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!
Check out the whole cast of Chicago here! Nicknames mentioned: Mariko = Asaji Saki, Zunko = Shizuki Asato, Tani = Yamato Yuuga, Komu = Asami Hikaru, Marimo = Aono Yuki
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 from Elisabeth
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.
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Staff Twitter: https://twitter.com/YugaYamato
Staff twitter: https://twitter.com/morris_club
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Okamoto Tomotaka (Mary Sunshine)