ekusudei: (Star Troupe)
Hey, look, a real review. I don't think I've done one of these in years. (I remember why now, too. Talk about spending days on something...)

Angel's Ladder
(Pride and Prejudice)
Star Troupe - Nippon Seinenkan
March 10th, 15:00


Stars: Suzumi Shio & Otoha Minori

[ TakaWiki ] [ Project Gutenberg ]

Random thought before the curtain went up: When did they change the drop curtain at Nippon Seinenkan? It's totally cute now!

Random thought before the curtain went down: Toyoko said, "And Aran Kei-san is here watching the show today" and the audience went nuts. Guys, guys, I love Touko too, but you shouldn't cheer for her more loudly than you cheered for the cast..... XD


Anyway, FABULOUS SHOW. I was both excited and apprehensive when this show was announced, and also, I admit, not seeing Toyoko as Darcy in any way, shape or form. Yet Suzuki-sensei and Toyoko both won me over completely.

The Title

First off, the story behind the title. It is Angel's Ladder, or Jacob's Ladder, the name for a formation of crepuscular rays (On YouTube). This is the only real change that Suzuki-sensei made from the original, which he wove throughout the story. Basically, Lizzy likes the story behind Angel's Ladder, the light and clouds forming a ladder to heaven. Her liking and daydreaming about the story is laughed at by Bingley's more sophisticated sisters, but Darcy starts reading about it on the sly, and even passes on a book about the Angel's Ladder to his sister Georgiana. All of which gives an excuse for the theme song about meeting an angel (Lizzy) which Darcy sings, and for Bingley to talk endlessly about his angel Jane.

Normally I don't like the Zukification of my favorite classics, but I think this was a good choice because it fit the time and characters of the story to a certain degree and didn't jar like some things do in other adaptations. It meant that Lizzy became a bit more of a daydreamer and a bit less of the level-headed young woman that I picture her as, but I think that was bound to happen with a Takarazuka adaptation in any case.

The Adaptation

Read more... )

The Costumes, Music and Dancing

Read more... )

The Cast

Read more... )

I really, really, really want this show on DVD. It inspired me to write to Suzuki-sensei, and I've never actually written to a director before. So take that for the amazing thing that it is, I suppose. XD Basically, the casting was spot-on PERFECT and the show was hilarious and lovely and made my fangirl heart flutter in all the right places (The forehead bump!!♥♥).

Ocean's 11

Jan. 22nd, 2012 10:52 pm
ekusudei: (Star Troupe)
Ocean's 11
Star Troupe, 2011-12

Stars: Yuzuki Reon & Yumesaki Nene

[ TakaWiki ] [ Engeki Kick: Takarazuka Journal (photos) ]



Official English Summary:

Read more... )

What I Thought:

Koike made quite a lot of changes from the movie plot, most of which make sense when you consider the expectations of a Takarazuka Grand Theater performance. Read more... )

Overall an entertaining show, and probably one that I would go see again live, but not one that I would buy on DVD.
ekusudei: (Default)
Was hoping to leave this for when my brain was working again, but I'm STILL sick as a dog, so this may have a bunch of weird mistakes in it.

Leaving Meguriai for another day, and just focusing on this version of the cast and the changes they made and the goof-ups of the particular show that I saw.

I think everyone already knows that I've been in love with this show for six or so years and have all of the versions from '99, and all of the bits and pieces of the older ones that I've been able to lay my hands on? And that this is my favorite revue show? Good then, we'll move on. ;)

Nova Bossa Nova
Tokyo Theater, June 5th

Leads: Yuzuki Reon & Yumesaki Nene

Switched Cast:
Ouro: Yumeno Seika
Mar: Makaze Suzuho
Mrs. Mel: Kurenai Yuzuru
Madam Gado: Marino Yui

I splurged and bought a scalped ticket to this show because I wanted a very, very nice seat to see Tomomin as Ouro. As I suspected, she fit it perfectly. My first impressions of Ouro were Rika and Tartan, so I think you can see why I thought Tomomin was well suited. For me, Ouro is bigger than life, and Tomomin has that kind of solid presence. Her leering was muuuuch better than I was expecting! In fact, in all she was amazing and I got all flustered♥ (I am still ENRAGED that she only played Ouro for the one weekend in Tokyo.)

Makaze was a good Mar in that her lankiness worked to her advantage. For me, Mar has always been gangly and tough and just a bit naive. Makaze did well with that. But the crucial scene got a bit disrupted and I ended up not being able to pay as much attention to facial expressions, because ..... her belt fell off. Her belt fell off right in the front, center stage, just before the fight scene. I was terrified Remi was going to trip over it, but she managed to step lightly. They were all amazing, keeping to the choreography and dancing and acting arund this belt. It must have hurt when Remi had to collapse onto it. And then Makaze ended up carrying it off stage with her as the clowns led Mar away.

Yuzurun was hilarious as Mrs. Mel, and I was so glad that the directors decided to freshen up the character and added new bits to the drunken scene. I'll be interested to see how the other two play it.


Chie, of course, had The Voice. And with the voice she is also an amazing dancer, so her Sol is great.

