Talk Like Singing, a groundbreaking production and the first-ever original Japanese musical to have its premiere in the U.S., will have its world premiere in New York City on November 13, 2009 at 8 PM at New York University's Skirball Center. The show will run through November 22. The talented Koki Mitani has written and directs this comedic new material spoken in both Japanese and English. Musician, composer, DJ and founding member of Pizzicato Five, Yasuharu Konishi has created the music for this production. Japanese superstar Shingo Katori will make his international stage debut alongside cast members Jay Kabira, Keiko Horiuchi, and Shinya Niiro.
The story concerns "a unique young man named Tarlow (Shingo Katori) [who] can only communicate through song. His peculiar situation draws the attention of the general public, the media, and most importantly, two respected behavioral specialists. With the help of a speech therapist (Keiko Horiuchi) and psychologist (Jay Kabira) Tarlow is finally able to silence the singing voices in his head and, for the first time in his life, the young man can speak without singing; but what he finds is that he is unhappy and misses the music. The psychologist presents Tarlow as his 'success story' at a conference with his fellow colleagues, when all of a sudden the unexpected happens, and Tarlow breaks out into an unforgettable performance for all eyes to see."
Talk Like Singing plays Nov. 13 at 8 PM, Nov. 14 at 2 and 8 PM, Nov. 15 at 3 and 7 PM, November 17, 18, 19 and 20 at 8 PM, Nov. 21 at 2 PM and 8 PM and Nov. 22 and 3 PM.
Tickets priced, $30-$70, may be purchased by phoning 212-352-3101 or visiting www.skirballcenter.nyu.edu/talk_like_singing. The box office is located at the Skirball Center's Shagan Box Office located at 566 LaGuardia Place (at Washington Square South).
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Shingo Katori is a member of SMAP (Sports Music Assemble People), one of the most popular idol groups in Japan. Since their debut in 1991, SMAP has released over 30 hit singles. Their stadium tour in 2006 drew audiences of more than one million. SMAP kicked off their 2008 tour with a historic six performance sold- out series at the Tokyo Dome, setting the venue's record for most performances in a single tour.
Koki Mitani is one of the most successful and well known playwrights/directors in Japan. He has written and directed numerous theater works, and his two-person play, Warai no Daigaku (The Last Laugh) garnered Mr. Mitani the 4th Yomiuri Theater Grand Prix "Best Play" award in 1996. Warai no Daigaku has been translated into English, Russian and French and has been performed in Russia, Belarus, and Canada, with a special production adapted by British playwright Richard Harris which toured the U.K. and ran on London's West End.
Yasuharu Konishi came to fame as one of the original members of the Japanese pop group Pizzicato Five. They are widely credited with spearheading the shibuya-kei movement in Japan. Shibuya-kei is mod music from the 1960s hipster scene filtered through a 1990s prism. Pizzicato Five are known for their eclectic and energetic compositions. The band's American debut in 1994 coincided with the release of the album Five By Pizzicato Five. This was quickly followed by Made in USA, a compilation of tracks taken from their last three Japanese albums. Their songs have been heard in the films Charlie's Angels, Prêt a Porter, and Unzipped. Jay Kabira began his career as an actor when he was in college and since then has made various appearances in stage, television, radio and film in Japan. He won the Outstanding Performance Award at the 4th Yomiuri Theater Grand Prix for his role of Cosmo Brown in the musical Singin' in the Rain.
Keiko Horiuchi, a graduate of the Shiki Theater Company drama academy, has appeared in various musicals, TV dramas and films and has an extensive musical background. She has starred as Maria in West Side Story and Belle in Beauty and the Beast. In 1999, she appeared on Broadway for the 5th anniversary of Beauty and the Beast. She has recently been seen in several of Koki Mitani's works.
Shinya Niiro, a promising young actor in Japan, has enhanced his reputation by playing the leading role in the rock musical Godspell. He has been seen on stages throughout Japan performing in a variety of works such as Aladdin, Elisabeth, Our House, Club Seven, Pure Love, and The Wedding Singer among others.