Lindsay Nelson

For Lindsay Nelson's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Clowning gets serious in Slava's show

Aug 13, 2014

Clowning gets serious in Slava's show

“Slava’s Snowshow” feels like a dream — and occasionally a nightmare. Its surreal scenarios play out one after another on a stage set with seemingly oversized, fluffy blankets that give the audience a sense of being tucked inside a child’s bed. There’s no real ...

Mitani brings new life to a  love-suicide

Jul 30, 2014

Mitani brings new life to a love-suicide

If there’s one thing I never expected to see in a bunraku play, it was a disco ball. Similarly, a scene in which the leading lady has her nails done by a bevy of kimono-clad attendants. But if you’re the celebrated writer-actor-director Koki Mitani, ...

Outsider's 'Jacob' is a sensory feast

Jun 25, 2014

Outsider's 'Jacob' is a sensory feast

It’s hard to choose the most powerful visual moment in the New National Theater’s production of “19-Year-Old Jacob.” My vote would be for the opening scene when, after the audience has been in total darkness for more than a minute, a single sharp triangle ...

Outdoor kabuki marks Skytree anniversary

May 28, 2014

Outdoor kabuki marks Skytree anniversary

To commemorate the second anniversary of the May 22, 2012 opening of Tokyo Skytree, the leading kabuki actors Nakamura Shichinosuke and Onoe Matsuya last Saturday performed the popular dance-based piece “Dango-Uri” (“The Dumpling Sellers”) on an outdoor stage in the Sky Arena at the ...

PUK's children's puppet shows suspend disbelief for all ages

Apr 23, 2014

PUK's children's puppet shows suspend disbelief for all ages

Parents around the capital seeking entertainment options for young children over the next several weeks could do a lot worse than check out Puppet Theater PUK, where old and new stories will come to life in the hands of seasoned puppeteers. For this season, ...

'In the Heights' sizzles across distant cultures

Apr 9, 2014

'In the Heights' sizzles across distant cultures

I had a few reservations about the first Japanese production of “In the Heights,” the Broadway sensation nominated for 13 Tony awards in 2008. For one, neither of the female leads playing Nina and Vanessa seemed to have much musical-theater experience. I also wondered ...

A chance to shine at an early age

Mar 26, 2014

A chance to shine at an early age

It’s 9:15 on a cold and rainy Saturday morning, and Wendell Harrison is running late. “The one day I send an email telling them not to be late, and I’m the one having problems,” he laments. Harrison’s doing double duty at the moment: directing ...

Flying high, but not quite buzzing

Feb 26, 2014

Flying high, but not quite buzzing

I have vivid childhood memories of two circuses: Ringling Brothers and Shrine. The latter was a delightfully shabby affair held in an old auditorium where audiences sat on concrete bleachers that were occasionally adorned with tacky plastic chairs. There were lots of animals, and ...

Dec 11, 2013

'Swift!' brings theater for all sizes

Parents and lovers of visually creative theater: French company Skappa! has just the play for you. Debuting in Tokyo on Dec. 13, “Swift!” is a “journey into a world of absurd proportions” inspired by Jonathan Swift’s 1726 novel “Gulliver’s Travels.” Though it’s billed as ...

'Jack the Ripper' strikes again

Nov 20, 2013

'Jack the Ripper' strikes again

“I’m a huge Beumrae fan,” the woman seated next to me gushed during the intermission, pointing to a glossy photo in my program. “His voice gives me chills.” Makiko, as I’ll call her, was seeing this production of “Jack the Ripper” for the fourth ...