'Oscar' special marks 100 years of Takarazuka

May 14, 2014

'Oscar' special marks 100 years of Takarazuka

by Mika Eglinton

As one in a series of special productions to mark its centennial, Takarazuka — Japan’s longest-standing theater company with all-female casts — is reviving “The Rose of Versailles — Oscar,” its 1972 hit adaptation of an acclaimed manga series by Riyoko Ikeda that, in ...

Tokyo fans thrill to 'Michaelism'

May 14, 2014

Tokyo fans thrill to 'Michaelism'

by Natsume Date

In England in 1999, after the huge success of the ABBA-songs show “Mamma Mia,” the theater scene became awash with “jukebox musicals.” From 2002′s reasonably successful Queen-based “We Will Rock You” and “Taboo,” which drew on the music of Boy George/Culture Club, to the ...

Surrender yourself to 'Fuerza Bruta' fun

May 7, 2014

Surrender yourself to 'Fuerza Bruta' fun

by Natsume Date

Standing around with a drink in your hand as if you were on the dance floor of a club might not be a good idea at a Diqui James production. In “Fuerza Bruta,” which premiered in 2005 and continues its evolution in Tokyo this ...

Bunraku legend gets set for his grand finale

May 7, 2014

Bunraku legend gets set for his grand finale

by Rei Sasaguchi

On the occasion of his retirement after three decades as a bunraku narrator, the designated living national treasure Takemoto Sumitayu VII will present part of a program of traditional puppetry (ningyō jōruri) being staged by the National Theatre in Tokyo from May 10-26. Born ...

Rough transition raises issues over F/T's future

Apr 30, 2014

Rough transition raises issues over F/T's future

by Mika Eglinton

On Dec. 18, 2013, the Festival/Tokyo website announced that following the implementation of “a new administration system,” Program Director Chiaki Soma, 38, would resign from her position and be replaced at the end of March 2014 by Sachio Ichimura, 64, the then chairman of ...

Fast lane awaits kabuki actor's bold lead debut

Apr 30, 2014

Fast lane awaits kabuki actor's bold lead debut

by Ayako Takahashi

Some roles demand quick changes of clothes or character, but in the whole wide world of theater, “Haji Momiji Ase no Kaomise” (“A Blushing Maple Perspires in Public”) — aka “Date no Juyaku” (“The 10 Roles of the Date House”) — is probably the ...