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)
Oh, look, I'm skipping ahead because this is even less likely to all stay in my head than other things. ;)

Broadway Musical Live 2010
New National Theater, Tokyo
Nov. 14th


Cast (* = Takarazuka OG)
Male SingersFemale SingersChorus
Ishii Kazutaka
Oka Kojiro
Konishi Ryosei
Sakamoto Kenji
Toi Katsumi
Ayano Kanami *
Shijo Rui *
Shizuki Asato *
Doi Yuko
Hosaka Chizu
Ishii Masato
Kojima Ryota
Tamura Yuichi
Yokozawa Kenji
Sahane Yuna *
Shuto Moemi
Hinata San *
Honda Ikuyo
Makise Kai *
Mizuki Mai *
Yamada Yumiko


It was basically two and a half hours of non-stop, amazing singing, with a small fifteen minute intermission in the middle. It wasn't really advertised at all, despite the OGs in the cast, which is kind of unusual (usually they have fliers to former top star's OG things in the Tokyo Theater). I wouldn't have known about it if M hadn't posted about it. Originally it was scheduled for only one performance, but they added a second at 6:30, so I guess it must have sold out fairly quickly. To be quite honest, I think Kanamin basically blew everyone else out of the water, although Ruirui amazed me in being nearly as strong. I fell more than a bit in love with Sakamoto Kenji and Oka Kojiro.

There were only two disappointments. One was that in the tentative program they had posted online, they said someone would sing "Stars" (Les Mis), which I adore, but that got changed. The other I'll get to in its own time.

I spent three hours on this. Why? XD )


Oh, yes, and there were a ton of OGs in the audience, to judge from all their blog posts, but I'm afraid the only person I spotted was a young Hanagumi otokoyaku and I'm still not sure who she was, other than that the Hanagumi fan ladies I was with recognized her and ran over to talk to her. (I spotted her as looking very much like an otokoyaku before they took off, but wasn't 100% sure.)

...I keep remembering things to add. Despite the disappointing performance, I still bought Zunko ♥senjafuda♥. I've never seen an OG selling senjafuda before. They're from Diana. Which reminds me that Wataru sent, like, three enormous bouquets. One to Zunko, one to one of the male actors (though I can't remember now which), and one to .... now I can't remember if it was Kanamin or Ruirui. Oops.

Le Mistral

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

Stars: Amami Yuuki & Asano Kayo

[ TakaWiki ]

Summary: )

What I Thought:

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

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

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

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

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

So all in all I have to say that I enjoyed it and I love philosophical assassin Yuri very, very, very much♥♥
ekusudei: (Rika & Juri-pyon)
*squints* Is that really... Zunko? You'd think it would be, since she has second billing, but it sure doesn't look like her to me?

http://www.cnplayguide.com/stc/CNK55464.html

And these are the dates that Maori gives (she also says there'll be a tour):

東京 新国立劇場~4月7日~13日
大阪 シアターブラバ 4月27日~30日
東京北千住 シアター1010  5月20日~23日
名古屋 中日劇場        5月29, 30日
ekusudei: (Rika & Juri-pyon)
*squints* Is that really... Zunko? You'd think it would be, since she has second billing, but it sure doesn't look like her to me?

http://www.cnplayguide.com/stc/CNK55464.html

And these are the dates that Maori gives (she also says there'll be a tour):

東京 新国立劇場~4月7日~13日
大阪 シアターブラバ 4月27日~30日
東京北千住 シアター1010  5月20日~23日
名古屋 中日劇場        5月29, 30日
ekusudei: (play without words)
Excerpts from Kishi Kaori's "Takarazuka: The Fairies' Backstage". (Published by Mainichi Shinbunsha in 2002. ISBN4-620-31555-9) She cracks me up, with her irreverence and rambling from one topic to another in the middle of short two-page essays. Anyway, I thought Zunko fans might find the first one interesting.

Why, Zunko? )

Stage Accessories Are All at Your Own Expense )

Which Ear Does the Earring Go In? )
ekusudei: (BAD has never been so GOOD)
I'm feeling particularly lazy today, so you get sent to the wiki for show particulars.

Hard-Boiled Egg
Moon Troupe, 1995

Leads: Amami Yuuki, Asano Kayo

[ TakaWiki ]

What I Thought: )
ekusudei: (Default)
Wherein Jen contemplates the beauty which is the "special guest" list for this Elisabeth concert. Zunko as Death, obviously. And Otori Rei as Elisabeth. Gaichi as Franz, most likely? And Mimi Anri, Oh Goddess of the Evil-Eyebrows, as Sophie?

