Tao takes an innovative approach to drum shows

Jan 14, 2016

Tao takes an innovative approach to drum shows

The slogan goes, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” Drum troupe Tao, however, thinks a successful show in Sin City could be the springboard to bigger things around the world. The globe-trotting wadaiko (Japanese drum) performance group has entertained some 6.5 million people ...

'Boys over Flowers' blooms on stage

Jan 7, 2016

'Boys over Flowers' blooms on stage

‘One Piece,” a new, modern entertainment-focused “Super Kabuki” play based on an eponymous manga series by Eiichiro Oda, closed last month after a hit Tokyo run that showed beyond doubt that manga-based productions are not the preserve of movies and television — where they ...

Plenty of food for thought in a good year for great plays

Dec 22, 2015

Plenty of food for thought in a good year for great plays

The year now ending began gloomily with the Charlie Hebdo murders in Paris reminding us of hopeless breakdowns in mutual understanding and tolerance worldwide; now it’s set to close hot on the heels of an agreement by nearly 200 countries at the COP21 talks ...

Japan-Korea dramas shine

Oct 27, 2015

Japan-Korea dramas shine

Festival/Tokyo, which bills itself as “Japan’s leading performing-arts event,” is notable this year for its international collaborations — especially between Japanese and Korean dramatists, whose works comprise three of the 12 main programs in its Oct. 31-Dec. 6 span. But as its subtitle of ...

Dramatist Robert Lepage's 'Needles and Opium' gets a shot of modernity

Sep 24, 2015

Dramatist Robert Lepage's 'Needles and Opium' gets a shot of modernity

Variously described as “the alchemist of modern imagistic theatre” and a “revered actor and director” by The Guardian, Robert Lepage’s hyper-imaginative, highly visual work for theater, films and Cirque du Soleil stands out so much that the term “Lepage magic” has even become part ...

'Top Hat' musical takes film classic to happy new heights

Sep 22, 2015

'Top Hat' musical takes film classic to happy new heights

“There may be trouble ahead / But while there’s moonlight and music / And love and romance / Let’s face the music and dance” Fantasy isn’t usually my cup of tea — all those Hollywood movies about some toughie saving the Earth, or the ...

'Soma' project dances over divides

Aug 25, 2015

'Soma' project dances over divides

If you took a handful of aspiring Japanese contemporary dancers and blended them with a few members of Tanztheater Wuppertal — the world-famous German troupe formed in 1973 by the modern dance icon Pina Bausch (1940-2009) — what kinds of artistic chemistry would you ...

Shun Oguri faces off with an artistic master in 'Red'

Aug 20, 2015

Shun Oguri faces off with an artistic master in 'Red'

‘If it’s possible, I’d like to act live on stage at least once a year,” says film and television star Shun Oguri following an intensive rehearsal at a small studio in central Tokyo. “And though I’m offered lots of opportunities to appear in major ...

New 'Troilus and Cressida' looks like it's making history

Jul 21, 2015

New 'Troilus and Cressida' looks like it's making history

Renowned as a problem play due to its tangled ambiguities and a storyline that cries out for a catharsis, “Troilus and Cressida” is among the most rarely staged of William Shakespeare’s 37 plays. In Japan, other than Yukio Ninagawa’s all-male 2012 production, whose spectacular ...