National

Japanese director takes on Broadway

Japanese director Amon Miyamoto will bring the U.S. musical “Pacific Overtures” to Broadway on Nov. 12, becoming the first Japanese director to take on the Great White Way.

“This marks a milestone in my life. I am confident the piece has a message to impart to Americans today,” Miyamoto, 46, told a news conference last week.

The musical, produced mainly by a New York-based firm, is slated to run until mid-February. It will be sung in English by a cast of Asian-Americans. Theatrical designer Rumi Matsui and fashion designer Junko Koshino will take part in the production.

Miyamoto first directed “Pacific Overtures” in 2000 at the New National Theater in Tokyo. He took the original version, sung in English and told from the American viewpoint, and presented it in Japanese.

Its composer, Stephen Sondheim, watched Miyamoto’s production and praised the Japanese director, encouraging him to stage the musical in the United States, which he did in 2002.

The musical, which opened on Broadway in 1976, depicts the turmoil in the closing days of the Edo Period in the second half of the 19th century after Commodore Matthew Perry and his Black Ships forced the Tokugawa shogunate to end more than 200 years of isolation.

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