ekusudei: (Default)
Takarazuka of Love and Youth
Aoyama Theater -- Feb. 19th, 17:00

Leads:
Mineno Shirayuki (Ryuutan) - Ryuuzaki Kaoru: Makoto Tsubasa
Hoshikaze Suzuko (Tomo) - Yamada Tomoko: Hoshina Yuri
Tachibana Ibuki (Tacchi) - Sawara Ibuki: Ayaki Nao
Benihana Honoka (Beni) - Kawamura Matsu: Ayano Kanami

(Yes, I picked the Tsukigumi OG performance. Ahah.)
Kageyama Kou: Okada Kouki
Hayami Yuusuke: Sakamoto Kenji
Osamu: Matsushita Kouhei


Ensemble:
Ueno Hako (Senda Mayumi '82), Misato Maya ('88), Mitsumi Akiho ('95), Kawazu Megumi (Sono Mikage '95), Kanou Chika ('96), Mizuki Mai ('97), Makise Kai ('97), Ryouma Tomo ('98), Natsuzora Momomi ('00), Mine Makoto (Shimizu Kyouka '01), Hinata San ('01), Ayahashi Miyuu ('01), Sen Hafuri ('02), Yamada Yumiko (Yumeka Ayari '02), Shiotsuki Ayaka (Harusaki Koron '05), Sahane Yuna ('06), Takahashi Hiroshi, Tanimoto Mitsuhiro, Abe Yasunori

First of all: How did I not notice Sakamoto Kenji was in the (tiny) male cast list? I nearly had a happy heart-attack when I saw him come out on stage♥

I'm very, very glad I saw this first live on stage. As many times as I had hoped and started to save up for the '08 DVD, somehow it just never happened. That's good. Although I had a vague idea of the premise and I'd seen enough photos to know that someone dies, the rest was all new and could unfold without me having any expectations. I won't say that it's the cleverest or best thing that I've seen on stage (it wasn't), or that it was the most original (also not), but it was highly entertaining and it did play with your heartstrings like a good musical should. I had big tears rolling down my face at one point, and I could hear most of the audience sniffling.

I'll hit the problem first, which mainly was the fact that because they had four main characters' love stories going on it meant that some weren't really alloted enough time to get you attached to the characters. A couple of the songs seemed a bit out of place too. There was one solo that was really discordant (for obvious reasons), but just didn't seem to fit with the other music at all. And, lastly, I'm a stickler for historical accuracy in the weirdest ways, and the Takarazuka stage costumes were really anachronistic. :/


Plot: )

What I Thought: )

In conclusion, buy the DVD! See the show! It's so worth it. :)

Le Mistral

Aug. 11th, 2010 01:51 pm
ekusudei: (Default)
Le Mistral
Moon Troupe, 1994, Drama City

Stars: Amami Yuuki & Asano Kayo

[ TakaWiki ]

Summary: )

What I Thought:

I saw the Amami Yuuki version. Sorry, this will be short because I watched it months and months ago.

Well. It's very Takarazuka in that it's this horrible, terrible tale of betrayal and death and assassins, but it's also rather a comedy. And the two spirits of the mirror are rather strange, interspersed narrators with random song and dance numbers which don't fit the rest of the mood of the piece. I liked the comedy bits quite a lot, but the overall effect was rather disjointed.

Mmm, to be harshly honest I'd say it's a bit too maudlin and not a very coherent piece, without very good music or sets or costumes.

BUT then you have to factor in the cast, which I adore, and the fact that I love Yuri and Kayo together, and that Shiokaze Kou and Wakao Risa were just AWESOME villains, and Ritsu Tomomi was amazing gruff craziness. Aoi Miya was hilarious as the foolish detective in the Sherlock Holmes cape. Aihara Serika was beautifully evil. Koshino Ryuu gave a lovely, adorable ken-2 death scene. And then there was spot-the-Saeko, spot-the-Yuuhi, and spot-the-Mizu♥

The sequence near the beginning where they introduce all of the cast outside of the hotel I LOVE and could watch again and again and again.

So all in all I have to say that I enjoyed it and I love philosophical assassin Yuri very, very, very much♥♥
ekusudei: (Rika & Juri-pyon)
Passion Blue
Star Troupe, 1996

Stars: Asaji Saki & Shiraki Ayaka

[ TakaWiki ] [ "Who Is Bad?" Review ]

It's been nearly three years since I reviewed "Who Is Bad?", and I knew from the show description, from the cast, and from clips I've seen on various Sky Stage programs that I'd love "Passion Blue", but.... I've never been able to find the VHS in Taka-An. Bad luck, hey? But they finally re-broadcast it last October, so-!

