, flew through such masterpieces as, "I am the very model of a model major general," with every syllable intact. Lorraine Daniels, as Buttercup and her ilk, was deliciously lower class; Kenneth Sandford, the archetypical Grosvenor, and Vivian Tierney and Geoffrey Shovelton, as the generic heroine and hero, were as delightful.

The evening's only disappointment was that "The Mikado" was left out altogether.