ekusudei: (Masaki Jump!)
*cough* Erm, yes, I have been reaaaaally delayed in getting this up and posted. Many, many apologies. And many thanks to everyone who contributed Otome pictures so that I could make the game, including [livejournal.com profile] quinquin, Miranda, and [livejournal.com profile] kugelfischli

This was one of the games that we played at the NYC Meet Up last summer play along at home and see if you can put the Otome pictures in order. :)

Otome Puzzle Game (pdf)

Otome Puzzle Game Key (pdf)
ekusudei: (Moon Troupe)
Aaaaahhhhh, Rachel, Hayami-chan mentioned us in her blog! Kinda. She was really happy that we talked to her, and she mentioned the fans who did their best to talk to her in Japanese at demachi, such as saying they had "watched her since Scarlet Pimpernel." :D

Her selfies are the cutest! Looks like she was busy doing her own fangirling. :D
ekusudei: (Default)
So, I am intending to write a nice long account of my really wonderful trip to NYC. Soon!

But in the meantime, before I forget, I have two extra playbills for the show. They're not programs, mind you, and the only picture from the show is actually an advertisement. But there are several pages about the show and actresses in there somewhere. If you're interested, just comment below. I'll mail them out for free, unless you want more than regular 1st class, and then I'll ask you to pay for shipping. If more than two people are interested I'll do a quick raffle on Sunday.

Please, if you saw the show and already have a playbill, don't put your name in. Let those who couldn't make it to NY have a chance at them.
ekusudei: (Default)
OG CHICAGO @ Lincoln Center
Koch Theater
July 20-24, 2016

Cast: Hatsukaze Jun, Mine Saori, Isono Chihiro, Mori Keaki, Asaji Saki, Shizuki Asato, Wao Youka, Kozuki Wataru, Hoshina Yuri, Asami Hikaru, Mizu Natsuki, Yamato Yuuga, Suzu Haruki, Makise Kai, Maishiro Nodoka, Manami Sora, Otohana Yuri, Kayou Kirari, Yuuzumi Shun, Tsukio Kazusa, Hanazuki Yuma, Kaon Yuuki, Mishou Kazuki, Koumi Maito, Kitori Mariya, Urara Moe, Maki Izumi, Hayami Sei

Let me just say straight out up front that I'm not a huge fan of the musical Chicago. However, there were members of this tour group who I thought I would never see live on stage, and others who I thought I would never see again live on stage, so this was very precious to me. When I got into the fandom about 10 years ago, Mariko (Asaji Saki) was eight years retired and living in Brazil with her husband and child. Then she started doing OG performances here and there, but I was never in the right place at the right time. This was AMAZING. And Wataru, who was the top star in the very first live show that I saw in 2005. And Mizu, who I had loved so much as a young star, and Marimo, my absolute favorite top musumeyaku ever, and the list goes on and on.... Even Hayami Sei and Maki Izumi ended up being in the NY cast after all!

I saw the Mariko-Mizu-Tani cast twice, once with Hatsukaze-san and once with Mori-san. I saw the Zunko-Wataru-Komu cast on closing night with Mori-san.

I agree with the NY Times review, the show itself was solid but not anything original or likely to steal your heart away. Of the casts that I saw, the Mariko-Mizu-Tani-Mori was my favorite. Mariko just has that charm and appeal, and while Zunko's singing was of course better she just didn't seem as into the performance. Mizu was hands-down the best performer in the cast. Her charisma just took over the entire stage any time she set foot on it, and her singing was strong and Broadway-esque, which is not true for most Takarazuka voices. Wataru had a lot of fun in the role, and I love her to pieces, but she certainly didn't take over the entire stage like Mizu did. I was not expecting Tani to be my favorite Roxie, but her comedy and comedic faces have always been strong (I still love her Nathan Detroit best), and she didn't pull any punches here. Komu's Roxie was woah sexy, but not as funny. Over-all, the Mizu-Tani interactions were more vicious, and you could really buy them as unrepentant killers, while Wataru and Komu seemed to be enjoying life more.

I wasn't certain about Isono-san's Amos Hart at first, but by the time "Mr Cellophane" rolled around I was sold. Very solid, and strongest in the second act. I was SUPER excited to see Hatsukaze-san live on stage. She was a star in the 60s and 70s, one of the first top musumeyaku when the top star system started to develop, and played Marie-Antoinette in the first Takarazuka production of The Rose of Versailles. She is also Hatsukaze Midori's aunt. She returned to the stage in 2000 with the Toho production of Elisabeth and has been steadily acting since. Her voice is certainly as strong and gorgeous as ever, but she seemed frail on stage and I think she was also having some trouble with her sight.