It reminds me thematically of revue shows like "La Bolero Rouge" (another of Miki-Sensei's) and "Blue Moon Blue", but with more primitive costumes. So, a few years before its time, I suppose? Anyway, let's just say that it is indeed in my top ten revue shows, ever. I can't resist Mariko, Rika, and Wataru all dancing together on one stage, and when you throw in my adored combi of Mariko/Ayaka, plus Emao Yuu, Ayaki Nao, Otowa Ryou, and all the other young stars it's impossible to resist. (I enjoy playing spot-the-MatobuSei and spot-the-AsazumiKei, and spot-the-KuonMaya.)

Especially when Rika and Wataru (ken-8! so cute!) are dance-fighting over Tomo Maika in suits and fedoras.

Or Mariko and Rika are dancing together as gypsies♥

Or SO MANY HOT MARIKO/AYAKA PAIR DANCES ngbrkilhbgrbkbj!!!

Let's just say it pushes all of my revue buttons. Even the line dance was entertaining. ;)
ekusudei: (Rika & Juri-pyon)
Well, I'd rather do this when I have time to give all the details but I just don't think I'm going to have a chance anytime soon. So better the bare outline than nothing at all? XD

T4 - First Concert
March 15th, 12 PM performance
Tokyo International Forum, Hall C


Performers: Shibuki Jun, Kozuki Wataru, Ayaki Nao, Takashiro Kei, Hoshina Yuri, Otori Rei, Shijou Rui, four male back-up dancers and singers, and the choreographer (Honma Kenichi).

[ Official Page ] [ 5 tiny pictures ]

I think the best thing about this concert was how well tailored it was to the individual personalities of the four stars. You could really get a sense of who they were. ...Insane ones and demure ones. ;)

Read more... )

And the good news? At intermission they had a note that there is going to be a DVD. Tentatively planned release date for the end of April. :D
ekusudei: (Rika & Juri-pyon)
Well, I'd rather do this when I have time to give all the details but I just don't think I'm going to have a chance anytime soon. So better the bare outline than nothing at all? XD

T4 - First Concert
March 15th, 12 PM performance
Tokyo International Forum, Hall C


Performers: Shibuki Jun, Kozuki Wataru, Ayaki Nao, Takashiro Kei, Hoshina Yuri, Otori Rei, Shijou Rui, four male back-up dancers and singers, and the choreographer (Honma Kenichi).

[ Official Page ] [ 5 tiny pictures ]

I think the best thing about this concert was how well tailored it was to the individual personalities of the four stars. You could really get a sense of who they were. ...Insane ones and demure ones. ;)

Read more... )

And the good news? At intermission they had a note that there is going to be a DVD. Tentatively planned release date for the end of April. :D

I angst

Oct. 2nd, 2007 08:37 pm
ekusudei: (Default)
I had finally been able to put the fact that I can't time my trip to see this show behind me, and then they go and post photos....

I angst

Oct. 2nd, 2007 08:37 pm
ekusudei: (Default)
I had finally been able to put the fact that I can't time my trip to see this show behind me, and then they go and post photos....
ekusudei: (Default)
There's a poster up for Onna Nezumi Kozou! (Scroll on down to the bottom) Oh, there are no words for the love of three Tsukigumi top star OGs performing together. I'm even more determined to go and see it.

And Rika will have a regular roll on the TBS TV show Jigoku no Sata mo Yome Shidai. It's apparently a home drama about the tensions between a career woman and a housewife, daughter-in-law vs mother-in-law. I notice Rika doesn't have billing on the official web site (which is still pretty bare yet), so I don't think her character is going to be hugely big. But this is her first regular TV role! Yay! It starts July 7th, and will air every Thursday at 9 pm.



Not nearly so exciting, but still adorable, are two articles about Touka Yurino and Asumi Rio. ;)
ekusudei: (Default)
There's a poster up for Onna Nezumi Kozou! (Scroll on down to the bottom) Oh, there are no words for the love of three Tsukigumi top star OGs performing together. I'm even more determined to go and see it.

And Rika will have a regular roll on the TBS TV show Jigoku no Sata mo Yome Shidai. It's apparently a home drama about the tensions between a career woman and a housewife, daughter-in-law vs mother-in-law. I notice Rika doesn't have billing on the official web site (which is still pretty bare yet), so I don't think her character is going to be hugely big. But this is her first regular TV role! Yay! It starts July 7th, and will air every Thursday at 9 pm.



