ekusudei: (Flower Troupe)
Yesterday was the 800th performance of Elisabeth by the Takarazuka Revue.

Terrifying.

Makes me wonder if anyone has ever counted the number of times they have put on BeruBara performances. How I would pity that bean-counter.

There were presents for audience members. Lucky sods.
ekusudei: (Default)
Well, "Elisabeth" is [livejournal.com profile] incandescens's topic choice for today (meme). Since this is a Takarazuka journal, I'll keep to the musical. ;)

Elisabeth and I have a love/hate relationship. As with many foreign fans new to the fandom in the past decade, this was my first full Takarazuka show. At the time I appreciated it for the almost anime-esque, J-rock look that Takarazuka gave it. As a twenty-something I enjoyed the melodrama, and as a BL fan I had to love the Death/Rudolph angle as played on the Takarazuka stage.

Mmm, and then we worked on the transcription/translation and we watched it again, and again, and again. We watched all five versions (that existed at the time) to catch bits of dialogue and lyrics that we couldn't catch on one recording. I grew very, very sick of Elisabeth over the course of that year. I remember when the '07 Yuki version came out, [livejournal.com profile] wao_wao brought her copy over, and I watched it and thought, "Ah." Nothing. It was pretty, it had one of my favorite actresses in the lead, but I had overdosed.

Hardly more than a year later, and they announced that Tsuki would be doing it again. I can't remember what I thought about that, although I was probably anticipating it a little since I was living in Japan at the time and it would give me a chance to see it live. I thought Masaki might get Elmer, if we were lucky.

I was with [livejournal.com profile] shirabyoshi when they announced the principal cast, and we were walking down the street (thank you, Mobile Takarazuka alerts). I believe we convinced half the town that I was a madwoman, with all my shrieking and carrying on. Thank you, my dear, for not dying of embarrassment on the spot.

Mmm, nowadays I'm still a bit more leave it than take it, and when I do watch it, it's Franz Joseph who gets most of my attention (poor bastard). I suppose that's due to "growing up" and "becoming ancient."
ekusudei: (Default)
Two hour mandatory driving safety lecture to renew my license again, and I am brain dead. Also, they made me cry.

Anyway: Things!

Pretty, happy Matobun! (How did it never occur to me before that she's hardly older than me? Urgh.)

I saw Rika's Genghis Khan! .... It was actually a musical, which surprised me. The dialogue was... very bad. The Mongolian traditional instrument thing was very good, and the music reminded me of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which was cool. Rika's costume in act I was Love. Rika all pimped out in a massive ton of "masculine" eyeliner also a plus. The two leading ladies' singing voices were amazing, particularly the younger girl. (Photos and interview)

They're doing an adaption of Pride and Prejudice! I wonder if it'll try to be faithful to the original, or if they'll go for something more unique? But... I'm sorry, but I really can't see Toyoko as Darcy. Hrm. Hoshi fans, any guesses as to Elizabeth and the rest of the Bennets?

Also, anyone see that they're doing another gala concert for Elisabeth, next November? I know some folks were hoping for another one.
〜TAKARAZUKA WAY TO 100th ANNIVERSARY〜
「エリザベート スペシャル ガラ・コンサート」
日程:2012/11上旬〜11中旬
東急シアターオーブ

PS -- Checking my finances, and I think I might be able to get myself a new computer as a New Year's present in January! Miss you guys!
ekusudei: (Default)
Two hour mandatory driving safety lecture to renew my license again, and I am brain dead. Also, they made me cry.

Anyway: Things!

Pretty, happy Matobun! (How did it never occur to me before that she's hardly older than me? Urgh.)

