Siro-A's show blurs realities

Oct 22, 2014

Siro-A's show blurs realities

by Tom Smith

I can still remember the first time I saw Siro-A. The six-strong team of acrobatic techno-wizards marched out on stage at London’s quaint Leicester Square Theatre in an assault of thumping beats, dazzling lights and laser beams. Kitted out in white PVC jumpsuits and ...

'Forget Me Not' leaves an abiding impression

Oct 22, 2014

'Forget Me Not' leaves an abiding impression

by Lindsay Nelson

Compagnie Philippe Genty’s “Forget Me Not” (“Ne m’oublie pas”) takes human beings and transforms them into puppets. And it takes puppets and makes them seem human. Occasionally, it combines puppets and humans until it’s hard to tell where one begins and the other ends. ...

Classic early mystery lays bare elusive Lepage style

Oct 15, 2014

Classic early mystery lays bare elusive Lepage style

by Mana Katsura

As an actor and world-class theater, film and opera director, Robert Lepage has become renowned for his unconventional productions using high-tech devices. Now, though, Tokyo audiences can feast their eyes and minds on this 56-year-old French-Canadian’s early masterpiece, 1987′s “Le Polygraphe (Polygraph),” a play ...

Katsura Sunshine's a star at <em>rakugo</em> in English

Oct 15, 2014

Katsura Sunshine's a star at rakugo in English

by Tom Smith

“It was the first time I’d performed to an audience where there wasn’t a single person from Japan, and I don’t think anyone had even been there — yet their reaction was electric,” Katsura Sunshine said with a beaming smile as he talked about ...

Noda's 'Half Gods' powers up in all-Korean revival

Oct 8, 2014

Noda's 'Half Gods' powers up in all-Korean revival

by Nobuko Tanaka

In July 2009, Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre’s strategic relaunch with an artistic director in place of the suits who formerly oversaw its bookings was somewhat muted. That was because the sets for productions of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “The Merchant of Venice” by England’s ...

Hit play reveals a wife and mistress baring all

Oct 8, 2014

Hit play reveals a wife and mistress baring all

by Kris Kosaka

English playwright David Hare’s acclaimed 2002 West End hit “The Breath of Life” this week launches a new series titled “Drama for Two: the power of dialogue” at the New National Theatre Tokyo. Featuring the talents of Mayumi Wakamura and Seika Kuze, the Japanese ...

Who cares what Faust looks like

Oct 8, 2014

Who cares what Faust looks like

by Natsume Date

German contemporary theater has only begun to be introduced in Japan this century, before when the term “Western theater” was generally associated with works by British or American directors that told a story and diligently portrayed the psychological state of the characters. In comparison, ...

Singin' ballet star leads top show's Tokyo cast

Oct 1, 2014

Singin' ballet star leads top show's Tokyo cast

by Ayako Takahashi

Any pantheon of classic Western musical comedy films would include 1952′s “Singin’ in the Rain” starring the legendary actor and dancer Gene Kelly. Set in late- 1920s Hollywood as it was transitioning from silent films to talkies, it depicts a romance between an established ...

Kafka's worm takes a high-tech turn

Oct 1, 2014

Kafka's worm takes a high-tech turn

by Nobuko Tanaka

“I work a lot in France, where manga and anime are enormously popular, although many theater producers think they are basically for children and are often too violent. However, they regard my robot theater as being an essentially Japanese art form,” the pioneering dramatist ...

Oct 1, 2014

'Yama' brings ancient folk tales to life on stage

by Lindsay Nelson

At one point in “Yama,” two actors become foxes just by pulling their conical straw hats down over their faces to give them pointy snouts. It’s an idea the play’s director, Andrew Wakatsuki-Robinson, got from headgear he saw at the ancient Yama-dera Temple in ...