The star Nakamura Kichiemon performs for the second time the spectacular role of the thief Ishikawa Goemon in the drama "Z˘ho Futatsu Domoe",
which ends with an amazing chűnori.
He also plays in the first program the great role of Danshichi Kurobŕ in "Natsu Matsuri".
Kotobuki Shiki Sanbas˘: Okina is the oldest ritual in the N˘ theater. This Kabuki version shows Okina, an old man who symbolizes eternal youth,
his attendant Senzai and the vigorous Sanbas˘, who perform dances solemnly for good fortune.
Sanbas˘ dances vigorously, stamping and shaking bells,
praying for agricultural fertility and prosperity for all.
This version features two Sanbas˘, played by Ichikawa Somegor˘ and Ichikawa Kamejir˘.
Natsu Matsuri: this grisly murder story became a smashing hit
when it was first performed in 1745 because of the chivalrous spirit of the
many ďsaka characters appearing in this story, the contrast between a brutal murder
and the jovial mood of a summer festival, and the splashing of real water
used on the stage. Danshichi, a gallant fishmonger, does everything he can to protect
the weak young son of his patron with the help of his companion Tokubŕ
and the older Sabu. Although even Tokubŕ's wife Otatsu heroically helps out,
in the end, Danshichi is betrayed by his evil father-in-law Giheiji and,
in the most famous scene of the play, must kill him in a mud-covered fight
in a lonely alley with the shouts of the local festival nearby.
This program stars Nakamura Kichiemon as Danshichi,
with Nakamura Shinjir˘,
Ichikawa Danshir˘ and
Nakamura Fukusuke as Issun Tokubŕ, Tsuribune Sabu and Otatsu.
Ishikawa Goemon: in the time of the warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Ishikawa Goemon was a famous
larger-than-life thief. When he was executed by being boiled alive, he is said to have
defiantly said that the sands on the beach may run out but thieves will never disappear from this world.
In this play, a rare revival, Goemon hides in a giant basket, which then flies through the air.
As the basket goes to the ceiling of the theater, suddenly Goemon burst out and travels triumphantly through the sky.
This production stars Nakamura Kichiemon as Ishikawa Goemon.
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 Fukusuke.
Yushima no Kakegaku: Oshichi was a grocer's daughter who fell in love
with a temple page named Kichisabur˘ when her family took refuge in a temple after a fire.
She so wanted to see him that she set a fire, even though the penalty for arson was death.
The story of Oshichi is famous in many theatrical versions, but this particular
one features the antics of the middle-aged man Beniya Ch˘bŕ (commonly called Bench˘) who is in love with her.
Starring Nakamura Kichiemon as Bench˘, Ichikawa Kamejir˘ as Oshichi and Ichikawa Somegor˘ as Kichisabur˘.
Source: Earphone Guide website