In this episode, we talk about some of the differences between Takarazuka and OG shows, the challenges actresses face when moving on from Takarazuka in their careers, and some great shows that were never sold or broadcast!
1- Becca meant to say she saw Mizu’s first show as a top star, not her first show as an otokoyaku!
2- August: Osage County was originally a play. It was later adapted into a movie.
3- Names we promised to look up: Nakagawa Akinori was the actor Carly kept mentioning; Kusakari Tamiyo is the well-known ballet dancer from Shall We Dance / the Red Team version of Grand Hotel.
irimachi/demachi – waiting at the stage door for actresses nihonmono – a traditional Japanese-style production
Takarazuka-An – A shop with locations in Takarazuka and Tokyo that sells mostly secondhand Takarazuka and general musical theater goods
Sky Stage – Takarazuka’s proprietary TV channel
WOWOW – a premium Japanese TV channel that frequently airs Takarazuka and other theater performances
If you want to know more about a show or a person we mentioned, leave a comment!
Shan-shan: used at the end of the finale when they walk down the staircase – an adorned piece of prop with a ribbon attached at the bottom. They are normally held in both hands to stretch out the ribbon.
Hyaku-en Store ‘Hundred Yen Store’: Japanese Dollar Store
In this episode, we celebrate Moon Troupe top star Ryuu Masaki as she prepares to graduate from Takarazuka! NOTES: this episode was recorded before the Chicago episode but saved for the Tokyo run of Nobunaga, so we apologize for the strange timeline of our commentary. Also the “treat,” once again, was our special Mitsuya Nao interview.
Glossary Buyoukai – The Takarazuka Buyoukai is an annual event where select members of the revue perform traditional Japanese dances and pieces of famous Noh works to the accompaniment of traditional Japanese music.
Nihonmono – Literally, “Japanese thing.” A play with a historical Japanese setting.
Nibante – Refers to the second-ranked otokoyaku star in a troupe. It is generally expected that a nibante will one day become a top star, although this is not guaranteed, and the star does not always stay in the same troupe.
In this episode, we’re joined by new team member Becca to review our AMAZING experience watching the Takarazuka OG version of Chicago at the Lincoln Center Festival! We have a VERY IMPORTANT ADDENDUM: in our OG-related excitement we completely forgot to mention Okamoto Tomotaka, who gave us a TRULY OUTSTANDING Mary Sunshine! His charm and incredible singing voice made him a New York audience favorite, deservedly so. Thank you for lending us your talents!!
Additional talking points we need to clarify:
Carly mentions the 20th anniversary of Chicago, but it’s actually the 20th anniversary of the Broadway revival, AND it’s been in an ongoing run worldwide since then!
Ootori Ran played Roxie and Asami Rei played Velma in Chicago in 1985-86. It was the second Japanese performance of Chicago, and Asami Rei’s first show as an OG, according to Wikipedia.
Jen was thinking of Yuzuki Reon’s Prince of Broadway when we were talking about Damn Yankees
Yamato Yuuga has been playing Tuxedo Mask in every revival production of the Sailor Moon musicals since 2013
The Takarazuka cast of Chicago meets Chita Rivera: Playbill and Getty Images (the latter shows a lot of Mizu crying and Wataru with the best heart eyes)
If you’re interested in joining Aizuki Hikaru’s fanclub, contact Sakiko (mysinging) on the TakaWiki forum
Which OG would you add to the cast of Chicago if you could? Tell us in the comments!
Glossary taidan – an actresses retirement from the revue Bow Hall – A small 500-seat theater adjacent to the Takarazuka Grand Theater. Built in 1978, the Bow Hall is used for more experimental plays, often featuring junior troupe stars. It’s named after the “bow” of a ship (pronounced “Bau Hall”) with the idea that this theater would define the leading edge of Takarazuka performances. otokoyaku – Male role performers in Takarazuka musumeyaku– Female role performers in Takarazuka Grand Staircase– the large staircase used as the backdrop for finale parades in the Grand Theater and Tokyo Takarazuka theater kuroenbi – a group dance of otokoyaku dressed in black tailcoats Sumire no Hana Saku Koro – Takarazuka’s theme song (you can hear it at the beginning and end of the podcast!) irimachi / demachi – the practice of waiting for actresses by the stage door (lit. waiting for entrance / waiting for exit) shonichi – opening day senshuuraku – closing day gallery – the designated area in front of the Takarazuka theaters where fans wait to watch actresses come in and out of the stage door senpai – someone with more seniority in age/grade/experience etc. Ai to Shi no Rondo – A famous song from Elisabeth Watashi Dake Ni – Another famous song fromElisabeth sanbante – The third-ranked otokoyaku in a troupe
BONUS: Every Chicago cast member social media account we could find! Instagrams are all adorable, and for Japanese readers, Yuuzumi Shun, Suzu Haruki, Tsukio Kasuza, Makise Kai, and Manami Sora wrote particularly lovely NY reports. Mishou Kazuki gets the VOLUME BLOGGING award. Pictures for daaaays.
In this episode, we address two listeners’ questions about how we each got into Takarazuka, how we made friends in the Takarazuka fandom, and how we drag other people down with us. How did you get into Takarazuka? Leave your story in the comments!
NOTE: this was recorded before the Mitsuya Nao interview episode, which is the “special thing” we’re referring to when we say we’re not sure when this episode will surface. If you haven’t watched it please do!