NOVEMBER 2007

4 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre, Asakusa K˘kaid˘) and 2 tours (Sh˘chiku Grand Kabuki Tour, Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Tour)!

Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
Dates 1 ~ 25 November 2007 (Kichirei Kaomise K˘gy˘ Kabuki)
MatinÚe

Tanemaki Sanbas˘

Keisei Hangonk˘ (Domo Mata)

Su˘ Otoshi

Soga Moy˘ Tateshi no Goshozome
(Gosho no Goroz˘)

Evening

Miyajima no Danmari

Kanadehon Chűshingura
(Yamashina Kankyo)

Tsuchi Gumo

Sannin Kichisa Tomoe no Shiranami

Casting

Nakamura Kichiemon, Kataoka Nizaemon, Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Tomijűr˘, Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Shibajaku, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Baigyoku, Ichikawa Sadanji, Onoe Kikunosuke, Kataoka Takatar˘, Nakamura Fukusuke, Onoe Sh˘roku, Nakamura T˘z˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Kash˘, Ichikawa Somegor˘, Nakamura Tamatar˘, Nakamura Takanosuke

Comments

  • Tanemaki Sanbas˘: based on the ritual play "Okina" in the theatre, the sanbas˘ is both an important prayer for prosperity and a vigorous dance. The sanbas˘ stamps and shakes bells as a ritual for agricultural prosperity while the Senzai is an elegant attendant to the prayers. This particular version elaborates the original ritual into a dance evoking love, marriage and the prosperity symbolized by many children. Featuring Nakamura Baigyoku as the Sanbas˘ and Kataoka Takatar˘ as Senzai.
  • Domo Mata: the artist Matahei has been refused a professional name because of his stuttering. He makes a poor life by drawing folk paintings and decides to make one last effort to gain respectability. His wife Otoku, who is given as much to chatter as Matahei is silent, pleads his case. Turned down again by his master, Matahei decides to take his life. He draws a farewell portrait of himself, a painting so skillful that the lines seep through solid rock and this miracle convinces his master to confer a professional name. Starring Nakamura Kichiemon as Matahei and Nakamura Shibajaku as his wife Otoku.
  • Su˘ Otoshi:
    (The Dropped Coat)
    This play transforms a classical Ky˘gen farce into Kabuki dance. Delivering a message for his lord, the servant Tar˘kaja (Matsumoto K˘shir˘) charms a princess and in reward for a dance showing a famous battle, he receives a formal coat and large amounts of drink. Knowing his lord is a greedy man, he tries to hide the coat on his return, but unfortunately, the sake that helped him feel so good earlier works against him.
  • Gosho no Goroz˘: a portrait of the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters at the height of its splendor. Rival gangs dressed in the height of fashion exchange stately speeches before fighting in the elaborate poetic cadences of Kawatake Mokuami, the last great playwright of Kabuki. Goroz˘ is the handsome leader of a gang, but his lover, the top courtesan Satsuki pretends to reject him to save his life. Tragedy strikes when Goroz˘ is driven to revenge. Starring Kataoka Nizaemon as Goroz˘, Ichikawa Sadanji as his rival in love, Nakamura Fukusuke as Goroz˘'s lover, the courtesan Satsuki and Kataoka Takatar˘ as ďshű, a courtesan who is tragically killed.
  • Miyajima no Danmari: the beautiful courtesan Ukifune (Nakamura Fukusuke) appears at Itsukushima Shrine, but she is actually the famous and daring thief Kesatar˘ coming to steal the treasures of the shrine. Other famous characters from the Heike clan, closely associated with the shrine, appear, and there is a dreamy fight in the dark. This play is especially famous for the odd way in which Ukifune mixes both masculine and feminine movements.
  • Yamashina Kankyo: this is an act of the epic play based on a sensational incident in the early 17th century. Lord En'ya Hangan's attack on the senior official K˘ no Moron˘ affected people even outside his own household. When Honz˘, the senior retainer of another lord, stopped En'ya from killing Moron˘, he thought that he was doing a good thing. But his actions earned him the scorn of Enya's retainers and brought personal tragedy to his daughter who was engaged to Rikiya, the son of Yuranosuke, En'ya's head retainer. The scene shows the tragedy as it affects Honz˘'s wife and daughter and how ultimately Honz˘ sacrifices his life to atone for his misjudgement. Starring Matsumoto K˘shir˘ as Honz˘, Living National Treasure Nakamura Shikan as his wife Tonase and Onoe Kikunosuke as his daughter Konami, with Nakamura Kichiemon as Yuranosuke, Nakamura Kaishun as his wife Oishi and Ichikawa Somegor˘ as his son Rikiya.
  • Tsuchi Gumo: a dance play adapted from the classical theatre. The samurai Lord Minamoto Raik˘ is famous in legend for ridding Ky˘to of demons. While Raik˘ is confined to bed with illness, a priest (Onoe Kikugor˘) from a prominent temple comes to pray for his health. In fact, the priest is actually the spirit of the earth spider which has caused Raik˘'s illness in the first place and hopes to destroy him. The spider's plan to kill Raik˘ is defeated by his retainers (the famous shitenn˘) in an exciting fight. Featuring Living National Treasure Nakamura Tomijűr˘ as Raik˘.
  • Sannin Kichisa:
    (Three Thieves Named Kichisa)
    The playwright Kawatake Mokuami excelled at portrayals of thieves and this short scene, with its music and poetic lines, is one of his most famous. A beautiful young woman helps out a woman who is lost on the road. But she is actually Oj˘ Kichisa, a male thief who is disguised as a woman. He steals an immense sum of money that the woman is carrying and this leads to an encounter on this riverbank of three thieves, all with the name Kichisa. The two others Kichisa are Osh˘ Kichisa, a bonze turned thief, and Ob˘ Kichisa, an ex-samurai turned thief Though they start out as rivals, they decide to become blood brothers and form a gang. Featuring Kataoka Takatar˘ as Oj˘ Kichisa, Onoe Sh˘roku as Osh˘ Kichisa and Ichikawa Somegor˘ as Ob˘ Kichisa.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 26 November 2007
    Program

