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Grand Kabuki: Evening Show

DAN-NO-URA KABUTO GUNKI - AKOYA
The courtesan Akoya is the wife of the fugitive general Kagekiyo and has been captured and will be tortured until she reveals his whereabouts. But she claims not to know. The wise Shigetada (Kichiemon) puts Akoya to a test, all the time hindered by his companion, the humorous villain Iwanaga (Danshiro). Shigetada forces Akoya to play several instruments since the slightest disturbance in the sound would indicate that she is lying. A showpiece for an onnagata who must actually play the koto, the bowed kokyu and the shamisen flawlessly as part of the drama. Starring Tamasaburo as Akoya.
MIGAWARI ZAZEN (The Zen Substitute)
A dance play adopted from a classical kyogen farce. A man (Danjuro) wants nothing more than to visit his lover Hanako, but he has one important problem, his homely and overbearing wife (Sadanji). He creates a scheme saying that he will be practicing zen meditation all night and has his servant Tarokaja (Somegoro) take his place while he visits Hanako. He returns, giddy from a night of pleasure and tells his story to his servant in dance, unaware that his wife has discovered his deception and has taken his servant's place.
NIJOJO NO KIYOMASA
In the early Edo Period, the first shoguns had a great problem in dealing with Toyotomi Hideyori, the young son of Hideyoshi. Even though Tokugawa Ieyasu took control of Japan away from Hideyori's clan, it remained very influential and powerful. Although the Tokugawa shoguns were respectful and cordial on the surface, they constantly searched for an opportunity to destroy Hideyori and his clan. This play is one of many that focuses on Hideyori's loyal retainer, the elderly but still powerful Kato Kiyomasa. Tokugawa Ieyasu (Sadanji) invites Hideyori (Fukusuke) to a banquet at Nijo Castle in Kyoto. Hideyori is at constant risk and is only protected by the constant vigilance of Kiyomasa (Kichiemon). Plays about Kiyomasa were a particular favorite of Nakamura Kichiemon I and this month features a rare performance of a play from the tradition of the present Kichiemon's grandfather.

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