Not nearly so exciting, but still adorable, are two articles about Touka Yurino and Asumi Rio. ;)
ekusudei: (play without words)
;_; Japan hates me.

A play scheduled for this November with.... Drumroll, please....

Ayaki Nao and Shibuki Jun and Daichi Mao

女ねずみ小僧
(scroll to the bottom of the page)


*whines* Wanna go~ Wanna go~ Wanna go~
ekusudei: (play without words)
;_; Japan hates me.

A play scheduled for this November with.... Drumroll, please....

Ayaki Nao and Shibuki Jun and Daichi Mao

女ねずみ小僧
(scroll to the bottom of the page)


*whines* Wanna go~ Wanna go~ Wanna go~
ekusudei: (BAD has never been so GOOD)
Can you tell I raided the video sale? ;)

The Spirit of the Samurai / Fascination II
Star, 1997

Top Stars: Asaji Saki / Tsukikage Hitomi

[ TakaWiki Page ]

Cast: )

Summary. No, really. It's been a week, so this is quite possibly the shortest summary ever. )

What I Thought: )

I wonder if the lack of lifts have something to do with the fact that Gun-chan didn't stay on as Mariko's partner? They seemed to have very nice chemistry together otherwise....
ekusudei: (BAD has never been so GOOD)
Puck
Moon Troupe, 1992

[ TakaWiki Page ]

Cast )

Summary )

What I Thought

I keep ending up with these versions of 90s Moon shows with alternate casts. I have the version with Ayaki Nao playing Helen, which was her role in the shinjin koen, and apparently she subbed for Shiokaze Kou for some of the regular run as well. It must have been pretty intense for her to have such a large role as only a ken-3!

No grown woman in her 30s should ever be forced to wear what they put poor Suzukaze Mayo in. But forgiving them that, it was definitely a watchable show. Suzukaze's ability to sound three-years-old is a frightening, amazing thing.

The characters themselves weren't very interesting, tending to be so cliched they were one-dimensional. I have to say, I liked Helen the best. I kept rooting for her, and never found her character greedy or nasty, as I suppose they were aiming for. Saeko just played her too cutely, seeming more tomboyish than rude. Hermia, on the other hand, became rather annoying in her complete purity and martyr-ish acceptance of everything. Which doesn't mean that Asano Kayo didn't do a wonderful job, but she didn't have much to work with. Amami Yuuki's character of Bobby had me in stitches (again, Yuri's comedy wins the gold medal), but her outfits... *shudders* However, the electronic donkey ears were very, very amusing. There was certainly not enough of evil Daniel, but I highly appreciated when Kuze Seika revealed her evil plans and danced on the pool table. We will say nothing of Oberon's costume.

The music is a bit of a disappointment. "Growing Up" is fun, as is Non-chan's number, but other than that they are very sadly dated.

If anyone can find who played Puck in the shinko, I'd be very grateful. It's not turning up anywhere.

Memories of You

Lots of Latin numbers, which I approve. Some interesting numbers with Suzukaze too. Very, very nummy, says Jen. Particularly interesting was the number where she danced with Wakao Risa (currently a Zuka choreographer) in a dress, while Maori Yuuki (Class of 86!) sang in a dress. (Yuri also had a dance bit in a dress. I sense a theme.)

Also, they did some very unique mixes of songs during the epilogue, including an instrumental version of "Sumire Hana" with much more strings than usual for the pair dance. And, alas, a bizarre mix of "Amor Amor" sung by Non-chan while Suzukaze led the otokoyaku in a tuxedo stair dance. Which should have been amazing but instead was just too odd for me to handle.
ekusudei: (Default)
Epiphany (Bow Shakespeare Series #8: Based on Twelfth Night)
Star Bow Hall, 1999

Cast List )

There is a long, rambling, incomprehensible summary up on the TakaWiki. It is not my most shining moment, but this musical sends me into incoherent joy every time I watch it, so that's probably as good as you're going to get from me.

What I Thought:

Guh. First of all, Meiji Era Japan is just a gorgeous time-period for staged performances. The mix of Victorian gowns and suits with more traditional kimono is always a joy to see, and Takarazuka's costumers didn't disappoint. Add in the kabuki stage costumes from the plays within the play and it gets even more impressive. To fit this theme of a mix of cultures the dances varied from traditional Japanese to ballroom, to some silly slapstick between the minor characters.