A corpse could play Estrela, so Nene did well enough. ;)

Remi was AMAZING. Remi♥ Remi♥ Remi♥ I'm not giving up on getting you back for us. I believe!
<--- Hopeless

More on everyone else when I'm not dying of the plague.


Biggest changes:

- They changed the music at the opening of "Sol y Mar". Boo hissssssss.
- Another number at Club Baba? I'm not entirely sure of this, as it's possible it was simply cut from the '99 commercial recordings (although there's no note made of it anywhere). I'll have to check programs. Anyway, I like it♥
- I don't remember the top musumeyaku having a bit in the choreography during "Soul Man", but this might be either faulty memory or camera-work that simply didn't show her before. I'll have to check this too.
- Most of the costumes, while not all were exactly the same, had the same basic design as earlier versions, with the exception of Estrela's in the farewell scene.
<--- You can tweak Estrela all you like, Revue, you're not going to make her cool. We all know who the real heroine of this show is, and Remi rocked it♥
- Speaking of the farewell scene, someone upped the rating on this revue! The kiss!
<--- I'm actually kind of sad about this. I really loved that hesitant, I'm not good enough for you, chaste kiss that Sol gave Estrella in earlier versions. It made more sense with the whole "Lo, we must part!" storyline.


Overall, a very, very good cast for this show. I love this show. So long as you don't change too much, it's hard to mess it up♥
ekusudei: (Default)
So, Saturday was Failz Time, as many of you know. After I got home I had some free time before a work party, so I decided to sulk and watch the Nova Bossa Nova Pre-Party. It was a little more than an hour, but it was absolutely fascinating and it flew by. I couldn't believe when it was over, despite what the clock on my DVD player was telling me. *sigh*

First Ema Naoki gave a small introduction as MC, introducing the work and Kamogawa-sensei. Then all of Hoshigumi performed the opening number, which was the first intimation that they had changed some of the music. Okay, one of my Japanese friends had told me that she thought they had changed the music, from what she had seen on Sky Stage, but I hadn't believed her. Oh my god, what-!? All right, it was just the very, very opening of "Sol y Mar", but still! (T⌂T) And, OK, they hadn't touched the sacred choreography, BUT STILL! (T⌂T)
<--- devastated

Anyway, once I got over that shock, I really enjoyed it. Because Hoshigumi really does have the perfect cast for this show right now, and that makes me happy. :D

Afterwards, all the main cast came out to say a few words, mostly on the theme of: "I'll do my best!" Only Nene added, "As the only white person," which made Junko be all: "Hey, Suzumi and I are white too!" And Nene was all, "... Oops."

Then they had the special guests on. First was Todoroki Yuu, I think. Tom sang "Sinner Man" (of course), which only reinforced how much range she's lost in the past 12 years, which made me sad. She's still my favorite Sol, though, and she still has the power. Then Tom came out with Ema Naoki and they talked about how things were when she performed NBN in '99 with Snow. They made Tom watch a video montage of her performance, and she kept saying, "That's enough, you can stop it now. Or now. Or now, really." *grin*

Then Makoto Tsubasa came out and joined them, and of course Mami had funny anecdotes. She and Tom were talking together, and Mami pointed out that Tom is the only one who doesn't do the low "Huh!" in "Sinner Man", and asked why, and Tom totally covered her face to hide a blush and looked off to the side and muttered that it was because she couldn't, and when Mami pressed her to do it then and there she was all flustered and "I can't! Really, I can't!" Which led them both off into low otokoyaku voices and how Mami had called Tom once before and Tom was all: "Who is this?" thinking that some man was calling her. They both agreed that Yuzuki-kun would have no problems. ;)

They both were talking about how while Tom had been sweating up a storm, Mami had actually been cold on stage in bare feet, and had worn an adhesive heat pad stuck to her lower back to keep her warm. Apparently one day during "Sinner Man" it had fallen loose and right out of her costume and onto center stage. XD

Then Ema Naoki announced a surprise guest, and Kiriyan came out! .... With the worst kind of hairdo that I haven't seen on her since her shinko days, and totally trying to stand ten steps away from her sempai and cowering in abject supplication. XD Kiriyan, most of you probably know, had the shinko lead during Moon's '99 performance.
<--- I do not think the hairdo was irony on her part, sadly

Kiriyan talked about how at the time of the show rehearsals Mami had been really busy, and hadn't been able to demonstrate the choreography to Kiriyan, as most actresses do to their shinko understudies. And then, one night after exchausting rehearsals, Kiriyan went into a convenience store and was shocked to see-- Here, Junko interrupted in a shocked voice, asking why a top star was working a part-time job at a convenience store, and the audience and everyone on stage about died laughing. Then Kiriyan was all, "No, no, of course not. But I ran into her there, and she offered to show me the steps then and there." "In the aisle of the convenience store!?" Junko demands. "Well, in the parking lot."

