Grand Kabuki, Evening Show
ONNA SHIBARAKU (Female"Wait a Minute")
Ichimura Uzaemon XVII was one of the mainstays of kabuki. Rich in knowledge of kabuki's acting tradition, he was also a skilled player of mature male roles. To commemorate the seventh anniversary of his death, the first play in the evening program features his three sons Hikosaburo, Manjiro and Gonjuro in a spectacular play that shows old-fashioned kabuki at its best.
More ceremony than play, Shibaraku is one of the oldest pieces in kabuki. Just as an evil villain is about to execute a group of loyal retainers, a voice calls out for him to wait and a hero appears to save the day. This version is a parody, though, as the hero is played by an onnagata female role specialist, who mixes the super-human strength of an aragoto hero with the soft gentleness of a kabuki heroine. Featuring Manjiro as the heroine and Hikosaburo as the larger-than-life villain, with Mitsugoro as a friendly stage attendant who makes sure that everything goes right.
-AME NO GORO-
Soga no Goro is one of the most famous heroes in the kabuki world, super-strong and quick to fight. However, this dance shows the soft side of this hero as well as he travels nightly to the pleasure quarter to visit his lover. Starring Shoroku.
-MITSUMEN KOMORI (The Babysitter with Three Masks)-
This short charming dance shows a young girl who is a babysitter and she entertains her charge with a series of games and dances. The highlight is when she does a short sketch with three comic masks which shows a romantic quarrel between the plump, homely woman Okame and the drunken god of prosperity Ebisu. Finally Hyottoko with his funny, twisted up mouth steps in to mediate the fight. Starring Mitsugoro, one of the finest dancers of the younger generation of actors.
KAMI NO MEGUMI WAGO NO TORIKUMI (Megumi no Kenka)
They used to say that fights and fires were the flowers of the city of Edo and many plays feature the gallent members of firefighting troupes, who were popular heroes. This particular play depicts a rivalry between the members of the Megumi firefighting band and a group of sumo wrestlers, which ultimately is a confrontation between the firefighters, who represent the commoner class and the samurai patrons of the sumo wrestlers. The fight begins with a minor incident, but grows into a situation of such tension, that when Tatsugoro, the leader of the firefighting gang, goes to his final fight, he goes with the full intention that this may be a fight to the death. Before he leaves, he has an emotional parting from his family. Featuring Living National Treasure Kikugoro as Tatsugoro and Danjuro as the leader of the group of sumo wrestlers.
- Tokaiya or Ikari-Tomomori by Shoroku at the National Thetre(2011.07.23)