I think Saeko was the perfect choice to star in this play, because of her androgyny. She played Otaka-as-Takaragorou wonderfully, and was, of course, beautiful. The scene in the second act, where she performs the Japanese dance and then weeps silently with huge, fat teardrops rolling down her cheeks.... *sniffles* Beautiful. I became very fond of the actress who played Iriya (Tsukasa Yuuki), and wished that there could have been some more romantic closure between her and Otaka, but well, of course it had to be Takagorou and Mari who were the focus. And speaking of Mari, I was very impressed by Hisato Rie and all of the musumeyaku in this show. Strong, fun characters with good voices. Asazumi Kei absolutely cracked me up.... particularly in the scene after everyone has left the restaurant, when the waiter begins to politely pester him to pay the bill. "Okyaku-sama? ..... Okyaku-sama?" Why, why did this woman retire early? Un-chan as Shingorou.... yummy. That's the most coherent thing you'll get out of me on that front. This woman should always be in Nihonmono as the bad-boy character. Always. Nishiki Ai and Ohiro Ayumu were absolutely squishable as the two kabuki actors, particularly Ayumu's onnagata. Oh, I laughed so hard my sides hurt. How a woman can play a man who plays female characters so much he's adopted the mannerisms.... That takes a special talent.

I think, out of all the Shakespeare Bow Halls that I've seen, this one is my favorite, even over R&J'99. The reason being that it's just so well-rounded. The costumes, the music, the songs, the characters, the plot -- everything is entertaining, and I wouldn't change a thing.
ekusudei: (play without words)
TCA Special 1996 - Melodies and Memories

[ TakaWiki Page ]

Participants )


Wow. Wow. I think this is my favorite TCA special so far. It's just so different that it's really intriguing.

Act I

Instead of the usual parade down the stairs or something like that to introduce the troupes, they jump right into doing scenes from famous oriental-style Takarazuka musicals. Starlight People, a Shinsengumi musical originally done in the 70s by Yuki. Here Hana does it, with Maya Miki playing Okita Souji, also includes Shiraki Ayaka, Takane Fubuki, and Makoto Tsubasa. Eternal Tale stars Kuze, Hanafusa, and Todoroki. Red Flowers Falling in Menam tells the story of a Japanese ambassador (Yamada: Asaji Saki) to Shamuro, other cast includes Kazahana Mai, Aika Mire, Shibuki Jun, Shizuki Asato, and Wataru Kozuki. The old favorite, Lover's Suicide shows up again, with Ichiro Maki and Hanafusa Mari playing the lovers, also includes Minoru Kou, Kouju Tatsuki (singing "Kono Yo ni Tada Hitotsu"), and Kaikyou Hiroki.

Act II

We open with a collection of songs from Western musicals, including Guys and Dolls, Oklahoma, West Side Story, South Pacific, The Sound of Music, Dean, songs from Kurt Weill, Maury Yeston, and Cole Porter. A medley of Offenbach songs leads us into recent Takarazuka favorites, including a La Nostalgie featuring every sexy otokoyaku to ever exist, EVER. Perhaps the most bizzarre is Ichiro Maki singing "Watashi Dake ni" in her otokoyaku voice. 0.o And then we end with the parade to "Takarazuka Forever."

What I Thought:

Act I was gorgeous and full of angst. Non-chan (Kuze Seika) and Mariko-chan's (Asaji Saki) characters had me in tears. Beautifully, beautifully done. It was interesting to see another version of Lover's Suicide. Ichiro and Hana played it much more desperate than Saeko and Kurara did in the 2004 special, and I can't decide which I like more. Oddly enough, I think I liked Hakushou Kairi's version of "Kono Yo" more than Taatan's, though Taatan's was also gorgeous.

Act II was a lot of fun. For me the best part was the Western musical numbers, and I was absolutely cracking up during The Sound of Music. The South Pacific songs had me all kinds of amused -- ah, Japanese women cross-dressing as WWII American navy men.... I was so very glad I wasn't forced to listen yet again to too many "classic" Takarazuka songs, which they seem to love pulling out for the TCA specials.
ekusudei: (Default)
TCA Special 1997 - The Festival

[ TakaWiki Page ]

Participants )

This special was set up as a competition, with Takarazuka staff members choosing their favorite performance from each round. The rounds included:

Act I

Chansons sung by the top musumeyaku, jazz with the top otokoyaku singing, Japanese pop music sung by groups of 3rd and 4th ranked otokoyaku (SMAP, V6 and other J-pop groups' songs), a hidden talent battle, and then for the finale older Takarazuka songs. The finale also included the 2nd-ranked otokoyaku singing while the lowest otokoyaku on the star tracks danced in dresses.