    Sesshű Gapp˘-ga-Tsuji
    t˘shi ky˘gen production including the famous "Gapp˘" act

    Casting

    Sakata T˘jűr˘, Band˘ Mitsugor˘, Kataoka Gat˘, Nakamura Kanjaku, Nakamura Senjaku, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Band˘ Hikosabur˘

    Comments

    First performed as a puppet play in 1773, this play shows the searing passion of a stepmother for her son, a story that began with a legend in India and became the great classic of French theatre, ôPhedreö by Racine and took the form of the love of Tamate Gozen for her stepson in this play. In the puppet play, this forbidden desire is explained in the typical manner of a history play, as a way to reconcile conflicting duties. But nevertheless, the scandalous theme has made the play often banned, even as the climactic scene has become one of the great classics of both Kabuki and Bunraku puppet theatre.

    In November at the National Theatre there will be the first full-length performance of the play in thirty-nine years. Plays originally from the puppet theatre are a specialty of the distinctive Kansai style of acting and this monthĺs production features Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘ (Tamate Gozen), Kataoka Gat˘ (Gapp˘) and Kataoka Hidetar˘, three of the foremost actors in the Kansai acting style. Also featuring Band˘ Mitsugor˘ as Takayasu Shuntokumaru.

    Tamate Gozen has become the second wife of a great lord, Takayasu Saemon Michitoshi. He has two sons, Takayasu Shuntokumaru and Jir˘maru. Although Takayasu Shuntokumaru is designated heir to the clan, Jir˘maru plots to seize power instead. Suddenly Tamate Gozen confesses her love for Takayasu Shuntokumaru. He flees the mansion now disfigured by a strange illness. Eventually all the parties to the drama come to the house of Tamate Gozenĺs father, a priest named Gapp˘, where Takayasu Shuntokumaru has taken refuge. In this tense scene, Tamate Gozen confesses her passion, Gapp˘ is forced to kill his daughter and finally, all the secrets are revealed in the surprising conclusion.

    Sh˘chiku Grand Kabuki Tour
    Dates 30 October ~ 26 November 2007
    Program

    ďshű Adachi-ga-Hara (Sodehagi Saimon)

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura (Yoshinoyama)

    Casting

    Ichikawa Kamejir˘, Ichikawa Danshir˘, Band˘ Takesabur˘, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Nakamura Kikaku, Band˘ Shinsha

    Comments

  • Sodehagi Saimon: a larger-than-life history play originally written for the puppet theater, this is an epic of the intrigues in the T˘hoku region of Japan. It shows the larger political movements of the region as the individual tragedies of various people that are caught in this turmoil. In the most famous section, this play tells the tragic story of Sodehagi (Ichikawa Kamejir˘), a woman disowned by her family after falling in love with a man that they did not accept. Now she is alone and blind from weeping. She wanders with her child, supporting them as a musician and comes to her family's house. They do not let her in and sitting outside in the snow, she sings her tragic tale. Meanwhile, her husband (Ichikawa Kamejir˘) is inside the house, in a story of political intrigue.
  • Yoshinoyama: 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 Ichikawa Kamejir˘ as Tadanobu, with Nakamura Baishi as Shizuka.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Tour
    (Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Tokubetsu Buy˘ K˘en)
    Dates 30 October ~ 25 November 2007
    Program

    Okuni Kabuki Yume no Hanayagi

    Sagi Musume

    Casting

    Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Ichikawa Danjir˘, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Shun'en, Ichikawa En'ya

    Comments

    The great star Band˘ Tamasabur˘ is on tour with the yound and talented actors of the Omodakaya guild.

    Asakusa K˘kaid˘ (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 5 ~ 6 November 2007
    Program

    Heike Nyogo no Shima (Shunkan)

    Ninj˘ Isseki Banashi

    Casting

    Nakamura Umenosuke, Arashi Keishi, Kawarasaki Kunitar˘, Segawa Kikunoj˘, Fujikawa Yanosuke, Osagawa Genjir˘, Arashi Hironari, Yamazaki Tatsusabur˘

    Comments

  • Shunkan: the priest Shunkan (Nakamura Umenosuke) 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 Osagawa Genjir˘ as the evil emissary Senoo and Arashi Keishi as the merciful envoy Tanzaemon. With Kawarasaki Kunitar˘ as the island girl Chidori and Arashi Hironari as Naritsune, Shunkan's fellow exile who has fallen in love with her.
  • Ninj˘ Isseki Banashi: ???
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

     
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