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The Kabukiza Theatre held its first show in five months Saturday after suspending performances to curb the nationwide spread of the novel coronavirus.

Audiences, however, were reduced to half size at the “August at the Kabukiza Theatre” show, which runs through Aug. 26. The show features different performers in each of the four parts, and the spectators are also switched out after each.

“I understand how necessary (kabuki) is after not seeing it for months,” said a 58-year-old man who was the first to arrive at the theater in Tokyo’s Ginza district. He said he has been a kabuki fan for 20 years.

A woman in her 20s who came all the way from Kyoto for the show, said, “I feel safe at the Kabukiza Theatre but not on city streets, so I will go home quickly today.”

In the first part of the show, which began at 11 a.m., star Kataoka Ainosuke, 48, made a hall announcement telling the audience that he will “do his best on the stage while praying for a swift end to the crisis. He then performed the “Renjishi.”

Both the singers and shamisen players performed while wearing masks to block the virus.

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