Riding the wave of popularity generated by the recent movie adaptation and the trend of Japanese adaptations of British and American musicals, the Lloyd-Webber musical Evita is coming to Osaka, in the Japanese region of Kansai.
While this will be its first performance in Kansai, revival performances have recently been staged in Fukuoka and Tokyo. In fact, Japanese theater has been experiencing a steady rise in imports and revivals, with British and American musicals sprouting up all over the country. The two main production companies involved in this growing trend, Shiki and Toho are staging Japanese versions of bankable Broadway hits in places as far flung from Tokyo as Fukuoka and Sapporo. While the trend is not new, it has been even more pronounced in the last year with productions such as The Phantom of the Opera in places like Nagoya, which rarely had the chance of seeing long run productions of such major hits in the past.
Although Lloyd-Webber musicals are especially popular, everything from Les Miserables to Miss Saigon has seen Japanese stage adaptations in recent years. But the move towards more remote locals has proven Japanese audiences everywhere have a seemingly unquenchable thirst for foreign musicals.
The Osaka show is set to run from January 11th to April 4th at the MBS Gekijo and will be produced by the Shiki Theatrical Company. Reiko Nomura and Kyoko Suzuki will play Evita. Curtain times are Tuesday thru Friday 2:00 & 6:30, Saturday 1:00 & 5:30, Sunday 1:00. Closed Monday. Times may vary. For more info call MBS Gekijo at 06-343-1819.
--By Carter Witt