We have a VERY special video episode for you! This December, four Takarazuka OGs—Mariho Erina, Ayaka Rei, Shiho Nanami, and Tama Mayura—will be performing World of Dreams, a lecture and concert introducing American audiences to the world of Takarazuka, at the Cornish Playhouse in Seattle! In advance of this performance, the Takarazuka Fan Podcast interviewed the actresses about their time in Takarazuka, their thoughts about performing overseas, and more!
We’re so excited to be able to bring you this exclusive interview, and if you have any questions or Seattle area recommendations for the actresses, be sure to leave them in the comments!
Special thanks to the entire podcast team plus Chems for chipping in with the translation/subtitling, and to Sakiko for organizing the interview.
World of Dreams will be taking place on Sunday, December 3, 2017 at 4:30pm at the Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center. For more information visit the Facebook page.
Note: To save on server space, we are moving our video podcasts to YouTube. Unfortunately, this means they will no longer show up in the podcast feed.
Glossary: Otokoyaku: Actresses who play male roles Musumeyaku: Actresses who play female roles Onnayaku: Also female role players, but typically more mature roles Shinjin Kouen: “Newcomer performances,” special performances held for each Grand Theater production that feature young stars who have been in the company for 7 years or less. Nihonmono: Traditional Japanese productions OG: Literally “old girl,” referring to actresses who have retired from Takarazuka. Obi: The sash worn with a kimono.
shinjin kouen / shinko: Every performance shown at the Takarazuka Grand Theater / Tokyo Takarazuka Theater has one night when the junior stars of the troupe (ken 7 and under) perform in the lead roles. It provides the junior stars with valuable stage experience and public exposure.
A little late now, but here’s a roundup of all the big news in Takarazuka recently!
NOTE: Lella mentions that Kurenai Yuzuru said doing Scarlet pimpernel was “hitokakera no yume.” This is a reference to Percy’s big song in the show, “Hitokakera no Yuuki” – “A Piece of Courage.” So Beni was saying this role was like a piece of her dream.
In this episode, we review Star Troupe’s “Ouka ni Mae/Romance!!”, which recently wrapped up its Takarazuka run and will begin in Tokyo on October 21st. This is the final show for Hokushou Kairi and Hinami Fuu. We apologize in advance for anything we got wrong about Japanese history!
Chuuzume: This is the scene in the revue show which occurs near the middle of the show, and has the entire troupe on stage dancing together. It’s a kind of “power up” scene to get everyone clapping and tapping their toes.
Ginkyou: A narrow strip of stage that extends around the orchestra pit, approximately 3 feet high and four and a half feet wide. Another trademark of the Takarazuka, the silver bridge is used in much of the performance blocking and in the finale to allow those in the front seats a very up-close look at the stars.
This is the first in a series of troupe-focused episodes: Hanagumi! We discuss the history of the troupe from all the way back in the beginning as well as recent years. NOTE: we recorded this before the transfer announcements! The new top musumeyaku of Hanagumi will be Senna Ayase.
Nibante/sanbante – the second and third ranked otokoyaku in a troupe Irimachi/demachi – waiting for a star outside the theater Otome – an annual publication listing profiles for every current member of the revue Momotaro @ Wikipedia
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!
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.