So, apparently they were dancing away in the dark in the parking lot, and Kiriyan was really wishing that someone would walk by to see her performance. ;)

Then the three of them sang the opening verse of "Sol y Mar" together before leaving the stage♥

Next was Gou Chigusa, who was Ouro in the 1971 Snow version, and Sol in the 1972 Snow version. She's 66 or 67 now, from the information she revealed about how old she was when she played Sol (27), and her voice was a little unsteady, but the force of her personality carried her through. And Ema Naoki fangirled her like mad, which was hugely amusing. She told Gou Chigusa that they had a video montage prepared, like they had done for the others, and Gou-san was very excited about this, even though Junko warned her that there wasn't any sound. And it was extremely short, and very few shots actually had Gou-san in them, and she was very petulant and unhappy about it. "That was it? But I wasn't even IN it!" Ahah, old ladies♥ Junko looked horrified at having upset her idol, but eventually she got some reminisces out of her.

Gou-san talked about how back then they hadn't worn full-body 'tan' makeup, but had actually spent two weeks outside tanning as much as they could, then covered up the bits they missed with paint.
<--- Holy cancer-magnet, Batman!

She talked about how strict Kamogawa-sensei had been, sometimes making them spend hours just practicing their posture during the walking parts of the dances.

She talked about how young she had been, and how she hadn't been able to sing well and so had practiced very, very hard every day. And back then there had been the zoo right next to the Grand Theater, and when she was feeling especially discouraged she had gone out and talked to the animals. And how during the hot, hot summer days she had sung in the rehearsal rooms and been joined by the elephants and monkeys and birds, and decided they were approving her performance. ;)

When asked, she admited that she loved playng Ouro better than Sol, since Ouro was such a character. Then Ema Naoki called out Yumeno Seika, Kurenai Yuzuru, and Makaze Suzuho to ask Gou-san some questions. Tomomin came out clutching the 1972 program, which won Gou-san over pretty quickly. *grin* Tomomin asked what she should pay special care to do while performing, and if I remember the answer was along the lines of making sure to give Ouro enough attitude. Yuzurun's question was along the lines of what NOT to do, and I can't remember exactly except that it led Gou-san off onto a soliloquey on the perfect way to take the necklace off of Estrela in the club scene, which she then demonstrated using the necklace Makaze was wearing (since she was in Mrs. Mel costume). Only Makaze was too tall, and Gou-san told her to bend her knees and get shorter. And then Gou-san totally hotted up the stage and poor Makaze. *grin* OGs, they got It. Then it was Makaze's turn to ask a question, and Gou-san was all, "What? This one is playing Ouro too?" And I can't exactly remember Makaze's question, but I think this was the one that led to Gou-san talking about demanding the spotlight and using it. She said something like," And then you say, Mr. Spotlight man, turn up my light--" And as she was speaking, the spotlight got dazzlingly bright, and she was surprised, but preened anyway. "Yes, yes, just like that." And then she made some Ouro-esque faces into the spotlight, and they were marvelous too. (I think Tomomin was taking careful notes.)

And then the next special guest was Maho Shibuki (Sol in 1971 and 1972 Star and Snow versions), who always sings "Amor Amor" at the special events where OGs come to sing, and sure enough she sang it again, and her costume was very... special. I love OGs, but "Amor Amor" can seem 20 minutes long sometimes. I may have fast-forwarded through most of it. And afterward they had a montage of her performances. Maho Shibuki still has iron otokoyaku balls. I like her a lot. :D But she was all: "After all these amusing stories, what should I talk about?" And Junko was all: "Oh, no, any reminisces at all are good!" But then Maho-san found some entertaining stories..... Only I can't remember them right now. XD

One was about how heavy the costume was, and at one point Junko said something which set her off into singing "Sinner Man" a capela, which was... oh dear.

Eventually they brought Chie out, which led to more costume reminisces, and about how the chuzume costume (the carneval) used to be decorated with actual glass mirrors and how the choreographer had Maho-san move her arms to make sure they all jangled and chimed as she was moving. Chie had her 'listening intently and politely' face on, which is very sincere. Ahahah.

Then Maho-san left and Junko said, "Wow, isn't this amazing?" And Chie agreed, and then Junko was all," And in another forty years, that will be you walking off stage over there," and Chie had her earnest wonder face on again as she agreed. Ahahah. They talked a bit, and then the pre-party ended with the chuzume scene♥
ekusudei: (Default)
So, Saturday was Failz Time, as many of you know. After I got home I had some free time before a work party, so I decided to sulk and watch the Nova Bossa Nova Pre-Party. It was a little more than an hour, but it was absolutely fascinating and it flew by. I couldn't believe when it was over, despite what the clock on my DVD player was telling me. *sigh*

First Ema Naoki gave a small introduction as MC, introducing the work and Kamogawa-sensei. Then all of Hoshigumi performed the opening number, which was the first intimation that they had changed some of the music. Okay, one of my Japanese friends had told me that she thought they had changed the music, from what she had seen on Sky Stage, but I hadn't believed her. Oh my god, what-!? All right, it was just the very, very opening of "Sol y Mar", but still! (T⌂T) And, OK, they hadn't touched the sacred choreography, BUT STILL! (T⌂T)
<--- devastated

Anyway, once I got over that shock, I really enjoyed it. Because Hoshigumi really does have the perfect cast for this show right now, and that makes me happy. :D

Afterwards, all the main cast came out to say a few words, mostly on the theme of: "I'll do my best!" Only Nene added, "As the only white person," which made Junko be all: "Hey, Suzumi and I are white too!" And Nene was all, "... Oops."

