ekusudei: (Default)
The Brothers Karamazov
Snow Troupe - Akasaka ACT Theater
2009


Leads: Mizu Natsuki & Shirahane Yuri

[ TakaWiki ]

Good lord, has it been seven years since this show debuted? That is... a little depressing.

I didn't see it when it came to Tokyo, as I was deep in the middle of Yume no Ukihashi adoration and had no money or time to spare for anything else. And then it aired on Sky Stage, and I got a copy.... and it sat in a box of discs for a long time. Er, a very long time, apparently. I knew it must be something special, because everyone who saw it was singing its praises, but I think you have to be in the right mood for a Russian novel, and I was apparently never in the right mood. But Chung asked me for a copy and I figured I had better make sure the disc hadn't degraded, so...

Well, first, the plot. I haven't read the novel it is based on, but I did some quick internet research and it seems to follow the main plotline closely with the exception of the ending. (Which, really? Weird changes.) Um, no one has added a summary to the TakaWiki, so I threw together a quick one, but I've only seen it once. So if any of the fanatical fans want to replace it, or fix it, please be my guest!

What I Thought:

(This is going to be a very short review. Check out yukinojou's and michiru42's linked at the bottom the TakaWiki page for a much more thorough analysis!)

I am a huge fan of Tonami and Mizu, and most of the main cast of this musical. It was bitter-sweet to watch them all acting their hearts out here when so many have retired now. There were some really great scenes from Yumiko as Ivan and Hiromi as Pavel in particular, and Mayumi's dancing as the Hallucination was really fun to watch (and harkened back to that Zuka staple "Marlene Dietrich in a tux"). If you are a fan of any of the main cast, you will definitely want to see this show.

However, all that said... I wasn't a huge fan. The songs didn't really grab me. I felt like Tonami was directed to really over-play her attitude in the first act (Although I loved how throaty her speaking voice was as Grushenka). Hamako didn't get to sing enough. It really seemed to drag in places. I don't know, I guess it just wasn't for me. :(

I did enjoy the second act better than the first, though, and some of the scenes there, especially the final one between Yumiko and Hiromi, were intense in all the right ways. I'd probably give it 3 stars out of 5, with a Your Mileage May Vary warning.

(It's strange, but the more Saitou shows I see, the more iffy I get about him. Even though he was the genius who finally brought Takarazuka together with an Aoike work first and the fact that I have to love him for that. Psst, still waiting for Eroica, Saitou-S!)
ekusudei: (Mizu Natsuki)
One highly-biased review, coming up! ;)

The Dawn at Solferino / Carnevale: A Sleeping Dream
Snow Troupe 2010
Tokyo Theater, April 11th 11:30 AM

Leads: Mizu Natsuki & Aihara Mika

[ TakaWiki ] [ Sanspo Stage Graph ]

The Dawn at Solferino

Overall I didn't care for the musical show, and I'll tell you why. I enjoy talky productions, but I enjoy them because the dialogue is snappy, and because there is some over-arching mystery or spy drama going on. I don't enjoy talky productions with stale, repetitive dialogue, where the same four characters rehash the same arguments over and over and over. There was no mystery -- there wasn't even really any worry of how the show would end, since we all know Dunant succeeds. I suppose the "growth" of Aihara's character is supposed to be where the dramatic tension is, but I found her annoying, and, again, thanks to typical Ueda-Sensei dialogue, every time she opened her mouth she was just saying the same thing again and again. Not caring at all what happened to her sucks the small seeds of engagement out of the show.

Read more... )

I think it's a show that will appeal to Yukigumi fans on account of how well Ueda-Sensei was at giving everyone stage time, and giving fair time to Yumiko in her last show.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Carnevale: A Sleeping Dream

LOVED THE REVUE SHOW!!!!

Mizu danced a lot, which made me very, very happy. Hamako sang a lot of hauntingly lovely songs, which made me ecstatic.

In fact, Hamako was on stage nearly the entire time, decorating the apron stages, so I'm afraid I missed a lot of the revue, except out of the corner of my eye. She grinned, she made faces, she passed out and collected hats and capes and, of course (being a Mask Seller), masks♥

Read more... )

Best of all? I checked the DVD/CD pages -- no music or scene cuts! Inaba-Sensei's first grade for a Grand Theater production = A+

In summary: LOVED it, want Inaba-S for Tsukigumi instead of Nakamura. *pout*
ekusudei: (Mizu Natsuki)
The commercial is up for Monday night's 2-hour Tokyo Friends Park II -- Takarazuka Yukigumi Kashikiri Special.

