Last chance to catch the International Cultural Productions (ICP) presentation of the American premiere of Tsutomu Mizukami's Boonah, Come Down. Performed by the Seinenza Theatre Company at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, the production began Sept. 29.
The play is a philosophical Buddhist fable adapted by Mizukami from his 1972 Boonah the Tree-Climbing Frog. The play has toured throughout China and Russia since its Japanese premiere in 1978. It was also translated into an animated version that was presented at the United Nations.
Playwright Mizukami won the prestigious Naoki Prize at the age of 40. He wrote Boonah to convey the message of simplicity in our lives, and that we should combat the race towards materialism. He uses characters such as frogs, rats, birds and snakes to make his point that all people should help each other regardless of their place in the food chain.
Boonah is directed by Kanichiro Suzuki. The cast consists of 15 members from the Seinenza Theatre company, one of Japan's most active contemporary theatre groups. They play is performed in Japanese, with a simultaneous translation through infrared headsets. The creative staff includes Ueda Junko (Set Design), Nakagawa Ryuichi (Lighting Design), and Ito Sachiko (Costume Design). The translation was done by David W. Griffith, Tanaka Keishi and Hori Mariko.
The Kay Playhouse at Hunter College is located on 68 Street (between Park and Lexington Ave.) For information, call the box office at (212) 772-4448. -- by Daniel Fischer
and Ernio Hernandez