Then they had the special guests on. First was Todoroki Yuu, I think. Tom sang "Sinner Man" (of course), which only reinforced how much range she's lost in the past 12 years, which made me sad. She's still my favorite Sol, though, and she still has the power. Then Tom came out with Ema Naoki and they talked about how things were when she performed NBN in '99 with Snow. They made Tom watch a video montage of her performance, and she kept saying, "That's enough, you can stop it now. Or now. Or now, really." *grin*

Then Makoto Tsubasa came out and joined them, and of course Mami had funny anecdotes. She and Tom were talking together, and Mami pointed out that Tom is the only one who doesn't do the low "Huh!" in "Sinner Man", and asked why, and Tom totally covered her face to hide a blush and looked off to the side and muttered that it was because she couldn't, and when Mami pressed her to do it then and there she was all flustered and "I can't! Really, I can't!" Which led them both off into low otokoyaku voices and how Mami had called Tom once before and Tom was all: "Who is this?" thinking that some man was calling her. They both agreed that Yuzuki-kun would have no problems. ;)

They both were talking about how while Tom had been sweating up a storm, Mami had actually been cold on stage in bare feet, and had worn an adhesive heat pad stuck to her lower back to keep her warm. Apparently one day during "Sinner Man" it had fallen loose and right out of her costume and onto center stage. XD

Then Ema Naoki announced a surprise guest, and Kiriyan came out! .... With the worst kind of hairdo that I haven't seen on her since her shinko days, and totally trying to stand ten steps away from her sempai and cowering in abject supplication. XD Kiriyan, most of you probably know, had the shinko lead during Moon's '99 performance.
<--- I do not think the hairdo was irony on her part, sadly

Kiriyan talked about how at the time of the show rehearsals Mami had been really busy, and hadn't been able to demonstrate the choreography to Kiriyan, as most actresses do to their shinko understudies. And then, one night after exchausting rehearsals, Kiriyan went into a convenience store and was shocked to see-- Here, Junko interrupted in a shocked voice, asking why a top star was working a part-time job at a convenience store, and the audience and everyone on stage about died laughing. Then Kiriyan was all, "No, no, of course not. But I ran into her there, and she offered to show me the steps then and there." "In the aisle of the convenience store!?" Junko demands. "Well, in the parking lot."

So, apparently they were dancing away in the dark in the parking lot, and Kiriyan was really wishing that someone would walk by to see her performance. ;)

Then the three of them sang the opening verse of "Sol y Mar" together before leaving the stage♥

Next was Gou Chigusa, who was Ouro in the 1971 Snow version, and Sol in the 1972 Snow version. She's 66 or 67 now, from the information she revealed about how old she was when she played Sol (27), and her voice was a little unsteady, but the force of her personality carried her through. And Ema Naoki fangirled her like mad, which was hugely amusing. She told Gou Chigusa that they had a video montage prepared, like they had done for the others, and Gou-san was very excited about this, even though Junko warned her that there wasn't any sound. And it was extremely short, and very few shots actually had Gou-san in them, and she was very petulant and unhappy about it. "That was it? But I wasn't even IN it!" Ahah, old ladies♥ Junko looked horrified at having upset her idol, but eventually she got some reminisces out of her.

Gou-san talked about how back then they hadn't worn full-body 'tan' makeup, but had actually spent two weeks outside tanning as much as they could, then covered up the bits they missed with paint.
<--- Holy cancer-magnet, Batman!

She talked about how strict Kamogawa-sensei had been, sometimes making them spend hours just practicing their posture during the walking parts of the dances.

She talked about how young she had been, and how she hadn't been able to sing well and so had practiced very, very hard every day. And back then there had been the zoo right next to the Grand Theater, and when she was feeling especially discouraged she had gone out and talked to the animals. And how during the hot, hot summer days she had sung in the rehearsal rooms and been joined by the elephants and monkeys and birds, and decided they were approving her performance. ;)

When asked, she admited that she loved playng Ouro better than Sol, since Ouro was such a character. Then Ema Naoki called out Yumeno Seika, Kurenai Yuzuru, and Makaze Suzuho to ask Gou-san some questions. Tomomin came out clutching the 1972 program, which won Gou-san over pretty quickly. *grin* Tomomin asked what she should pay special care to do while performing, and if I remember the answer was along the lines of making sure to give Ouro enough attitude. Yuzurun's question was along the lines of what NOT to do, and I can't remember exactly except that it led Gou-san off onto a soliloquey on the perfect way to take the necklace off of Estrela in the club scene, which she then demonstrated using the necklace Makaze was wearing (since she was in Mrs. Mel costume). Only Makaze was too tall, and Gou-san told her to bend her knees and get shorter. And then Gou-san totally hotted up the stage and poor Makaze. *grin* OGs, they got It. Then it was Makaze's turn to ask a question, and Gou-san was all, "What? This one is playing Ouro too?" And I can't exactly remember Makaze's question, but I think this was the one that led to Gou-san talking about demanding the spotlight and using it. She said something like," And then you say, Mr. Spotlight man, turn up my light--" And as she was speaking, the spotlight got dazzlingly bright, and she was surprised, but preened anyway. "Yes, yes, just like that." And then she made some Ouro-esque faces into the spotlight, and they were marvelous too. (I think Tomomin was taking careful notes.)