The guests are AQUA5 (the 4 current members).... plus most of Yukigumi is there to cheer them on and provide back-up. Maybe all of them? They say "70 'sienne" in the publicity blurbs. Basically the only audience for this show in the studio is Yukigumi. ......... ^^;
ekusudei: (Mizu Natsuki)
The commercial is up for Monday night's 2-hour Tokyo Friends Park II -- Takarazuka Yukigumi Kashikiri Special.

The guests are AQUA5 (the 4 current members).... plus most of Yukigumi is there to cheer them on and provide back-up. Maybe all of them? They say "70 'sienne" in the publicity blurbs. Basically the only audience for this show in the studio is Yukigumi. ......... ^^;
ekusudei: (BAD has never been so GOOD)
I've been holding onto this show for three (four?) years now. Because once I watched it, that was it. No more Bun-chan & Mahiru top combi to look forward to. (I don't think I could sit through Junjou, even for them) Konno Mahiru I've adored in every shinko lead I've seen her in. She was an amazing musumeyaku; I can understand why she had seven! And Bun-chan, Bun-chan... So sweet♥ My fuzzy-sweater otokoyaku♥

It was well worth the wait! I'd totally forgotten that it was a Masatsuka-Sensei musical. Ahahahah, it all comes back to my love-affair with Masatsuka, doesn't it?

Memories of Barcelona / On the Fifth
Snow Troupe 2002, Tokyo Raku

Stars: Emao Yuu & Konno Mahiru

[ TakaWiki ] [ On the 5th Stage Graph ]

I shouldn't really call these reviews any more, when I can't be bothered to do more than ramble incoherently. Ah well. ;)

What I Thought of Barcelona: )

This one is a watch again and again and again kind of show.

What I Thought of On the Fifth: )

Emao Yuu Sayonara Show )
ekusudei: (BAD has never been so GOOD)
My, my, my, here's food for thought. I wonder if they've extensively re-written Jounetsu no Barcelona?

They gave Tsurugi Miyuki's nibante role to Ozuki Tooma, and the kumicho (Mizushiro Tamamo)'s role to Ayabuki Mao.

Raphael was a pretty typical best-friend type role, with added gypsy hotness factor. Count Louis was a villain of the piece, but not even The villain (that was Edwardo).

....... But I can't wait for Mirai Yuuki scheming to get her hands on Haruka Midori. Yay for Midori getting such a prominent role! ♥
ekusudei: (BAD has never been so GOOD)
My, my, my, here's food for thought. I wonder if they've extensively re-written Jounetsu no Barcelona?

They gave Tsurugi Miyuki's nibante role to Ozuki Tooma, and the kumicho (Mizushiro Tamamo)'s role to Ayabuki Mao.

Raphael was a pretty typical best-friend type role, with added gypsy hotness factor. Count Louis was a villain of the piece, but not even The villain (that was Edwardo).

....... But I can't wait for Mirai Yuuki scheming to get her hands on Haruka Midori. Yay for Midori getting such a prominent role! ♥
ekusudei: (Rika & Juri-pyon)
Kaze no Nishiki-e / Zorro
Snow Troupe, Tokyo Opening Night 2009

Stars: Mizu Natsuki & Shirahane Yuri

[ TakaWiki ] [ Sanspo Stage Graph ]

Kaze no Nishiki

Okay, so, to be honest, this wasn't the kind of Nihonmono revue that really appeals to me. I love the ones where they do the folk dances and folk songs, and there was some of that in here, but it was on the whole too cracky for me. There are some songs that really shouldn't be mutilated like that. *grin* Some things weren't meant to be jazzy, and I include "Soran" and "Sakura" in that category.

That said, I adored the opening sequence, with mischievous detective Tonami out to get poor, defenseless, manly, thief Mizu. <3 And I stared really hard at Sagiri Seina, trying to see how the chemistry was between herself and Yukigumi this first time she performed with them. Nothing felt awkward.

Not so fond of the Tom, sadly, though the choreography between her and Ugly-Mustache-Wearing-Mizu was interesting. I don't know much about Uesugi Kenshin or Takeda Shingen, but I like choreographed dance-battles.<3

Matsumoto-sensei seemed a bit unlucky. She had a big piece of hair caught in her eyelashes during one number, and then nearly fumbled her faux-towel thing during the other (though she made a very graceful save in the end, and didn't miss a beat).