I saw Rika's Genghis Khan! .... It was actually a musical, which surprised me. The dialogue was... very bad. The Mongolian traditional instrument thing was very good, and the music reminded me of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which was cool. Rika's costume in act I was Love. Rika all pimped out in a massive ton of "masculine" eyeliner also a plus. The two leading ladies' singing voices were amazing, particularly the younger girl. (Photos and interview)

They're doing an adaption of Pride and Prejudice! I wonder if it'll try to be faithful to the original, or if they'll go for something more unique? But... I'm sorry, but I really can't see Toyoko as Darcy. Hrm. Hoshi fans, any guesses as to Elizabeth and the rest of the Bennets?

Also, anyone see that they're doing another gala concert for Elisabeth, next November? I know some folks were hoping for another one.
〜TAKARAZUKA WAY TO 100th ANNIVERSARY〜
「エリザベート スペシャル ガラ・コンサート」
日程:2012/11上旬〜11中旬
東急シアターオーブ

PS -- Checking my finances, and I think I might be able to get myself a new computer as a New Year's present in January! Miss you guys!
ekusudei: (Default)
Sorry. I'm so behind on things. I'm slowly trying at least to answer everyone's comments. T_T

Hey, know the opening scene of Elisabeth, where Lucheni kind of stumbles out onto the stage in his handcuffs, like he's been shoved out under the glaring eye of Justice? To increase the realism, Masaki really is shoved every time -- by Ai-chan. *grin* Only, the newspaper article I read this in wrote "Yumesaki Ai, playing the Dowager Empress Sophie". T_T T_T
ekusudei: (Default)
Sorry. I'm so behind on things. I'm slowly trying at least to answer everyone's comments. T_T

Hey, know the opening scene of Elisabeth, where Lucheni kind of stumbles out onto the stage in his handcuffs, like he's been shoved out under the glaring eye of Justice? To increase the realism, Masaki really is shoved every time -- by Ai-chan. *grin* Only, the newspaper article I read this in wrote "Yumesaki Ai, playing the Dowager Empress Sophie". T_T T_T
ekusudei: (Default)
I'm going to try to be a good girl and get the ochakai written up tomorrow morning, but I leave you with this thought. ... I think Lucheni's capture might have actually been my favorite moment of the new Elisabeth. Masaki's Lucheni is so bat-shit insane, it's scary. o_0
ekusudei: (Default)
I'm going to try to be a good girl and get the ochakai written up tomorrow morning, but I leave you with this thought. ... I think Lucheni's capture might have actually been my favorite moment of the new Elisabeth. Masaki's Lucheni is so bat-shit insane, it's scary. o_0
ekusudei: (Default)

(Photo: Grand Theater balcony view.)

Note: This is the second half of a two-part review, so some things are going to build off of what I said about the Sunday performance.

Elisabeth
2009 Moon Troupe
June 8th 1 PM performance


Leads: Sena Jun, Nagina Ruumi, Kiriya Hiromu
Switched roles: Ryouga Haruhi (Rudolph), Aoki Izumi (Elmer), Asumi Rio (Stefan)

[ TakaWiki ] [ Daily Sports Online stage photos 1 & 2 ]

Summary:

As I mentioned before, if anyone really needs one, I'll direct your attention to the Takarazuka Wiki.

What I Thought:

Okay, this time I was awake. And this time I both put my opera glasses down most of the time to take in the full effect, and put them up to watch the solos and duets. (...With the occasional sneak at Masaki. I'm only human.) Conclusion -- there was still a spark of love for Elisabeth left that was waiting to be fanned back to life♥ I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I'm looking forward to seeing what they do and change for Tokyo.

Still not a proper review, though. I'll probably inflict one last "impressions" post on you all after the Tokyo run, when I've had time to internalize more.

Read more... )

So, final verdict from the weekend was one of excitement. I'm looking forward to Tokyo run a lot more now, and I'm definitely buying the DVD. (Yes, it was up in the air for a while. Like I said, I'm pretty burnt out on Elisabeth.) I think people are going to be pleasantly surprised by the results of the unusual casting♥
ekusudei: (NBN - Tomu & Gun-chan)
Okay, this is going to be a bit more of a wavy line between the live-filter and the regular reviews, but I'm not filtering them, because I don't like to filter my reviews. (I'm tired, and suspect that makes no sense.) I'm going to do one of these for each performance, because I watched them very differently.