And then the next special guest was Maho Shibuki (Sol in 1971 and 1972 Star and Snow versions), who always sings "Amor Amor" at the special events where OGs come to sing, and sure enough she sang it again, and her costume was very... special. I love OGs, but "Amor Amor" can seem 20 minutes long sometimes. I may have fast-forwarded through most of it. And afterward they had a montage of her performances. Maho Shibuki still has iron otokoyaku balls. I like her a lot. :D But she was all: "After all these amusing stories, what should I talk about?" And Junko was all: "Oh, no, any reminisces at all are good!" But then Maho-san found some entertaining stories..... Only I can't remember them right now. XD

One was about how heavy the costume was, and at one point Junko said something which set her off into singing "Sinner Man" a capela, which was... oh dear.

Eventually they brought Chie out, which led to more costume reminisces, and about how the chuzume costume (the carneval) used to be decorated with actual glass mirrors and how the choreographer had Maho-san move her arms to make sure they all jangled and chimed as she was moving. Chie had her 'listening intently and politely' face on, which is very sincere. Ahahah.

Then Maho-san left and Junko said, "Wow, isn't this amazing?" And Chie agreed, and then Junko was all," And in another forty years, that will be you walking off stage over there," and Chie had her earnest wonder face on again as she agreed. Ahahah. They talked a bit, and then the pre-party ended with the chuzume scene♥
ekusudei: (Default)
So, I hadn't been planning to go see this one, to save money, but I had to go into Tokyo today to pick some things up. So I compromised and made a deal with myself: if there were tachimi left, I'd get one. I went in at 2 PM and sauntered up to the ticket window. There were still B-seki and an S-seki left, so they weren't selling tachimi. I ran my errands, came back at 3 PM, and got a tachimi, possibly terrifying the box office staff by my fist pump when she told me they had sold out all of the regular seats.

I've never gone into the theater so early, but they had already opened the house. I think I was the first one in, actually, as everyone else side-tracked to the bathroom and the omiyage counters, which was a bit daunting, being stared at by ALL of the ushers. XD

Takarazuka Floral Dance Scrolls -Autumn Dance- / An Officer and a Gentleman
2010, Star Troupe -- Tokyo Theater

Stars: Yuzuki Reon & Yumesaki Nene

[ TakaWiki ] [ Sanspo Stage Graph ]

Quick-quick review, because it's late and I have to work tomorrow (yuck).

Autumn Dance

I'm very glad I could see Autumn Dance, as I had been wanting to see a Japanese revue for a long time, and Kaze no Nishiki-e does NOT count. The costumes were lovely, the sets were lovely, and the dancing was lovely. Matsumoto-sensei was, as always, perfect. I did have a heart-in-throat moment when she was navigating that staircase, though, since she dances without her glasses. If you knew to look you could see her pause at the top and bottom and surreptitiously feel with her foot to make sure she had counted correctly before moving on.

No one told me there were NINJA! (I suppose this is my own fault for tending to avoid spoilers, but I would have made more of an effort to see the show if I had known.) That scene with the ladies of the night behind their windows and the ninja was just awesome in more ways than I can tell. The pole and the swords and the ladders♥ (Although, my one complaint is that while the sword dancing was lovely, the sword fighting was a bit lacking. I suppose I've gotten spoiled, measuring everything by Hamlet standards.)

Matsumoto-sensei and Suzumi Shio's dance was amazing.

I also liked Ouki Kaname and the otokoyaku with their straw hats. Yumeno Seika♥

It's been so long since I saw Hoshigumi that I had to keep doing double-takes every time I opera-glassed Kurenai Yuzuru. Yuzurun has grown up!

I loved the falling leaves♥ Autumn is my favorite season♥

.... Now I really want to watch Yume no Ukihashi again.


An Officer and a Gentleman

Somehow, despite being amused that Takarazuka was doing this adaption, and despite the sexy short haircuts, it never really called out to me. Even after watching it and genuinely enjoying many of the scenes, it hasn't gripped me.

Read more... )

A fun show, that they worked hard to make into a good Takarazuka-style show with lots of roles for everyone, but with a storyline that suffered a bit as a result. But we can't have everything. Depending on which kind of show you favor, this may be the show for you!


And now, I am looking forward to NOVA BOSSA NOVA!!!!!
ekusudei: (Anna Karenina - Tomomin & Marimo)
Anna Karenina
Star Troupe Bow Workshop, 2008 (A Team)

Stars: Yumeno Seika & Aono Yuki

[ TakaWiki ]

Summary: See TakaWiki.

What I Thought:

My only excuse for not watching this sooner is that you need to be in a particular mood to watch something written by Tolstoy. And, after putting it off for six years, it became a bit of a habit. But then Tomomin did it! ... And I still put off watching the new version. And then Marimo was announced top of Moon! ... And I still put it off. There is a pattern here, somewhere. ;)

IT IS AMAZING.