The monk and cat-girl line dance just freaked me out.

Yep. That's all I'm going to say about the revue, for my own safety. ;)

~*~*~

Zorro

If it had ended with Kaze no Nishiki-e, I would have been safe and content with my decision to only see this show once, but.... Aaaagh. Zorro. Zorro. ...Zorro.

Mizu, Mizu, I'm sorry I haven't paid you much attention since you became top star; I don't care much for top stars. But I'm reminded now of why you and Yuuhi were my co-favorites for three years. SO HOT. And dancing. Dancing Mizu is all I really need to make me happy.

And I got it. Yay for mini-revues before and after the musical. I think I may have stopped breathing a few times when Mizu was dancing around in her Zorro outfit on the staircase. Ngh.

So! Plot! (With many warnings that this is based on one viewing, and my head was kind of muddled, because my brain kept repeating: 'Oh my god, oh my god.' I completely missed the Hamako storyline.)

Summary: )

What I Thought:

Yes please. Again.

All right, in all seriousness. )


So, revue was meh for me, but the musical was a!ma!zing! adventure fun, and I'll count the opening and finale of the musical as my heart's revue. ;)
ekusudei: (Default)
クールな視線の
微笑みスナイパー
(透真さんと央雅さんから・笑)
by キング


"The smiling sniper
With a cool glance
(from Touma-san and Ouga-san (laugh))"

by King

Read more... )
ekusudei: (BAD has never been so GOOD)
体もココロも
大きめサイズ♥
by なぎ

"Body and Heart,
On the large side♥"

by Nagi

Read more... )
ekusudei: (Default)
いつも元気で
ニコニコ
by コマ

"Always smiling
Energetically"

by Koma

Read more... )
ekusudei: (Default)
人生楽しく
やりぬきます
緒月遠麻
by キタロウ

"Carrying out life
Enjoyably
Ozuki Tooma"

by Kitarou

Read more... )
ekusudei: (Default)
Nope, I haven't forgotten that I promised you all the Hoshigumi round-table first. But it's 99.99% finished now, so I feel like it's safe to post some of these in the interim. ;)


舞台大好き!!
これからも自分らしく...
by りか

"I love the stage!
Continuing to stay true to myself from now on..."

by Rika

Read more... )
ekusudei: (NBN - Tomu & Gun-chan)
King Solomon's Ring / La Mariposa
Snow Troupe, 2008

Stars: Mizu Natsuki & Shirahane Yuri

[ TakaWiki ] [ Stage Graph ]

I went into this one cautious but full of hope, because I have one of two reactions to Masatsuka-Sensei's shows (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13) ... I either love them to pieces or I find them very dull. However, in general he's my favorite Takarazuka playwright/director. Strangely, the ones that I love are his talky, political ones, so when everyone started talking about how dull the play was, I perked up. And I wasn't disappointed in the least.

But that's jumping ahead, because first is King Solomon's Ring. Ogita Kouichi is another playwright/director that I enjoy. Babylon was the first revue show that I really fell in love with, and Romantica Takarazuka '04 is also beautiful and exotic-feeling. But Solomon... Solomon was like those two revues mixed together on speed.

King Solomon's Ring: )

La Mariposa: )

So, I think... Solomon might improve on DVD, but I didn't care for it. Mariposa is probably not going to have many fans among the foreign fan base, and will probably be boring if you don't speak Japanese. But it pushed all of my buttons and I simply adored it.♥

As an addendum, Snow Troupe seems to almost have too many big otokoyaku stars floating about at the moment. They'll need to keep doing original Takarazuka shows if they want to give them all a chance to shine....
ekusudei: (NBN - Tomu & Gun-chan)
Oh my god. You know that test? The one where they go: Your house is on fire and you can save only one thing. Don't think -- What do you save? Go! ... And your mouth goes without any help from your brain?

Well, I think my finger just did that. ....Mizu!

I need a drink.

Takarazuka Sort: Snow Troupe

#1 Mirai Yuuki
#2 Mizu Natsuki
#3 Daigo Seshiru
#4 Shirahane Yuri
#5 Amase Izuru

More )
ekusudei: (NBN - Tomu & Gun-chan)
Oh my god. You know that test? The one where they go: Your house is on fire and you can save only one thing. Don't think -- What do you save? Go! ... And your mouth goes without any help from your brain?

Well, I think my finger just did that. ....Mizu!

I need a drink.