Good lord, can you really expect better than this on the mortal plane?
ekusudei: (Default)
Wherein Jen contemplates the beauty which is the "special guest" list for this Elisabeth concert. Zunko as Death, obviously. And Otori Rei as Elisabeth. Gaichi as Franz, most likely? And Mimi Anri, Oh Goddess of the Evil-Eyebrows, as Sophie?

Good lord, can you really expect better than this on the mortal plane?
ekusudei: (play without words)
TCA Special 1996 - Melodies and Memories

[ TakaWiki Page ]

Participants )


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

Act I

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

Act II

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

What I Thought:

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

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

[ TakaWiki Page ]

Participants )

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

Act I

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

Act II

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

What I thought: Funny! Very funny. Probably not one I'd recommend if you don't know the stars who were in this performance, but it was definitely amusing.

Prestige

Mar. 31st, 2006 07:32 pm
ekusudei: (Default)
Okay, so I didn't pick out Yuuhi, Mizu, and most of the other baby 'siennes, but I know they're in there....

Prestige

[ TakaWiki Page ]

Main: Kuze Seika & Kazahana Mai

Aw, this was a nice show. And somehow, in the middle of all the "normal" suits, dresses, and such, Mami ended up with the WTH costume and scene. Obviously they were preparing their audience for her future revue shows as a top star. Lots of Zunko singing as well, and cute Shiokaze moments, particularly her bit right before the West Side Story section.

I do like Kuze, although she has an intimidating presence and doesn't quite fit my image of Tsukigumi. I think I'd run if faced with her in a dark alley. ;)


Oh, and a short NHK interview with Mami about West Side Story after it on this tape, which must have been aired in '98. Looks like a New Years special, since Mami is in formal hakama.


ETA: Found Mizu! And Yuuhi! <-- Had to find her favorites, especially when they're in the same show together.
ekusudei: (Default)
;_; I never wanted this show to end, and it was over in 30 minutes.

A Million Dreams

Main: Amami Yuuki & Asano Kayo

A revue show based on the theme of... dreams! Shocked, aren't you? While Amami seems to have been having some vocal problems the day they taped this show, otherwise she was her charismatic, wonderful self. The scene with the umbrella between her and Kayo was cute! And the "Dark Dreams" sequence actually got me to scream... with joy. Amami Yuuki and Makoto Tsubasa dancing together is... hotter than I can possibly describe. And Yuri kissed Mami! Okay, it was a "behind the cape" kind of deal, but still.... Takarazuka, I love how you cater to the bl fangirls! Also featuring Zunko singing while Kuze danced with Risa, and an adorable Shiokaze as a mad inventor playing with his dolls. ;)

And I get back my fangirl badge, because I managed to pick Yuuhi out of the line dance three times! *beams proudly*
ekusudei: (Default)
Please comment with any I don't have listed! Particularly, does anyone know if Charlie has one?

Hanagumi

Maya Miki - Maya Miki Official Home Page
Aika Mire - Mire Channel
Yabuki Shou - Chiharu's Diary
Otori Rei - Rei Ohtori Official Site

Tsukigumi

Daichi Mao - Daichi Mao Official Fan Club
Amami Yuuki - Amami Yuuki's Official Site
Asano Kayo - Asano Kayo's Second Site
Kuze Seika - Kuze Seika Official Web Site
Makoto Tsubasa - Tsubasa Makoto
Shibuki Jun - évoluer online
Emi Kurara - Emi Kurara Official Site
Ayaki Nao - Ayaki Nao Official Home Page

Yukigumi

Takane Fubuki - Snow White
Emao Yuu - Emao Yuu Official Web Site
Konno Mahiru - Konno Mahiru Talent Profile

Hoshigumi

Hyuga Kaoru - Kaoru Hyuga Official Site (Woah, English!)
Shion Yuu - The Legend of Shion
Asaji Saki - Mariko's Wonderland
Kouju Tatsuki - Kouju Tatsuki Official Site
Akisono Mio - song song song

Soragumi

Shizuki Asato - Shizuki Asato Official Site

Senka

Naruse Kouki - Naruse Kouki Official Web Site
Juri Sakiho - Juri-pyon
Hatsukaze Midori - Hatsukaze Midori Blog
ekusudei: (Default)
Please comment with any I don't have listed! Particularly, does anyone know if Charlie has one?