I was totally blown away. I think I'll watch Komu's version next weekend, now, just to check what changes they made. I have a suspicion the sets had been in storage for seven years, because they were incredible (especially Moscow Station), and I doubt they would have spent that kind of money on sets for a mere Bow Workshop.

The musical arrangements were absolutely gorgeous (they put some of those rhapsodies in there just for me), and the choreography as well.

I am not usually much enchanted by otokoyaku in 18th and 19th century military uniforms. But. Well. What can I say? Tomomin is my kind of giant otokoyaku who looks good in them. ;) I loved all of Marimo's dresses. A lot of the costumes looked familiar, as usual, but what does that matter, if they fit the period and look beautiful?

In this show, Tomomin had echoes of Mariko and Tartan, and I fell in love with her all over again♥ Her and Yuzurun's acting was much better than I was expecting -- I suspect Russian novels and Hoshigumi's acting style are a good fit. Heh. Marimo's acting was... inspired. I dare you to find a flaw. She was the true star of this show. And together Tomomin and Marimo simply sizzled♥

Add Otohana Yuri and Mizuse Chiaki's lovely singing, and a nicely balanced chorus, and there wasn't much to complain about.

Tomomin and Suzuho jumping about with horse whips was.... very nice. :3

===

I'm hoping that when/if Yuzuru becomes top star, this one will make it onto commercial DVD. She had some great scenes and speeches as Karenin, so I think they might....
ekusudei: (Shirahana Remi)
So, Kodama-S is going to make her triumphant return from Canada with.... Mei-chan's Butler? Uh-huh. I'm a bit shocked Yuzurun is getting a Bow/Nippon combination for her first lead, but her rather ginormous popularity (for a ken-9), combined with a popular, award-winning comic/TV drama means they won't have any problems filling up a good portion of the Nippon Seinenkan, I bet.

I'm... not sure "Ai Suru" is a show I would have picked for a revival? The theme song from Tsurugi Miyuki's "Le Potion" is terribly catchy, though, so I'm interested in seeing II.
ekusudei: (Shirahana Remi)
So, Kodama-S is going to make her triumphant return from Canada with.... Mei-chan's Butler? Uh-huh. I'm a bit shocked Yuzurun is getting a Bow/Nippon combination for her first lead, but her rather ginormous popularity (for a ken-9), combined with a popular, award-winning comic/TV drama means they won't have any problems filling up a good portion of the Nippon Seinenkan, I bet.

I'm... not sure "Ai Suru" is a show I would have picked for a revival? The theme song from Tsurugi Miyuki's "Le Potion" is terribly catchy, though, so I'm interested in seeing II.
ekusudei: (heart-eyes)
Habsburg no Houken / BOLERO
Star Troupe Tokyo Performance, 11AM March 14th

Stars: Yuzuki Reon / Yumesaki Nene

[ Taka Wiki ] [ Sumire Style Graph ] [ Novel Summaries ]

Habsburg no Houken


"Habsburg" was, in many ways, simply a vehicle to allow Chie to sing lots and lots of powerful, angsty songs on the ginkyo. If you like Chie singing powerfully while dressed all in black, this would be the show for you.

I do.

I absolutely melted in my seat through most of it.

Habsburg no Houken )

Hm, not going to summarize the plot, as the TakaWiki and novel summaries do that quite thoroughly enough. But it wasn't a terrible one, all things considered. I enjoyed the music enormously (beautiful score) with the ironic exception of Levay's theme song, which was rather boring. I loved the costumes and the staging.

All said, I think I would recommend it, although a know many people who saw it didn't care for it. Its major lack is the fact that it doesn't give many people (even the star-tracked ones) a lot to do, and so isn't very Takarazuka-esque. If that sort of thing doesn't bother you, you might enjoy it quite a bit. :)

BOLERO


I don't have the programme, so this is going to be rather haphazard impressions rather than anything useful. I enjoyed it, but it was much more laid-back than I was expecting, and following a musical with such a dark mood, I expected something with a bit more... crack? It took forever for the disco ball to come out. ;)

It had a lot of very beautiful classically-inspired dance numbers, though! And the otokoyaku suits and tuxedo scenes were love as well, and Kaname made a recovery here in hotness quotient. ;)

Not sure we needed the voice-overs about doves and searching for lost-loves and whatever. I think this was a revue that might have benefited from not trying to be so coherent. XD

OMG, the gold-whatever costumes and EVERYONE IN HOSHIGUMI has boobs. Terrifying.

There wasn't a lift in the final pair dance. What was the two-hop about, really? XD

I wasn't hallucinating, Tomomin was in a leotard during the animal scenes, wasn't she? <3


Final verdict: I WANT TO SEE HABSBURG AGAIN. *sigh*
ekusudei: (Default)
It's been announced that Chie & Nene are doing Gérard Presgurvic's "Romeo & Juliette" this summer in Umeda and Hakataza, Koike directing.

