Saturday, November 18, 2017

『ALL FOR ONE』~ダルタニアンと太陽王~ and a Trip to the Takarazuka Grand Theater and What I Learned There

This past summer, for the third year in a row, I found myself in the tiny city of Takarazuka, walking down the Hana-michi--the “Flower Road”--on the bank of the Muku River. Bordered by lovely leafy trees, the pathway remains a pleasant place to stroll, despite the bright sunlight and already oppressive heat of the August morning.

I’d been in Tokyo that morning and rushed out of my friend’s apartment at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m. in order to catch the first train south into Hyogo Prefecture, where Takarazuka is situated. Having gotten only about 3 hours of sleep thanks to an impromptu izakaya drinking party, I was running on adrenaline and numerous cans of the black, bitter, sugarless vending machine coffee that Japan does so well.

The play that day was All For One. I knew nothing about it except it was loosely based on Dumas’ The Three Musketeers and it would be my first time seeing Tamaki Ryou as the new Top Star of Moon Troupe. Would I like it? Would I like her? I’d grown quite attached to Ryuu Masaki and her Moon Troupe over the last two years--what if I didn’t like Tamaki Ryou’s Moon Troupe?! Of the actresses I’d fell in love with during 1789, Nagina Ruumi and Seijou Kaito had already left the troupe. Saou Kurama and Miya Rurika would be in the production but would it be enough for me?

(Spoiler alert: Yes, and so much more.)

Thursday, November 9, 2017

マサラ・ミュージカル『オーム・シャンティ・オーム -恋する輪廻』・Masala Musical Om Shanti Om: Reincarnated For Love

(Poster from TakaWiki)

Despite not having written about “Bollywood” in some time, I still occasionally find myself thinking about the films. From time to time I may even pull out a DVD or watch a handful of clips on youtube. My tastes have not changed. I still love melodrama, ambitiously outrageous storytelling, character actors stealing scenes, slapstick comedy, strong moral values, and, above all, good music and dancing.

I still think there is no better dancer than Helen.

But Bollywood doesn’t really make those kinds of films anymore. The more Hollywood-ish films it does make aren’t really to my taste and so I drifted away.

Still, my tastes haven’t changed.

So, imagine my shock when I found out there is a theater company in Japan that takes all of the above, adds even more feathers and sparkles, and specializes in stories to make ladies swoon...

宝塚へようこそ!Welcome to Takarazuka.
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