'The Bee' in Paris: Take #2

May 28, 2014

'The Bee' in Paris: Take #2

by Mana Katsura

Last week, the Stage page featured a Paris resident’s take on an English-language version of “The Bee,” a disturbing drama cowritten by Hideki Noda and Irish playwright Colin Teevan that was performed there this month in a 300-seat section of the Theatre de Chaillot. ...

Talking Pinter with Leveaux; an 'authorized' interaction

May 28, 2014

Talking Pinter with Leveaux; an 'authorized' interaction

by Nobuko Tanaka

When we met last weekend, the world-renowned English theater director David Leveaux was relaxing with a cigarette “in the lovely sunshine” outside a rehearsal studio by Tokyo Bay. He was there for an intensive afternoon’s work with the three Japanese actors who form the ...

Outdoor kabuki marks Skytree anniversary

May 28, 2014

Outdoor kabuki marks Skytree anniversary

by Lindsay Nelson

To commemorate the second anniversary of the May 22, 2012 opening of Tokyo Skytree, the leading kabuki actors Nakamura Shichinosuke and Onoe Matsuya last Saturday performed the popular dance-based piece “Dango-Uri” (“The Dumpling Sellers”) on an outdoor stage in the Sky Arena at the ...

Shirai triumphs with 'The Tempest'

May 21, 2014

Shirai triumphs with 'The Tempest'

by Nobuko Tanaka

“I’d like ‘The Tempest’ I am creating to be on the smallest scale ever, but as it’s a very spacious stage at the New National Theatre, Tokyo, it won’t have the most compact set. Nonetheless, I will try to present it as stories from ...

Yang Liping speaks out

May 21, 2014

Yang Liping speaks out

by Natsume Date

“My dance is not something I learned from someone; my mentor is nature and I learn from watching nature,” is how the Chinese star Yang Liping explained the roots of her art in a recent interview for The Japan Times. Now aged 55, Yang ...

'The Bee' stings Paris audience

May 21, 2014

'The Bee' stings Paris audience

by Bronwyn Mahoney

With its title “The Bee,” this work co-written in 2006 by leading dramatist Hideki Noda and Irish playwright Colin Teevan immediately brought to mind Franz Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” and the ghastly, unbidden and unexplained changes to which the protgonist of that seminal novella is subjected. ...

'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 ...