I don't know much about it, but a quick google got me these two pages:
http://www.theatre-musical.com/romeojuliette.html
http://www.flickr.com/photos/allen_chuan/sets/72157600047935316/

Yup, that looks Takarazuka-esque. ;)
ekusudei: (Default)
It's been announced that Chie & Nene are doing Gérard Presgurvic's "Romeo & Juliette" this summer in Umeda and Hakataza, Koike directing.

I don't know much about it, but a quick google got me these two pages:
http://www.theatre-musical.com/romeojuliette.html
http://www.flickr.com/photos/allen_chuan/sets/72157600047935316/

Yup, that looks Takarazuka-esque. ;)
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: (BAD has never been so GOOD)
The Legend of the Great King and Four Gods Ver.II
2009 Star Troupe
Tokyo Performance


Leads: Yuzuki Reon & Yumesaki Nene

Substitutes, due to influenza and injuries.

[ TakaWiki ] [ Sanspo Stage Graph ]

Summary:
Do people actually need a summary of this show still? Let me know if you do, otherwise I'm just going to be lazy.

+ + +


So. The curtain went down at the end of act I and I turned to Charlotte and shook my fist. "Damnit, he fixed it! I didn't want to like it!"

(Er, not that I didn't want to enjoy the show, and not that I didn't want Hoshigumi to have a good show, but I really liked having a show I could complain about without reserve.)

Just about every major problem I had with Hanagumi's 'Legend' was fixed in the re-write. )

+ + +


So far as the performances went...

Read more... )

...I love Hoshigumi. I probably follow more of its young otokoyaku stars right now than any other troupe. I thought the principles did a solid, entertaining job. But I couldn't help leaving the theater wishing that I could have this script and Hanagumi's cast. *sigh*

Still, if you're thinking of buying one of the versions and have no preferences either way, I think I'd have to recommend ver.II. The script didn't make me hit myself in the forehead multiple times, and the videos were cool. ;)
ekusudei: (Default)
Cast lists for "The Tale of Coimbra" and "Saikai / Soul of Shiva!!" up today, which resulted in two things.

1) I'm reminded that they're doing Saikai again. Ugh, I'd almost managed to forget it. (Sorry to those who like this show, but I hate it.)

2) I actually looked at the "Coimbra" page and... wut? Kobayashi Kouhei is writing it? I mean, I know he's a writer under a pseudonym and he's done lyrics for shows before, but has he ever written a full-length script before? .... It's good to be king (of Hankyu), isn't it?
ekusudei: (Default)
Cast lists for "The Tale of Coimbra" and "Saikai / Soul of Shiva!!" up today, which resulted in two things.

1) I'm reminded that they're doing Saikai again. Ugh, I'd almost managed to forget it. (Sorry to those who like this show, but I hate it.)

2) I actually looked at the "Coimbra" page and... wut? Kobayashi Kouhei is writing it? I mean, I know he's a writer under a pseudonym and he's done lyrics for shows before, but has he ever written a full-length script before? .... It's good to be king (of Hankyu), isn't it?
ekusudei: (BAD has never been so GOOD)
Suzumi Shio DID get Beulgil! I really, really hoped she would, even before they announced Kaname's move. It just seems a great fit for her<3

Susurim (Sorry, didn't have time to check the correct Romanization of the Korean)! They completely took him out of the last adaption. And yet no mention of the younger Damduk, Kiha, and Hogae... Just not announced yet, probably?

Junko as Hyeongo!<3<3

Nibante musumeyaku got Gak Dan! Sweeet. ... But Sujini played by an otokoyaku again. :/

87ths keeping Il Soo in the family.<3

TOMOMIN AS SARYAN. *SQUEE*

Yuzurun got Jumuchi, and Suzuho got Cheoro. *squeeeeeeeeeeee*

Damduk(Goguryeo's crown prince)Yuzuki Reon
Kiha (Guardian of the Red Phoenix)Yumesaki Nene
Yeon Hogae (Damduk's cousin)Ouki Kaname
King Yang (Goguryeo's king and Damduk's father)Itsuki Chihiro
Yeon Gayro (Goguryeo's most powerful noble and Yeon Hogae's father)Isono Chihiro
King Sosurim (Yang's elder brother) / Hyeongo (Chief of the Geomul Village)Ema Naoki
High PriestessMari Yuzumi
Heuk Gae (Julno chief)Nishiki Ai
Cho Ju Do (lackey of Lord Yon)Miki Chigusa
TorajiMomoka Sari
Beulgil (Chief Elder of the Hwachun Clan)Suzumi Shio
ファーヨムMarino Yui
Bason (Goguryeo's best blacksmith)Koto Marie
Jeok HwanMishiro Ren
So No Clan ChiefAmagiri Mayo
ファーヨムUmezono Sachi
General Go Woo Cheung (leads the Royal Guard)Ayami Haya
ファーヨムKawai Mizuho
Cham (Yeon Hogae's mother)Hanami Yuuka
General Gagun (Cheoro's teacher and General of the Guanmi Fortress) Amao Keika
Il Soo (lackey of Hogae)Tsurumi Mayuu
Saryan (a Hwachun mineon)Yumeno Seika
Soon No Clan ChiefMizuki Ryou
Jumuchi (Mercenary from the Siu Tribe)Kurenai Yuzuru
Gwanno Clan ChiefAomi Rima
Sueh DuruIchijou Azusa
SujiniMiya Rurika
Lt. Gak Dan (leads the third regiment of the Royal Guard)Aono Yuki
Hyun MuKisaragi Ren
Cheoro (Lord of the Guanmi Fortress) Makaze Suzuho
ekusudei: (BAD has never been so GOOD)
Suzumi Shio DID get Beulgil! I really, really hoped she would, even before they announced Kaname's move. It just seems a great fit for her<3

Susurim (Sorry, didn't have time to check the correct Romanization of the Korean)! They completely took him out of the last adaption. And yet no mention of the younger Damduk, Kiha, and Hogae... Just not announced yet, probably?