Warning: I arrived in the Mura around 9:45, after taking a particularly torturous night bus for 11 hours, so I wasn't entirely among the living for this performance.

(Photo: Grand Theater tachimi view - i.e. standing-section, back of the first floor.)

Elisabeth
2009 Moon Troupe
June 7th 11AM performance


Leads: Sena Jun, Nagina Ruumi, Kiriya Hiromu
Switched roles: Ryouga Haruhi (Elmer), Aoki Izumi (Stefan), Asumi Rio (Rudolph)

[ TakaWiki ] [ Daily Sports Online stage photos 1 & 2 ]

Summary:

Hah. If anyone really needs one, I'll direct your attention to the Takarazuka Wiki *points*. Really, there are no changes to scenes or dialogue, only a little blocking (possibly some of the Black Angel choreography?). I only have a dim recollection of the 2007 performance of Elisabeth, but have the 2005 imprinted on my brain, so it may actually be unchanged from the 2007 blocking as well. So, despite the exciting rumors of new scenes.... nope. I'll go over the finale selections at the end.

What I Thought:

I'm going to start like a broken record, and apologies to everyone who's heard this spiel several times already over the weekend. I'm going to translate the Kageki round-table conversation soon, because I think it gives some very interesting insight into things people have picked out about this version. Now, the fact that you have to read the round-table to pick them up perhaps shows that they didn't succeed in their goals very well? But, regardless, I thought it interesting. (And I'm paraphrasing the hell out of it, because I've only had time to skim the article.) Basically, Sena Jun's goal for the show was "simplicity". She wanted to take Death back to his roots; not drown the character in layers. The same for the show -- Koike (the adaptor/director) and Yoshida (music director) spend some time talking about how they want to focus on the music for this version.

Me. My head place was all on Ryuu Masaki, because I've been her fan for four years, and I'm so damn proud of her getting this part in a Grand Theater show as only a ken-9. So this Sunday review is in large part going to be the Masaki-version. In fact, I had my opera glasses on her and her alone every time she was on stage so that I wouldn't miss a single expression. So... I didn't see most of the other cast. But I definitely heard them. (And knowing the show by heart after helping to sub it, I can follow the action pretty easily by sound alone.) And, damn, they sounded good. So if sound was the goal for this production, I think they achieved it. Everyone sounded great, particularly as a whole. Maybe individually they weren't the best Takarazuka actresses who have ever played the parts, but I'm convinced now that Koike knew what he was doing and what he wanted when he cast the show.

First impressions: )

Overall I left with no surprise impressions (though I admit to having enjoyed Ruumi's voice more than I expected I would). I was ecstatic over Masaki, enjoyed hearing/seeing some actresses I love in some parts I liked, but felt kind of flat. I was tired, I'd missed most of the big scenes, and I hadn't even really looked at the other principles yet. The general "sick of this show" ennui hadn't really been lifted as I hoped it would.

More on the rest of the cast and the actual show when I talk about Monday's performance.
ekusudei: (Default)
God, too cute. Brain cannot compute. ... But, no, seriously, a bit too cute. Oh dear. I'll withhold judgment until I get to see more than a couple of stage photos, though.

On the other hand, Sawaki Rizu? <3<3<3

...Yeah, there are a few other people in there too, I guess.
ekusudei: (Default)
God, too cute. Brain cannot compute. ... But, no, seriously, a bit too cute. Oh dear. I'll withhold judgment until I get to see more than a couple of stage photos, though.

On the other hand, Sawaki Rizu? <3<3<3

...Yeah, there are a few other people in there too, I guess.
ekusudei: (Default)
Masaki-san, good luck.

God, I'M terribly nervous, I can't imagine how she's feeling. But she's always so calm on stage; I remember how everyone was talking about how collected and non-shinkoey she was when she had her shinko leads. I'm sure she'll do just fine.
ekusudei: (Default)
Masaki-san, good luck.