Act II

Act II began with songs from musicals done that year by each troupe, often with a quirky twist at the end, a dance competition, and then the game corner. Lastly, the prize was awarded to the winning troupe and then they had the parade down the grand staircase.

What I thought: Funny! Very funny. Probably not one I'd recommend if you don't know the stars who were in this performance, but it was definitely amusing.
ekusudei: (Default)
And then the Zuka Overlord said: Let there be Hotness in Turbans. And there was.

Okay, so I promised [livejournal.com profile] mosellegreen a summary, and a summary she shall get!

Dal Lake no Koi
(Love at Dal Lake)

[ TakaWiki Page ]

Hachiman Hariram Kapool (cavalry captain) -- Asaji Saki
Kamara Shandra Kumar (Shandra's granddaughter) -- Hoshina Yuri
Pepele (a swindler from Paris) -- Minoru Kou
Krisna Kumar (Kamara's cousin) -- Emao Yuu
Rita (Kamara's younger sister) -- Hazumi Rui
Michelle (a club madame from Paris) -- Fuji Kyouko
Shandra Kumar (Maha Raja of Benares) -- Natsuki You
Indira Kumar (Shandra's wife) -- Ritsu Tomomi
Jasvir (chief of military police) -- Ema Naoki
Hariram Kapool (Maha Raja of Bengal) -- Chiaki Shin

Summary )


What I thought )
ekusudei: (Default)
TMP Special: Dream Festival '94

[ TakaWiki Page ]

Takarasiennes )

Summary:
First Act
Paris Medley, Takarazuka Medley, top star MC, Hoshigumi "Gone With the Wind ~You and I are Opposites~", Hanagumi "Gone With the Wind ~Spirit World Version~", Spanish In Takarazuka

Second Act
Opening, Yukigumi "Gone With the Wind ~Scarlett Version~", Tsukigumi "Gone With the Wind ~Japan Version~", Dream Festival, Finale (Latin, Chason, Beat), Parade

Thoughts: o.0 Possibly weirder than the Revue Special '98. Takarazuka has given me whole new ways of interpreting GWtW, and I have to admit that Rhett attempting to convince a very, VERY gay Ashley to run away with him has given me a new appreciation for a story I never really enjoyed. ;)

Possibly too many otokoyaku in dresses, if such a thing is possible. A huge crowd of Scarletts including Tom, Taatan, and Wao was a very scary thing. Particularly scary was how nice Anju Mira looked in a dress. Nothing, however, could make Kuze Seika look good in one.

You all know my absolute love for "Night and Day", right? Imagine my delight that there was not one, but two versions of it in this show. One with everyone and their uncle (okay, just Taatan, Rika, Shiokaze, Wao, Zunko, etc...), and one... well. Try to picture it: The staircase lights up. Spotlights fall on Yuri (Amami) and Yoshiko (Asano) in their Rhett and Scarlett Japanese garb (not rich kimonos, mind you, just middle-class). Yuri starts singing "Night and Day", and then the two dance to it, mixing Japanese moves with traditional Takarazuka stairdance poses. I think I fell over laughing at least three times. Tsukigumi, I loooove you!
ekusudei: (Default)
Icon no Yuuwaku (Tokubetsu)

[ TakaWiki Page ]

Mikhail: Asaji Saki
Tatiana: Hoshina Yuri
Leonard: Minoru Kou
Nikita: Ayaki Nao
Georgi: Natsumi You
Olga: Ema Naoki

Criminally short summary: )

Reactions: This is the show that made me a total Asaji Saki adorer, which Elisabeth never managed. Again, her acting is just lovely, and her ballet! The scene with "Serenade" kills me every time I watch it, and I watch it quite a lot. I adore Asaji and Hoshina together. *_* Minoru Kou's Leonard was actually rather cool as well.

I summarized the plot and left out all of the great side-stories. The story and characterization is actually really good. I was impressed. Natsumi You's Georgi was completely twitchy and evil. Otowa's character actually had a scene where he spoke English to try to sell souvenirs to the American (Tatiana), and it was so realistic it had me giggling like mad. I really like Otoko (Otowa Ryou)! Despite the more serious central plot, there was also the mystery, and then several humorous sub-plots which continue to crack me up. Nikita! And the students, who had all of these songs/choruses explaining the plot which were just SO DAMN FUNNY!

"Mama!" *cracks up*

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