Gen, an adaptation of Keiji Nakazawa's autobiographical Hadashi no-Gen, closes Jan. 20, 1999 at Off Broadway's Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse. This production, which began Jan. 16, is the play's American premiere.
Kyo Kijima adapted and directs the play with music, which tell the true life of events of author and comic book artist Nakazawa who was a child survivor of the atomic bomb at Hiroshima. Although he lost his father and siblings, Nakazawa was able to find hope through his mother and his newborn sister. In fact, the word "gen" is Japanese for "humanity."
Gen features Miyuki Tanaka (Hadashi-no-Gen), Masako Tanaka, Teruhiko Ogimi, Aya Hirose, Mai Nishimura, Tsuginbou Honda, Tsuguku Hayashi, Ryuma Uchida, Shino Shimakawa, Takeshi Teshigawara, Sawako Goda and Hiromichi Miyauchi.
Hajime Hayashi (music) and Yasushi Kijima (lyrics) wrote the twelve original songs that appear in Gen. Mamoru Nishimori choreographs.
Designers for the production include Mitsuru Ishii (set), Kiishi Arai (costumes), Seiji Moriwaki (lighting) and Akira Oyamada (sound). Tickets are $30 and can be ordered by calling the Kaye Playhouse at (212) 772-4448. The Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse is located at Hunter College, 68th Street between Park and Lexington.
-- By Christine Ehren