The two big surprises in this show to me were Mori Keaki and Manami Sora. Stay with me! I've seen Mori-san in TMP Specials, in smaller roles, and possibly in a few shows as top star, but nothing ever grabbed me. But with this production I fell in a big way. Her voice is enormous and rich and lovely and "Broadway-esque." Her encore number "That's Life" was my favorite. Manami Sora, wow was she on point as the Jury. She got the biggest laughs every show with her quick-changes and exaggerated comical performances. Really impressive!

Marimo (Aono Yuki) showed off her dancing chops. She had the intro bit, then she was front and center throughout most of the dance numbers, and then she was really awesome as Go-to-Hell Kitty. Man, the Chicago costumes brought back memories.... I miss her in Moon Troupe. Hoshina Yuri was also excellent as Hunyak. .... Actually, it's a little eerie how those two roles matched the personality of a lot of the roles they played while in the Revue.

There were a couple of places that got laughter that I think they weren't expecting at first, but by closing night they were kind of hamming it up. Like the lines at the very end, where Velma and Roxie talk about how they represent American values. Ironic in the original show, it was hilarious spoken in Japanese.

The rest of the company was also excellent. I was impressed by their dancing every time. And the youngest members, who were not listed in the cast lists for NY, actually were there! (Although only for the Encore.) I was so happy! Especially because I was always stage right and a couple of times Hayami-chan was RIGHT THERE. :3

OK, so let's talk Encore! The gentleman from Lincoln Center who arranged to have the performance is also apparently the one who requested a little mini-revue, so this was something added just for the NYC leg of the tour. And it was AMAZING. Basically a jumble of famous revue numbers from the past.

The first three numbers were in the 2015 "Guys and Dolls" line-dance costumes. Four of the ladies were out in the audience for part of it. It was Koumi Maito (I think?) and Hayami Sei stage right, not sure who was stage left.
"Hello Takarazuka!"
"Mambo! No. 5"
"Mira Cats"

"Solamente Una Vez" - Asaji Saki as otokoyaku, Mizu Natsuki and Yamato Yuuga as femme fatales, not sure who sang the shadow chorus
"El Tango de Roxanne" - Shizuki Asato sang as otokoyaku, Kozuki Wataru, Hoshina Yuri, and Aono Yuki as femme fatales. Zunko is not a dancer, so I am not sure why they had her dancing in this number instead of just singing. She managed to drop someone 2 out of the 3 times that I saw the show, poor thing.
"That's Life" - Mori Keaki as otokoyaku with company. Gorgeous. Takarazuka.
"Glory to Be Takarasiennes (Takarasienne ni Eikou Are)" - aka the "Fairy" song. Wao Youka and Asami Hikaru
"Takarazuka, Home in My Heart (Takarazuka, Wa ga Kokoro Furusato)" - Mine Saori and company (Eeeeeverbody in an otokoyaku gunbu dance. I reeeeaaaaally want to know what the musumeyaku felt to get to dance in it.)
"Sumire no Hana Sakugoro" - Hatsukaze Jun as etoile while the company took their bows with feather fans, and the three principals from the performance came out in feathers.

Each time I saw the show people became more and more confident about clapping when the former top stars made their appearances during their encore numbers. My three times I made certain there was clapping for Marimo and Yuri, who I think a lot of non-fans and younger fans don't really know. After the show and before the encore, the three principals of the cast gave a super-titled talk to introduce Takarazuka and the encore. On closing night Zunko, Wataru, and Komu kept forgetting their lines. XD

It was supremely awesome. So awesome. The best of Takarazuka revue show vibes with 12 former top stars. And my tickets were all row A & B, so this was really the closest I've ever been to the stage during a Takarazuka performance. Those 20 minutes made sitting through Chicago three times worth it. So worth it.

Have you seen a production of OG Chicago? What did you think?
ekusudei: (Default)
Just a reminder that there is 5 days until the deadline for the party @ Lincoln Center during the OG Chicago run. We're getting some cool games, activities, and prizes organized, and it's also a chance to make some Zuka Fan Friends!!!

Details here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/takarazuka-fan-brunch-lincoln-center-tickets-25605263031
ekusudei: (Masaki Jump!)
Hey everyone! I'm looking to get some materials together for a game for our NYC fan meet, and I need fandom's help. I need to get all of the Otome pictures of the ladies below. If you have Otome from the relevant years and could scan or snap a photo of them for me, that would be awesome! And, to avoid spoiling the game before we play, please send them to the following email: takawiki.webmistress@gmail.com

Received (Thank You!!): 1979, 1982, 1984, 1991, 1993-1995, 1998, 2000-2003, 2006

Shizuki Asato 姿月 あさと 1987, (Flower 1988-1993), (Moon 1994-1997), (Cosmos 1998-2000)
Kozuki Wataru 湖月 わたる 1989, (Star 1990-1997), (Cosmos 1998-2000), (Senka 2001-2003), (Star 2004-2006)
Asami Hikaru 朝海 ひかる 1991, (Flower 1992-1997), (Cosmos 1998), (Snow 1999-2006)
Mori Keaki 杜 けあき 1979, (Snow 1980-1993)
ekusudei: (Masaki Jump!)
If you're planning to come to see the OG Chicago in NYC this July, please consider coming to the fan brunch! It should be a lot of fun, and Carly has worked hard to set it up for us.

