By Michael Gioia
17 Dec 2012
The work, which will play through Jan. 26, features traditional Japanese songs with music by Shizuka Iwabuchi, lyrics by Yutaka Okada and additional lyrics by Julie Holtzman and Kuni Mikami.
The cast of Kikki & Grandpa & Baby includes Karin Crighton, Ryan Neal Green, Alex Kafarakis, Geoff Lee, Chevy Kaeo Martinez, Vicki Oceguera, Jalah Williams and Chiho Araki as the narrator.
Music will be performed live by Mihoto Goto (accordion), Evan Schnoll (percussion), Kuni Mikami (piano) and Tomoko Hayakawa (vocals). Musical direction is by Kuni Mikami.
Taking place in a dreamlike riverside shantytown, Kikki & Grandpa & Baby, according to press notes, "is a tale of virtue and vice that portrays strangers living on the edge who risk their lives to save each other. The story centers around Kikki, a rebellious 16 year old leading a perilous homeless existence. She is befriended by a kind elderly man who saves her life and offers her shelter whom she in turn adopts as her 'grandpa.' When winter arrives, Kikki discovers a baby that has been cruelly left to die and her life is suddenly galvanized in an effort to rescue him and become his surrogate mother. A parade of colorful characters begin to inhabit the lives of Kikki and her new family until their existence is nearly shattered by a petty official who threatens them with eviction…and then offers them an enterprising way out of it."