“You all have to pump this rhythm into your body,” Daisuke Koshikawa shouted. “If you think this rhythm is not part of your body, you have to acquire it at any cost.”

At 43, Koshikawa is the oldest of his 13-member theater troupe, D.K Hollywood. But at a recent rehearsal, where he energetically led his actors and actresses through a dance routine, he could easily have been mistaken for one of the youngest.

Koshikawa entered show business at age 23 as a comedian. Some might recognize him as a member of the comedy unit Chibikko Gang.

But after about a 12-year stint on the comedy circuit, during which he made frequent TV appearances, he decided to take the plunge from what he calls a “financial heaven” into the “hell” of leading a small, independent theater troupe. His reward? The freedom to do whatever he wants on stage.

His new career also allowed him to pursue his dream of performing in New York, an ambition he has had ever since his first visit to the city in 1989. Now, that dream is about to become a reality, as his troupe prepares for a 12-day run at Theater for the New City in N.Y.C., starting March 9.

Koshikawa knows he’s taking a chance with this show. The 100-minute song-and-dance comedy is bound to make audiences laugh. Although it has some touching moments, it might also be viewed as plain obscene.

When it was first performed in Tokyo in 1999, it was titled “Boiler Makers.” But for its New York premiere, it is being billed less euphemistically. Posters in the Big Apple read: “We Are the Sperm Cells.”

The Boiler Makers in question are the heroes of this story, a select team of elite sperm cells. The production opens on a stage, bare except for scaffolding. A countdown commences, but it is eventually canceled.

“It seems that today’s second launch has been called off,” says a Boiler Maker.

“Maybe the man is getting old these days. The number of second launches has been decreasing,” says another.

The launch does eventually occur and, intentionally or not, the Boiler Makers end up landing on a belly.

“Look. There’s no river.”

“It’s land.”


“That jerk released us on a belly.”

“Look. Something is coming.”

“Is it a strong squall that washes away everything or . . .?”



“When an emergency landing takes place, Kleenex arrives in several seconds.”

“Yes, I heard so at the training center.”

“It seems that recent Kleenex is highly absorbent.”

Braving the Kleenex offensive, as well as a shower attack, the team embarks on a difficult journey, around a crater, into a deep jungle, through a gate and eventually to a river to accomplish their mission — a successful union with the egg.

As you might have gathered, Koshikawa took his cue from a scene in Woody Allen’s movie “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask),” in which nervous sperm are about to be ejected.

“Because of the various religious and racial backgrounds of New Yorkers, I am a little worried about whether my piece will be accepted,” Koshikawa confesses.

Although the production was well received in Tokyo, Koshikawa said he’s already had an indication of what might come. “One person angrily left the theater in Tokyo immediately after finding out that the cast represent sperm ejaculated onto a belly.”

Koshikawa, who serves as script writer, director, choreographer and actor, says that he wrote it primarily for laughs. It’s basically an over-the-top comedy about the act of fertilization.

“But it can be meaningful,” he says. “It can remind the viewer that each of us is precious and unique, and we came into being as a result of one out of billions of sperm achieving union with an egg. It’s a life-and-death struggle, in which billions of other sperm die.”

Koshikawa harbors another concern. “We are not professional dancers, nor professional singers,” he says. “All we have is our guts as a small theater troupe, which, by nature, gravitates toward challenging tasks. It’s a sink-or-swim deal. In the worst case, the audience might say, ‘Go back to the drawing board.’ “

And the language barrier?

“To perform in English is absolutely impossible for our troupe,” Koshikawa concedes.

To get past this obstacle, the troupe will use prerecorded narration, read by native English speakers, which will explain the story line at appropriate points.

To realize their dream of performing in the Big Apple, the troupe members have saved 8 million yen and they will stay in an rented apartment, taking turns with the daily chores of cooking and washing. For publicity, the troupe will take out ads in local publications and do brief performances on the streets of New York.

Already, a Japanese media firm has taken an interest in D.K Hollywood’s New York project and will film the show with a view to broadcasting it as part of a documentary.

“I know it’s risky to take our show overseas. But I want to put our talents to the test. And I hope something will happen, that is, our comedy will be accepted by New Yorkers and,” he says, laughing, “that we will make a killing with one stroke.”

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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