Location: Indie Food and Wine -- 144 West 65th Street, New York, NY 10023
Time: Sunday, July 24, 2016 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM (EDT)

Come eat, socialize, and flail with your fellow Takarazuka fans in celebration of OG Chicago at the Lincoln Center festival! The venue is a short walk from the David H. Koch theater.

Vegan and gluten free options will be available!


ekusudei: (Default)
Short, high-quality, cut version of the May 11th press conference for Chicago:

Longer, poorer-quality, full version in three parts:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3 <--- Hilarious. When asked what would be the most important thing to prepare for an overseas performance, Mine Saori is all: ".... English?" And then she begins demanding to know if the younger member speak English well. Put on the spot, Wataru is all: "Um, I can do Chicago maybe?" And Tani, who has been waxing lyrical about how much she loves and travels to NYC is all: "Well, I guess I can get by?" And Zunko cracks her first smile (I seriously think she was nauseous-ill. Either that, or had been replaced by a robot. ノレアクション).

OG Chicago

Apr. 22nd, 2016 04:54 pm
ekusudei: (Default)
Two links that I guess I forgot to move over to LJ:

Takarazuka Revue Fans in NYC is being used to organize a lot of things for the OG tour of Chicago in NYS this July.

Post from Carly:

HEY EVERYONE! I’m trying to organize a ticket-based fan party for Chicago, so we all have one definite time/place to meet up and gush to our hearts’ content. I need at the very least a rough headcount before I can get any information.

If you are coming to NYC for Chicago and are interested in attending a brunch party on Sunday morning before the last show, PLEASE ANSWER THIS POLL!

• This is NOT a commitment, but I am trying to get semi-accurate data so please don’t just answer for the heck of it. If you’re around 70% sure you’re coming or more, please answer.
• Please check ALL the boxes you’re comfortable with (for example, if price isn’t a factor for you, check all three)
• Even if you are not coming, I would be extremely grateful for sharing on social media, preferably spread out over time.

I will be collecting answers through most of April and then moving forward.

POLL LINK: http://www.poll-maker.com/poll634375x0eb642c8-26
ekusudei: (Default)
Does anyone know someone who might need a place to stay the 23rd & 24th? I have 3 friends looking at a 4-bunk room in the NYC Hostel International (http://hinewyork.org). If we could get a 4th person, it would bring it down to $69/night/person.

(We have the reservations already, so this offer is good from now until we actually go, if you stumble upon this on July 22nd.)

OG Chicago

Feb. 18th, 2016 02:21 pm
ekusudei: (Default)
Okay, so we have our star schedule:

July 20th (Wed) 21st (Thurs) 22nd (Fri) 23rd (Sat) 24th (Sun)
Time       14:00 14:00
Billy Asaji Saki Shizuki Asato
Velma Mizu Natsuki Kozuki Wataru
Roxie Yamato Yuuga Asami Hikaru
Mama Mori Keaki Mori Keaki
Time 20:00 19:30 19:30 20:00  
Billy Mine Saori Mine Saori Asaji Saki Shizuki Asato  
Velma Wao Youka Wao Youka Mizu Natsuki Kozuki Wataru
Roxie Asami Hikaru Asami Hikaru Yamato Yuuga Asami Hikaru
Mama Hatsukaze Jun Mori Keaki Hatsukaze Jun Hatsukaze Jun

And we have our ladies and gentlemen:

Ladies: Maishiro Nodoka, Otohana Yuri, Kayou Kirari, Hanazuki Yuma
Gentlemen: Suzu Haruki, Makise Kai, Manami Sora, Yuuzumi Shun, Tsukio Kazusa, Mishou Kazuki, Kaon Yuuki

Not gonna lie, I'm more than a bit disappointed Maki Izumi and Hayami Sei aren't coming to NY. :(

I don't see any mention of the "Top Ladies" in the cast schedules, so I'm going to assume Hoshina Yuri and Aono Yuki will be in all of the performances.... I really hope so. After Mariko, Marimo is the one I most want to see on stage again♥


ekusudei: (Default)

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