Junko as Hyeongo!<3<3

Nibante musumeyaku got Gak Dan! Sweeet. ... But Sujini played by an otokoyaku again. :/

87ths keeping Il Soo in the family.<3

TOMOMIN AS SARYAN. *SQUEE*

Yuzurun got Jumuchi, and Suzuho got Cheoro. *squeeeeeeeeeeee*

Damduk(Goguryeo's crown prince)Yuzuki Reon
Kiha (Guardian of the Red Phoenix)Yumesaki Nene
Yeon Hogae (Damduk's cousin)Ouki Kaname
King Yang (Goguryeo's king and Damduk's father)Itsuki Chihiro
Yeon Gayro (Goguryeo's most powerful noble and Yeon Hogae's father)Isono Chihiro
King Sosurim (Yang's elder brother) / Hyeongo (Chief of the Geomul Village)Ema Naoki
High PriestessMari Yuzumi
Heuk Gae (Julno chief)Nishiki Ai
Cho Ju Do (lackey of Lord Yon)Miki Chigusa
TorajiMomoka Sari
Beulgil (Chief Elder of the Hwachun Clan)Suzumi Shio
ファーヨムMarino Yui
Bason (Goguryeo's best blacksmith)Koto Marie
Jeok HwanMishiro Ren
So No Clan ChiefAmagiri Mayo
ファーヨムUmezono Sachi
General Go Woo Cheung (leads the Royal Guard)Ayami Haya
ファーヨムKawai Mizuho
Cham (Yeon Hogae's mother)Hanami Yuuka
General Gagun (Cheoro's teacher and General of the Guanmi Fortress) Amao Keika
Il Soo (lackey of Hogae)Tsurumi Mayuu
Saryan (a Hwachun mineon)Yumeno Seika
Soon No Clan ChiefMizuki Ryou
Jumuchi (Mercenary from the Siu Tribe)Kurenai Yuzuru
Gwanno Clan ChiefAomi Rima
Sueh DuruIchijou Azusa
SujiniMiya Rurika
Lt. Gak Dan (leads the third regiment of the Royal Guard)Aono Yuki
Hyun MuKisaragi Ren
Cheoro (Lord of the Guanmi Fortress) Makaze Suzuho
ekusudei: (NBN - Tomu & Gun-chan)
My Dear New Orleans / a bientôt
Star Troupe Tokyo Performance, 2009

Top Stars: Aran Kei & Toono Asuka

[ TakaWiki ] [ Sanspo Stage Graph ]

My Dear New Orleans

Summary: )

What I Thought:

I wasn't sure how I would react to this musical. On the one hand, just about everyone I knew who had seen it cried through the entire thing. But on the other hand, I don't tend to cry easily during musicals... Yep, here be spoilers too )

~*~*~

a bientôt

I wasn't expecting to like this one much, I'll admit. I'm not keen on the traditional French revues, and the initial description sounded rather.... Well, but in the end there were certainly enough interesting scenes in there to make a happy Jen!

Chie the stage fairy♥ Mirrors♥ Chie and Haya♥ Kitty-chan's Kansai-ben♥ MORE gangster Shii (with extra, bonus, HOT, scowling Yuzurun. God, the faces she was making). THANK YOU, FUJII-SENSEI.

I really loved the scene where Asuka came on, wistful and sad for being too late to see Touko in her glory days, and then Chie Fairy used his magic to bring the theater to life again, and Touko back. Pair dance of love♥

And... the rest kind of fades from my memory already. XD Sorry.

~*~*~

Final count: Great musical, revue show with some scenes which will probably become legend in certain circles, and love. Lots and lots of Hoshigumi love.
ekusudei: (play without words)
Much love to Anna for agreeing to do this with me, even though she was terrified of it.<3 I hope she'll forgive me for posting it while she's sleeping, but this is the point in my week where I actually have time to breathe *grin*. I did the odds and she did the evens. I hope everyone enjoys it -- I think the warmth of hoshigumi is a wonderful thing, and it really shows here.... even if they do tease poor Kazu too much.

Star Troupe Otokoyaku Round-Table Discussion

from The Takarazuka IV: Star Troupe (2008)

Translated by Jen & Anna




I. About Hoshigumi Rehearsal Clothes )

II. Dressing Well in Costumes )

III. Stage Makeup )

IV. The Behavior of an Otokoyaku )

V. The Black Tuxedo Brigade )

VI. When Star Troupe Otokoyaku Get Fired Up )

notes )

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