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 ...

Arts Council Tokyo sets its sights high

Apr 16, 2014

Arts Council Tokyo sets its sights high

by Nobuko Tanaka

“For decades, many people involved in the arts — including producers, creators, administrators and academics — were pointing to the need for an overall arts-policy body in Tokyo, and finally Arts Council Tokyo came into being in November 2012,” its program director, Yuko Ishiwata, ...

'In the Heights' sizzles across distant cultures

Apr 9, 2014

'In the Heights' sizzles across distant cultures

by Lindsay Nelson

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 ...