DECEMBER 2006

2 shows in Ky˘to (Minamiza) and 3 in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre)!

Minamiza (Ky˘to)
Dates 30 November ~ 26 December 2006 (Kichirei Kaomise K˘gy˘ Kabuki)
MatinÚe

Saruwaka Edo no Hatsuyagura

Kotobuki Soga no Taimen

Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura

  • Michiyuki Hatsune no Tabi
  • Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata
  • Ukine no Tomodori

    Evening

    Heike Nyogo no Shima (Shunkan)

    K˘j˘

    Ky˘ganoko Musume D˘j˘ji

    Kari no Tayori

    Noriaibune Eh˘ Manzai

    Casting

    Nakamura Kanzabur˘, Kataoka Nizaemon, Sakata T˘jűr˘, Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Kataoka Gat˘, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Ichikawa Danshir˘, Nakamura Kanjaku, Nakamura Senjaku, Kataoka Takatar˘, Kataoka Ainosuke, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Band˘ Takesabur˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Nakamura Kikaku, Nakamura Kantar˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Kataoka Shinnosuke, Band˘ Shinsha

    Comments

    Nakamura Kanzabur˘ celebrates his shűmei in Ky˘to, playing the roles of Tadanobu and the shiraby˘shi Hanako in the drama "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura" and the dance "Musume D˘j˘ji".

  • Saruwaka Edo no Hatsuyagura: in the Edo period, each of the licensed Kabuki theaters had their own ceremonial play and this is the play for the Nakamuraza Theater. This performance commemorates the name taking of the new Nakamura Kanzabur˘ since that was the name given to the head of the Nakamuraza Theater. Saruwaka is the name of a light entertainer who did songs and dances in the earliest days of Kabuki. Starring Nakamura Kanzabur˘ĺs sons Nakamura Kantar˘ as Saruwaka and Nakamura Shichinosuke as Izumo-no-Okuni, the woman who began Kabuki.
  • Soga no Taimen: this is one of the oldest and most classical of all Kabuki plays. In the Edo period, every January, plays appeared about the vendetta carried out by the Soga brothers Jűr˘ and Gor˘ after eighteen years of hardship. In "Soga no Taimen" the brothers confront Kud˘ Suketsune, the man responsible for their father's death. More ceremony than play, it features each of the important Kabuki character types, including the bombastic aragoto style of Gor˘ and the soft wagoto style of Jűr˘. This month features a cast headed by Kataoka Gat˘ as Kud˘ and some of the most popular young stars in Kabuki with Nakamura Hashinosuke as Gor˘ and Nakamura Kanjaku as Jűr˘.
  • Michiyuki Hatsune no Tabi: a dance travel scene from the epic "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura". Now in exile and disgrace, Yoshitsune has left his lover Shizuka in the safekeeping of his trusted retainer Tadanobu. But she is unaware that this Tadanobu is actually a magical fox who has disguised himself to be near the treasured drum that Shizuka carries, a drum made from the skins of his fox parents. Starring Nakamura Kanzabur˘ as Tadanobu, with Sakata T˘jűr˘ as Shizuka.
  • Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata: the epic "Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees" ("Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura") features many characters around the famous general Yoshitsune, but none more memorable than a magic fox that takes the guise of Tadanobu, one of Yoshitsune's most trusted retainers. The fox wants to get close to a precious drum that Yoshitsune has made from the skins of his fox parents. In this excerpt from the longer play, the fox reveals his true identity with a series of spectacular stage tricks and Yoshitsune is moved to grant him the drum. Starring Nakamura Kanzabur˘ as the fox Tadanobu. Also featuring Nakamura Kantar˘ and Kataoka Nizaemon as Shizuka Gozen and Minamoto no Yoshitsune.
  • Ukine no Tomodori: the two young lovers Osome and Hisamatsu plan to commit lover's suicide because they cannot marry. As they approach the Sumida River, they meet a female monkey trainer who guesses their intentions and tries to convince them not to kill themselves. This dance is usually performed with a male monkey trainer, but this special version features an onnagata female role specialist. Starring Nakamura Shikan as the monkey trainer with Nakamura Hashinosuke as Hisamatsu and Nakamura Shichinosuke as Osome.
  • Shunkan: the priest Shunkan (Kataoka Nizaemon) has been exiled to Devil's Island for plotting against the dictator Kiyomori. A pardon is given to his fellow conspirators, but Shunkan is only saved by an additional pardon given by Kiyomori's compassionate son. Even so, he gives up his place on the boat to freedom so his companion's new wife can accompany her husband back to the capital. The boat leaves and Shunkan is left watching is disappear in the distance, knowing he will be left on the island forever. Featuring Ichikawa Danshir˘ as the evil emissary Senoo and Kataoka Gat˘ as the merciful envoy Tanzaemon. With Kataoka Takatar˘ as the island girl Chidori and Kataoka Hidetar˘ as Naritsune, Shunkan's fellow exile who has fallen in love with her.
  • K˘j˘: the close relationship between the actors and the audience is marked by stage announcements on important occasions. Sometimes the ceremony is in memory of a famous actor of the past and sometimes the ceremony marks the taking of a new name by an actor. This month, the top actors of the company offer their congratulations to the new Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XVIII. They recall Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XVII and add their memories of working with the new Kanzabur˘ under his old name of Kankur˘. Finally, the members of the company ask the audience for their guidance and support for the new Kanzabur˘ in the future.
  • Musume D˘j˘ji: a beautiful young woman dances under cherry blossoms at a dedication ceremony for a temple bell. She dances the many aspects of a woman in love, but is actually the spirit of a serpent, driven to destroy the bell out of jealousy. In addition to being the most famous of all Kabuki dances, "Musume D˘j˘ji" is considered to be the pinnacle of the art of the onnagata. The role of the shiraby˘shi is played by Nakamura Kanzabur˘. This performance includes the bombastic oshimodoshi finale, with Kataoka Gat˘ in the role of the demon-queller.
  • Kari no Tayori: ???
  • Noriaibune: at the new year a group of merrymakers happen to meet on a ferry boat. They include a pair of manzai entertainers, who would go from door to door performing auspicious songs and dances. Featuring Nakamura Kanjaku, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Kataoka Takatar˘, Kataoka Ainosuke and Nakamura Senjaku.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 December 2006 (Jűnigatsu ďkabuki)
    MatinÚe

