English director David Leveaux has been a jewel in the crown of Japanese theater since 1988, when he first came here as a pinch-hitter after a compatriot pulled out of directing a Tokyo production of "Dangerous Liaisons." A 13-year stint as artistic director of the innovative Theatre Project Tokyo company followed from 1993, and as recently as 2014 he returned with an all-Japanese, noh-influenced staging of Harold Pinter's "Old Times" that played to great acclaim in the capital and Osaka.

Now aged 58, Leveaux is back — this time to direct "Eternal Chikamatsu," a daring new play by Kenichi Tani that he's staging with an all-Japanese cast.

Based on "Shinju Ten no Amijima" ("The Love Suicide at Amijima") by the great bunraku and kabuki playwright Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653-1725), this collaborative work — since it incorporates a lot of ideas from Leveaux — features not one heroine like the original, but two from separate eras.