Takarazuka Sort: Snow Troupe

#1 Mirai Yuuki
#2 Mizu Natsuki
#3 Daigo Seshiru
#4 Shirahane Yuri
#5 Amase Izuru

More )
ekusudei: (BAD has never been so GOOD)
I have a rather bizarre fascination with Migiwa Natsuko (Junko), and her Yukigumi. Some of you know this, and are probably hoping right about now that I'm not about to plaster you with more Junko blather. ....Too bad. ;p

She did an interview for Sky Stage's Karei Naru Sotsugyou-tachi in 2003, and she talked about her whole career. It was love. Among other tidbits, we learn that she missed a cue on the first night of her hatsubutai. Apparently she was taking her time in the dressing room, making her makeup just right, when she suddenly heard the music playing that marked her entrance for a dance number.... A dance number with the star of the show and just a few other ken-1s. And something about slippers, which I really need to re-watch because I was tired and dozing off while I was watching it. It might have been that she forgot to take off her indoor slippers when she went out on stage? Needless to say, it sounds like the initiation from hell.

And then she talked about her sayonara performance, and how when asked what she wanted to do, she asked for Berubara. Apparently the reply was a rather exasperated "Berubara?" (I can't put the intonation down properly here, but her imitation was hilarious.) Junko played Oscar in four different Berubara productions, you see. She was rather fond of it.... Anyway, denied that, she asked for a Spanish production. And they gave her.... Sariyukishi Kimi ga Tame ni. Yes, rather a mouthful, I thought. So it really amused me when I heard her say in the interview, "And when I heard the title, I thought it sounded like a nihonmono. It was a little embarrassing." Yes, yes! Exactly as untranslatable as a nihonmono title. XD

For the Sake of Distant You
Snow Troupe, 1980

[ TakaWiki ]

Star: Migiwa Natsuko

Other cast included Asami Rei, Takashiro Tomoe (on loan from Flower), Shou Sumire, Kamijou Akira, and a slew of Senka talents. Check out the TakaWiki for more info.

Summary: )

What I Thought:

Oh lord. Ueda-sensei did it again. ^^;

Well, let's run through the things standing between me and perfect happiness before I say any more. 1) The generation gap, 2) the cultural gap, 3) Ueda-sensei wrote it, 4) The poor sound and video quality, 5) It's cut down. A lot.

And the things biasing me in the other direction: 1) Junko, 2) Junko, 3) Junko, 4) 70s Yukigumi, 5) Junko, 6) 70S YUKIGUMI, 7) Spanish-themed, 8) Junko ... etc.

Read more... )

And... I was going to take screenshots of all of my beloved Yukigumi otokoyaku younglings, but... really. How could I miss a second of... that mini revue? It was in turns Love ("Granada" to start things off), and.... caught your attention rather like a gruesome train wreck. More on this tomorrow night. Hold that thought.
ekusudei: (play without words)
The Energy 8

Star - The Rose of Versailles: Matobu Sei & Koto Marie
Moon - Great Pirates: Yamato Yuuga & Kanou Chika
Snow - Burning Love: Sou Kazuho & Konno Mahiru
Cosmos - Castel Mirage: Tsubaki Hiroka & Ayano Kanami


The Rose of Versailles
[ TakaWiki ]

I can keep this short and sweet by saying... I didn't watch it. ^^; Really not in the mood for Berubara lately. But I did watch the speech at the end. Un-chan was as completely and terribly goofy as ever. Oh my god. She must be terribly, terribly shy. I hope her speeches are still as adorable, but I suspect she's gotten used to them by now.

Great Pirates )

Overall, a really fun show to see because of its nostalgia factor, but the surprise of this tape was actually...

Ai Moeru )

So, yeah. Wow. I think I need to go watch that again.

But first, a complaint! Why did no one tell me that...

Castel Mirage )

So, yes. Must hunt down full versions of Ai Moeru and Castel Mirage shinkos. ASAP.

[I'll come back and edit this post when I watch the Berubara.]
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.
ekusudei: (NBN - Tomu & Gun-chan)
Yumiko as Argan, the circus master and Tonami's former lover! Kimu and Kaname as the pals! (Kaname looks like she'll be the love interest of the nibante musumeyaku.) Ahh... And I think that will probably make Hamako Leon, as I feared. T_T

Now my question becomes... will they give Saou Kurama another shinko lead role? After she's had both Der Tod and Oscar? Not to be mean, but... Seshirun! Seshirun! It's her turn~

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