God, I'M terribly nervous, I can't imagine how she's feeling. But she's always so calm on stage; I remember how everyone was talking about how collected and non-shinkoey she was when she had her shinko leads. I'm sure she'll do just fine.
ekusudei: (Default)
Well, here we are then. Elisabeth roles went up on Monday. I knew roughly when the meeting was starting, because I had our standby time for irimachi. So I was obsessively checking the mobile site all through Anna's birthday hanami (sorry, Anna!). Sometimes I cheated and didn't wait the full 10 minutes between checks. XD So we managed to get the roles and retirements and (shockingly early) full shinko cast announcements almost as soon as they went up.... Not sure if that was a healthy thing or not. *grin*

I didn't get half the excitement I was hoping for; I thought maybe they'd throw a few more things on their heads and stir the pot some more, but maybe the dismal Tomo no Kai ticket pre-sales made an impact on their thinking?

Blah blah blah casting that I'm particularly pleased by... )

Blah blah blah shinko casting )

As for retirements.... Only three? Hm. But, blah, Touyan. I'm sad to see her go; she's so adorable. And her staff is awesome.



Also, Hankyu put up a page of photos from Hatsubutai line dance rehearsals yesterday.
ekusudei: (Default)
Well, here we are then. Elisabeth roles went up on Monday. I knew roughly when the meeting was starting, because I had our standby time for irimachi. So I was obsessively checking the mobile site all through Anna's birthday hanami (sorry, Anna!). Sometimes I cheated and didn't wait the full 10 minutes between checks. XD So we managed to get the roles and retirements and (shockingly early) full shinko cast announcements almost as soon as they went up.... Not sure if that was a healthy thing or not. *grin*

I didn't get half the excitement I was hoping for; I thought maybe they'd throw a few more things on their heads and stir the pot some more, but maybe the dismal Tomo no Kai ticket pre-sales made an impact on their thinking?

Blah blah blah casting that I'm particularly pleased by... )

Blah blah blah shinko casting )

As for retirements.... Only three? Hm. But, blah, Touyan. I'm sad to see her go; she's so adorable. And her staff is awesome.



Also, Hankyu put up a page of photos from Hatsubutai line dance rehearsals yesterday.
ekusudei: (Default)
OH MY GOD. CURLY.

Sorry, I try to avoid obsessing over Masaki to the exclusion of all else in this journal, but I think you're all going to be getting mighty sick of us soon. ;)
ekusudei: (Default)
OH MY GOD. CURLY.

Sorry, I try to avoid obsessing over Masaki to the exclusion of all else in this journal, but I think you're all going to be getting mighty sick of us soon. ;)
ekusudei: (BAD has never been so GOOD)
Elisabeth
2007 Snow Troupe

Leads: Mizu Natsuki & Shirahane Yuri

[ TakaWiki ] [ TCA Shop ] [ ENAK Sumire Style GRAPH ]

To be honest, I wasn't sure if I wanted to see this show, at the same time that I was dying to see it. Since I first fell in love with Takarazuka, Mizu was one of my magic trio (Rika, Yuuhi, Mizu). It's been kind of hard watching everyone suddenly become a fan because she's a top star now and because she happened to get to play Death. I know, it's not rational, but that's the way it is. Because of that, the DVD has been kind of low on my priority list. I really wanted to see Hoshikage first, but I haven't been able to afford it yet. But Julie brought Elisabeth over with her, so of course I gave in to the temptation in .2 seconds flat. ;)

And of course, I was really worried. I wanted to like my top combi together, but I'd heard lukewarm things about Shirahane Yuri's Sissi.

So...

What I Thought )

Overall, I found the changes they made interesting. Often I couldn't say: "Oh, I liked the old way better", or "Oh, I like this way better". I think this new round of Elisabeths is going to be just different enough that they're not comparable with the first five productions.

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