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May Grand Kabuki, Matinee

SHIBARAKU (Wait a Minute!)
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 of justice (Ebizo) appears to save the day. This play features the bombastic aragoto style of acting, which is the specialty of the Ichikawa Danjuro line of actors and is part of the collection of the Eighteen Favorite Plays of the Ichikawa Family.
Two Dances:
The shojo is a mythical sake-loving spirit that lives in the sea. In this dance, a sake seller has a mysterious customer that appears daily and drinks enormous amounts with great satisfaction. The sake seller has a dream with instructions to go by the beach with a large tub of sake. As it turns out, the customer has actually been the shojo in disguise and he drinks and dances joyfully. Starring Kaishun as the sake seller and Tomijuro as the shojo.
TENARAIKO (The Girl Returning From School)
A girl dawdles on her way home from school, plays with the butterflies in the field and dreams of love. Starring Living National Treasure Shikan.
The firemen serving the fabulously wealthy Kaga clan were famous for their colorful spirit. This play features a short pageant of these firefighters combined with a dark story of the sinister masseur Dogen who uses murder, theft and extortion to satisfy his lust and greed. The actor playing Dogen doubles as one of the gallant bosses of the firefighting gang alongside the firefighter that unmasks Dogen’s villainy. Starring Kikugoro as Dogen and the firefighter that defeats him.
Two palanquin bearers, one from Osaka, the other from Edo (pre-modern Tokyo), decide to stop and rest. As they do so, each boasts of the respective merits of his native town. Finally, the little apprentice courtesan they have been carrying, alights from the palanquin and joins them in their dance.

Kesako MATSUI comments here.


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