Hanagumi

Maya Miki - Maya Miki Official Home Page
Aika Mire - Mire Channel
Yabuki Shou - Chiharu's Diary
Otori Rei - Rei Ohtori Official Site

Tsukigumi

Daichi Mao - Daichi Mao Official Fan Club
Amami Yuuki - Amami Yuuki's Official Site
Asano Kayo - Asano Kayo's Second Site
Kuze Seika - Kuze Seika Official Web Site
Makoto Tsubasa - Tsubasa Makoto
Shibuki Jun - évoluer online
Emi Kurara - Emi Kurara Official Site
Ayaki Nao - Ayaki Nao Official Home Page

Yukigumi

Takane Fubuki - Snow White
Emao Yuu - Emao Yuu Official Web Site
Konno Mahiru - Konno Mahiru Talent Profile

Hoshigumi

Hyuga Kaoru - Kaoru Hyuga Official Site (Woah, English!)
Shion Yuu - The Legend of Shion
Asaji Saki - Mariko's Wonderland
Kouju Tatsuki - Kouju Tatsuki Official Site
Akisono Mio - song song song

Soragumi

Shizuki Asato - Shizuki Asato Official Site

Senka

Naruse Kouki - Naruse Kouki Official Web Site
Juri Sakiho - Juri-pyon
Hatsukaze Midori - Hatsukaze Midori Blog
ekusudei: (Default)
I can't wait, I have to review this show right away. I watched a sadly reduced quality copy, and I'm dying a little bit inside that it was never released officially so I can't spend $100 on a nice-quality copy. Because, gah. Gah. GAH. I know, I know, I squee over too many shows, and you're not going to take my enthusiasm for this particular one seriously, but I actually cried during the end. Not "got a little teary-eyed", try: "Bawled my eyes out."

I'll admit, I first saw Amami Yuuki in a Bow Hall show called Somewhere In Time, which I haven't gotten around to reviewing yet, but liked quite a bit. This show has made me fall madly in love with her, like Glassy Landscape made me a total and complete Taatan fan. Another gorgeous silver-screen era otokoyaku. Be still my heart.

Eire no Zanshou
(Sunrise in Eire)

[ TakaWiki Page ]

Walter Shamrock, Earl: Amami Yuuki
Rosie Fitzgerald: Asano Kayo
Daniel MacNeil: Kuze Seika
Commodore Charles Russel: Shizuki Asato
Ravi Shankar: Shiokaze Kou
Joseph (Walter's butler): Natori Rei
Michael Shamrock: Otaka Tsubasa

Summary: )


What I thought:

As I mentioned, Amami Yuuki blew me away. She was marvelous as Walter, when the character could have so easily been an annoying or boring goody-two-shoes. She made Walter slightly cynical and self-mocking underneath his pasifism and ideals. Asano Kayo continues to impress me. Her character was much darker in this show than in the other I saw her in, but I liked her equally in both. She's definitely high on my list of favorite musumeyaku.

This was my first glimpse of Kuze Seika, and *squee* does she ever look marvelous in black leather! She was marvelous as the character of Daniel. As I've mentioned before, there are few shows where I feel that the actresses have done so well that they are the characters, each and every one, but this was definitely one of those shows. I'm beginning to really enjoy evil Zunko. Evil Zunko in uniform is even more marvelous than evil Zunko in mustache. *shivers* When she gives that evil smirk, ooooh, does she seem heartless!

I know we've talked before about how 'sienne do not make good little boys, not really. But Otaka Tsubasa's Michael was amazing!

Now that I think back on it... I don't think there was any dancing in this musical. But I didn't notice the lack, which is a miracle in and of itself, because I'll admit I watch Takarazuka for the dancing first and foremost. The songs were interesting too, because most of them were traditional Irish and English ballads. Sung in English. By ladies who didn't really practice their pronounciation. Oops. That was the only problem I had with this entire play, and the only thing keeping it from rocketing up past Guys & Dolls to take the #1 spot. Yes, ahead of Rika. ....I never thought it was possible either.

And, because it's my favorite Takarazuka song of all time: "Kaze no Shamrock" [text/translation]

Takarazuka Ole!

How to explain this revue show? It's hilarious. I've never seen a revue show that was a comedy act start to finish, but this was it -- complete with comedic skits during the MCs. There were otokoyaku in female kimono, striding around in a very manly way and generally sending the poor musumeyaku into fits. There was Amami Yuuki in a Santa Claus-like Cossack outfit doing straight-faced comedic dancing. There was white-tail tuxedoed otokoyaku deciding it was hot so they were going to go swimming in the pool... until Amami pointed out that their makeup would run. There was an argument over what best represented London: The Beatles, Sherlock Holmes, or Andrew Lloyd Webber. There were lots of older stars getting a chance to amuse, as a lot of the younger troupe members were in London doing a performance (including Makoto Tsubasa, Ayaki Nao, etc). It was brilliant, really brilliant.

