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Given that retirees are some of Japan’s most avid cinephiles, it’s a surprise that more movies like “Stardust Over the Town” aren’t being made.

The Showa Era (1926-89) had barely finished when dramatist Ryuji Mizutani introduced theatergoers to Osamu Yamada & Hello Nights, a fictional group of crooners whose dedication to golden-age vocal pop hasn’t translated into commercial success. Mixing genial comedy with dewy-eyed musical revue, the first “Stardust Over the Town” show in 1994 proved so popular that it spawned six more plays.

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