Tears shed for puppets in the City of Love

Oct 23, 2013

Tears shed for puppets in the City of Love

by Bronwyn Mahoney

Japanese photographer/artist Hiroshi Sugimoto is inescapable in Paris just now, with posters all over the Metro for his “Accelerated Buddha” exhibition at the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent and “Sugimoto Bunraku: Sonezaki Shinju” (“The Love Suicides at Sonezaki”) at the Théâtre de la Ville ...

'Edward II': The back story

Oct 16, 2013

'Edward II': The back story

by Timothy Harris

Atheist, blasphemer, sodomite, spy, counterfeiter, lover of boys and tobacco — playwright and poet Christopher Marlowe has never been easily accepted into the comfortable canon of English literature. Born in 1564, the same year as William Shakespeare, in 1593 Marlowe was stabbed to death ...

'Edward II': The director's take

Oct 16, 2013

'Edward II': The director's take

by Nobuko Tanaka

Two years ago, Shintaro Mori made his directorial debut at the New National Theatre, Tokyo, with a minimalist production of Samuel Beckett’s absurdist masterpiece “Waiting for Godot.” Now, at age 37, he’s back there at the helm of probably one of the West’s first-ever ...

Kyoto Experiment 2013: 'Do as you like'

Oct 16, 2013

Kyoto Experiment 2013: 'Do as you like'

by Andrew Eglinton and Mika Eglinton

Language, memory and identity politics are at the core of the fourth edition of Kyoto Experiment, the annual feast of progressive and experimental theater now being served up by organizers the Kyoto International Performing Arts Festival. Along with artists from Japan, the event, running ...

Ebizo rethinks kabuki's strategy

Oct 3, 2013

Ebizo rethinks kabuki's strategy

by Tomoko Otake

In the glitzy and gossipy world of Japanese celebrity, hardly a week goes by without revelations being made about — or made by — Ichikawa Ebizo XI. For years, the charismatic young star of the kabuki world has never long been out of the ...

Sep 5, 2013

Ticket giveaway from Sohnokai noh, kyogen performances

The Tokyo-based noh group Sohnokai is offering five pairs of tickets to its noh and kyogen show on Sept. 23. Two plays will be featured:  a kyogen (traditional comedy) titled “Sadogitsune (The Fox of Sado),” about a farmer who bribes a bureaucrat into fooling another ...

Japan's love affair with Chekhov

Aug 29, 2013

Japan's love affair with Chekhov

by Nobuko Tanaka

“I have rarely seen a great production of any Chekhov play in Japan. Sometimes, I’ve even wanted to ask how they managed to make them so tedious.” Mansai Nomura, one of the country’s leading kyōgen (traditional comedy) actors, may say this with a wry ...

Jeté-ing from ballet to kitchen-sink drama

Aug 14, 2013

Jeté-ing from ballet to kitchen-sink drama

by Nobuko Tanaka

Though she’s moved from elegant arabesques to doing the washing up, former prima ballerina Tamiyo Kusakari is stealing the show in “Ani Kaeru (The Older Brother Returns),” a kitchen-sink drama playing every night through Sept. 1 at Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre in Ikebukuro. For renowned ...

Koki Mitani adds comedy to bunraku

Aug 7, 2013

Koki Mitani adds comedy to bunraku

by Tomoko Otake

Koki Mitani is Japan’s top comedy writer, having written a number of stage plays, TV dramas and films. He also loves working with puppets, and has put together a serialized puppet drama for public broadcaster NHK. Despite a love of puppets, however, it was ...

Aug 7, 2013

'Much Ado about Love Suicides': a synopsis

Hanbei’s manjū (traditional Japanese cake) store, near the Tenjin Shrine forest in Osaka’s Sonezaki district, is suffering because its location has become a mecca for suicidal couples influenced by Chikamatsu Monzaemon’s “Sonezaki Shinju” play One day, Hanbei sees a young couple and decides to ...