    Komochi Yamanba
    (Yaegiri Kuruwa Banashi)

    Shinobi Yoru Koi no Kusemono (Masakado)

    Shibahama no Kawazaifu

    Kioi Jishi

    Evening

    Shinrei Yaguchi no Watashi (Tonbŕ Sumika)

    Debauchi Otama

    Momijigari

    Casting

    Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Tomijűr˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun, Sawamura Tanosuke, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Onoe Sh˘roku, Nakamura T˘z˘

    Comments

  • Yaegiri Kuruwa Banashi: Yamanba, or the mountain hag, has been celebrated for centuries in traditional Japanese dance and theater. In the Kabuki version, Yamanba becomes a beautiful woman, a courtesan who becomes the wife of the samurai Tokiyuki and retreats to the mountains to miraculously give birth to the powerful warrior Sakata Kintoki. This play was originally by the great Chikamatsu Monzaemon and is a classic of Kansai style Kabuki. Young star Onoe Kikunosuke appears as the courtesan who tells the humorous story of a fight between courtesans over a handsome man and then mysteriously becomes pregnant by the spirit of her husband.
  • Masakado: after the death of Masakado, the great pretender to the imperial throne, the only one to carry on his cause is his daughter, Takiyasha (Nakamura Tokiz˘). She appears mysteriously in the ruins of her father's palace and tries to seduce Mitsukuni (Onoe Sh˘roku), a warrior sent to investigate mysterious happenings at the mansion. In dance Takiyasha tells of how she fell in love with Mitsukuni, then, also in dance, Mitsukuni tells the story of how the traitor Masakado was killed. Takiyasha breaks down in tears, revealing her true identity. After a dance-like fight, the mansion collapses and Takiyasha poses on the roof with the banner of her clan.
  • Shibahama no Kawazaifu: this is a play adapted from a rakugo story by San'yűtei Ench˘ which was originally performed in vaudeville by a solo performer. This tells the story of a man who is a drunk and good for nothing who picks up a leather purse full of coins while fishing. He takes it home and celebrates with a big drinking party. In the morning he asks his wife for the purse, but she insists that it was all a dream and shows how much money he has wasted with his drunken party. He decides to reform and becomes a hard worker. Three years later, the couple now lives comfortably and the wife says that she must apologize. She lied and hid the purse because she felt that this was the only way to get her husband on the right path. He thanks her and this purse which has given them so much. Starring Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘ as the man and Nakamura Kaishun as his wife.
  • Kioi Jishi: this dance shows an Edo festival with its lively lion dance and other entertainments. The festival is full of handsome firemen and attractive geisha who do a series of graceful dances. One of the highlights of this dance is the story of the Soga brothers avenging the death of their father by attacking their enemy during a hunting party for the shogun at the foot of Mt. Fuji. Featuring all of the stars of this month's program and Living National Treasure Nakamura Jakuemon.
  • Yaguchi no Watashi: this play was written by Hiraga Gennai, an Edo inventor, explorer and writer of comic fiction. Young Ofune is the obedient daughter of her evil father Tonbŕ, the keeper of a river crossing. She meets and falls in love with a young fugitive. Unfortunately, her father wants to capture the fugitive for a reward and Ofune can only save his life by sacrificing her own. Starring Onoe Kikunosuke and Nakamura Tomijűr˘ in the roles of Ofune and Tonbŕ.
  • Debauchi Otama: the novelist Ikenami Sh˘tar˘ (1923~1990) is well known for his tales of Edo magistrates and assassins, but was also a playwright. This play shows the life and loves of Otama, a spirited woman who is skilled at throwing knives. Starring Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘ as Otama.
  • Momijigari: the general Taira Koremochi (Onoe Sh˘roku) travels to the mountains to view the autumn leaves when he suddenly encounters a beautiful princess (Ichikawa Ebiz˘) and her entourage. Aided by the elegant dancing of the princess and a large amount of sake, Koremochi falls asleep, not knowing that she is actually a fierce demon. The god of the mountain (???) dances vigorously to try to wake up Koremochi. But as the demon appears in its true form, Koremochi is saved by the magical power of his sword.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 26 December 2006
    Program

    Genroku Chűshingura

  • Kira Yashiki Uramon
  • Sengakuji
  • Sengoku Yashiki
  • ďishi Saigo no Ichinichi
  • Casting

    Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Band˘ Mitsugor˘, Nakamura Shibajaku, Nakamura Shinjir˘

    Comments

    The National Theatre commemorates its 40th anniversary. Mayama Seika's Shinkabuki masterpiece "Genroku Chűshingura" is staged in its integrity over 3 months in 3 different productions with 3 different stars in the leading role of ďishi Kuranosuke. This month, the role is played by Matsumoto K˘shir˘.

     
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