It was basically a dance routine for every country Takarazuke Revue has ever performed in. Kuze trying to be an American cowboy was... rather frightening. Rika did much better in ESP!!

Only two major flaws with this revue.... No duet dance! And no feathers for Yuri during the parade! Whaaaaaa~t!?
ekusudei: (Default)
Side-track: I like the new features in Graph this year. *joy*

Elisabeth (Cosmos, 1998)

[ TakaWiki Page ]

Shop Pages
[ TCA Pictures ] [ Takarazuka Video ]

I think I may have reached a temporary Elisabeth saturation point. I didn't enjoy this one half as much as I probably should have. So this is going to be the world's shallowest excuse for a review, and I suspect it's going to get me into trouble.

Read more... )

Randomly: I thought I was hallucinating when I saw Sararan pop out of the crowd of townspeople every once and a while, but I checked the cast list and she was in there! Was everyone in Soragumi in 1998?

Also, I have to admit, it was pretty cool to see Zunko, Takako, Wataru, and Komu all dancing together in the "Yami ga Hirogaru" otokoyaku dance during the finale.
ekusudei: (Default)
..... Every time I think I'm getting used to the absolute random bizarreness which is Takarazuka revue... I am shown my place. Where else can you find James Dean, "Mac the Knife", "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", a cancan line complete with bloomers, and "Ave Maria" all in one show?

This special was done on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day of 1998, and I laughed so, so hard. Sometimes this was appropriate, sometimes that wasn't quite their intention. The first act was a re-hash of parts of "This is Takarazuka!" which was shown in Hong Kong (that year?). Lots of fun stuff, including a tap number that I LOVED. Also, a really, really unusually high amount of the songs were sung in English. Unfortunately. I think most of us know the words to "The Loco Motion" pretty well, right? Well, I couldn't understand a single word that poor woman was singing.

I have to say, after hearing so much about how Zunko's ears stick out, I was rather disappointed. I didn't think they stuck out at all. XD

I called this first act the "Kozuki Wataru Show", because she seemed to be in just about everything. I did like this version of "Cést Si Bon".

I was scarred for life when the cancan girls came out, and the lead dancer was Asami Hikaru. I will never again think she's too feminine-looking to be an otokoyaku. *shivers* Scary! She did get her revenge though, when she came out in "Enter the Dragon" as one of three Bruce Lees.

My absolute favorite section was the one with the blues, jazz, and tap numbers. However... During the blues number, they kept giving us close-up butt shots of poor Wataru. Not Wao, just Wataru. 0.o

Did I mention enough yet how much I loved the tap number? They need more tap in Zuka.

The second act had a variety of stuff from Flower, Star, Cosmos, and Moon, as well as conversations with the higher-ranking stars. Also, a video for Snow Troupe, which was off being productive somewhere else. Actually, the Moon stuff is separate at the end of the tape, because the main tape is the show on the 25th, and they did the show on the 24th. My utter, utter love for Moon Troupe is returned. The last section was a medly of Christmas carols and songs.

I finally understand why Mizu associates red with James Dean. Emao Yuu is COOL!!

Star's MC corner was mostly talking about how cool the new theater is. Minoru Kou was off practicing for a Theater Drama City production, so Star Troupe had someone wear a mask of her face.

Flower Troupe's MC had Aika Mire macking on the musumeyaku. She also got another flower from the audience, so I'm wondering if this was a tradition for her?

Moon Troupe! I think Makoto Tsubasa (Mami's) stage presence is really dynamic. She's comfortable up there. She doesn't like giving up the spotlight, though. The kumichou were supposed to be the ones running the MC, but she kept interrupting to add things, and talk over other people (like poor Gaichi). Still, I LOVE her. She's just too cool. And Moon Troupe....!

Shiomi "Crap Yarouze!" Maho said something, and Tani pulled out a fan and whapped her over the head. Who knew she had secret desires of being a slap-stick comedian?

Mami was totally mocking this other move that Rika was doing, and it was really cute! Rika also started talking about "Sae-chan" before she caught herself and said "Ayaki Nao", so I guess they got to know each other well in Senka?

Now, when you think "White Christmas", do you think electric guitar and sparkly yellow outfits? No, me neither. But listening to Rika, Wao, and Emao Yuu singing in English totally made my day.

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