Toho Co., Ltd. presents the world premiere of a new production of William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, featuring direction by Michael Mayer and original music by Tom Kitt, who reunite following collaborations on American Idiot and Everyday Rapture.
Performances take place January 4–February 4 at Tokyo's Toho’s Theatre. The production will then tour to Umeda Arts Theater in Osaka (February 7–12), Rexxam Hall in Kagawa (February 15), and Canal City Theater in Fukuoka (February 24–26).
Mayer, who won the Tony for his direction of the original Broadway production of Spring Awakening, “boldly transports the exiled lovers and conflicting brothers from the Forest of Arden to the stage of the 1967 social sensation, the Summer of Love rock festival in San Francisco, placing it squarely in the counterculture phenomenon of the 60s,” according to a press release. Kitt, who won Tonys for the score and orchestrations of Next to Normal, has composed an original folk-rock score. The creative team also includes choreographer Lorin Latarro and associate director Johanna McKeon.
The cast is led by Reon Yuzuki, the only Japanese cast member to star in the world premiere of Hal Prince’s Prince of Broadway, as Rosalind and Japanese-American actor Julian Cihi, who appeared in Broadway's Doctor Zhivago, as Orlando de Boys.
In an earlier statement director Mayer said, “Shakespeare sets up two very distinct worlds. Duke Frederic has created a world of great animosity, paranoia and unpleasantness. The other part of the story takes place in the Forest of Arden where Duke Senior and his compatriots are living a life of peace, joy and simple pleasures of pastoral life. I think about Richard Nixon and paranoid conservatism of his White House, then I think of the counterculture, the hippies and love children, who found a new way of living outside the confines of such an environment of the conservatism and political machinations.”
As You Like It is a part of the commemoration of the tenth anniversary of one of the theatres owned and operated by Toho, Theatre Creation. Visit www.tohostage.com/asyoulikeit/ (in Japanese only) for more information.