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Takarazuka all-woman troupe producing musical about Abe Lincoln

25 Comments
By Preston Phro, RocketNews24

Responsible for the "Rurouni Kenshin" musical and a musical memorial for Shakespeare, Takarazuka will bring an American president to the stage.

The Takarazuka Revue Company is easily Japan’s more famous musical theater troupe. They’ve tackled everything from anime adaptations to "Romeo and Juliet," so it’s hardly a surprise for the troupe to take up Western topics. Even so, Abraham Lincoln is pretty much the last person we ever expected to see portrayed on their stage.

Now, we have no idea what inspired Takarazuka to take up the story of Honest Abe, but we will say that we hope they take some cues from Hamilton and feature a rapping Lincoln in the second act. Even if it’s just for the “Gettysburg Address!”

Of course, you may be thinking, “Wasn’t Abraham Lincoln kind of famous for having a, shall we say, ‘unique’ face?” Sure, he might not have been the Adonis that JFK was, but we’d say this portrayal of the president is at least 50% more accurate than "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter."

Tickets are on sale now for the Osaka performances, which will run from February 13 to February 23 at the Umeda Arts Theater, and will go on sale on January 31 for the Kanagawa performances, which will run between March 4–10 at the Kanagawa Arts Theater. Tickets for the Umeda Arts Theater are available here (Japanese only) and tickets for the Kanagawa Arts Theaters will be available here (Japanese only) at the end of the month.

Source: Takarazuka Revue

Read more stories from RocketNews2. -- Rurouni Kenshin comes to picture-perfect life as photos of stage musical’s cast are released -- Can you name 5 traditional Japanese arts that are distinctly female? -- Japan’s famous all-female theater company lists the ’25 marks of ugly women’

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25 Comments
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He was 6 feet 4 inches tall. What Japanese woman are they gonna get to play the part ?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

:-D

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

They don't need to find a 6-4 Japanese woman. Just a woman who's relatively taller than the other women on stage.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It's not really my cup of ocha, but you could argue that this is a chance for a least a small segment of Japanese society to learn about a democratic leader other than Abe.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's going to be called "Abe no Mix" and will be a variety show with lots of comedy.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I wonder if they will use the full name Abraham, or do something with the nickname, Abe...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

He was 6 feet 4 inches tall. What Japanese woman are they gonna get to play the part ?

Stilts and a very tall hat

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He was 6 feet 4 inches tall. What Japanese woman are they gonna get to play the part ?

I would have thought that the fact Lincoln was a member of the opposite sex would be a bigger problem.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It's times like this when I realise that living in Japan completely eliminates the need to read 'The Onion'.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Abe lookin' pretty sultry there.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"They’ve tackled everything from anime adaptations to “Romeo and Juliet,” so it’s hardly a surprise for the troupe to take up Western topics. Even so, Abraham Lincoln is pretty much the last person we ever expected to see portrayed on their stage."

The life of Abraham Lincoln is probably the closest story to Shakespeare America has to offer. John Wilkes Booth (his assassin) shot Lincoln and leapt onto the stage during a play and shouted "Sic semper" ( Latin for "Death to Tyrants")

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Who cares about the real height of Lincoln; he was a man, and he'll be played by a woman. If you're going to complain about physical traits you would think that would be the most obvious first, no? So, if you're willing to suspend disbelief over that fact, which you should be, why not just see what they do about the story and worry about proper physical representation if that proves a problem later?

Regardless of whether it will be good or bad, I think it's interesting already. I just pray this has not been inspired because of a play on the Romanization of Prime Minister Abe's name, because if they incorporate that into the musical in some way it's already dead.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I just pray this has not been inspired because of a play on the Romanization of Prime Minister Abe's name, because if they incorporate that into the musical in some way it's already dead.

Don't worry. The Japanese never use Abe for Lincoln only Abraham Lincoln or just Lincoln.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

tinawatanabe: "Don't worry. The Japanese never use Abe for Lincoln only Abraham Lincoln or just Lincoln."

The play on words has been floated around before, tina. It if were the norm to use Lincoln's name like that it would not be inspiration for Takarakuza, but for some crappy NHK show. That doesn't mean a light bulb didn't go on somewhere with someone making that connection. I just said HOPEFULLY that's not the case (and don't you worry, because I'm certainly not), because it would be a pretty dim light if it did, and Takarazuka is not usually that silly.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The play on words has been floated around before, tina.

I totally agree, kind of like "shine" and 死ね.

By the way, Takarazuka Revue attracts some really strange fans. I should know, I ended up in the home of one (a frumpy middle-aged woman who moved from Osaka to Takarazuka specifically to be closer to her favorite starlet, and who goes daily to the meet-and-greets at the venue, because why waste time with a real life?). It was a disturbing experience, especially when I was introduced to the shrine in her living room that she had erected to her darling.

It's times like this when I realise that living in Japan completely eliminates the need to read 'The Onion'.

I couldn't have put it better myself, Phil!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Poor Abe, fought and won the Civil War and should rest in peace,,,

0 ( +1 / -1 )

By the way, Takarazuka Revue attracts some really strange fans.

I'll say. I once got invited to attend a Tokyo performance by the manager of one of the star's fan clubs. (Snow troupe or Moon troupe, I forget.) I sat in the front row with the fan club on my left and an elderly gentleman on my right. The man politely shook my hand before the show and again as he left. I was later told he was a local yakuza boss.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

To all posters, I recommend you go along and see/experience a Takarazuka performance once before you pass on.

Unforgettable after 30 years , no matter how hard I try

Just maybe , Abraham Lincoln is the one for you..

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Unforgettable after 30 years , no matter how hard I try.

Well, like most people in this world I've had a few experiences like that, but yes, Takarazuka is definitely one of them.

I sat in the front row with the fan club on my left and an elderly gentleman on my right.

Front row? You, sir/madam, are very well connected! I was given middle-row seats, and people around me still regard me with awe and wonder.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You, sir/madam, are very well connected!

For a short time in 1981, I guess I was. The fan club manager was one of the craziest and most delightful people I have ever met. She seemed capable of making anything happen. The star in question (2nd level - boy) was also really friendly and charming, when I was expecting someone more stuck up. (Sorry, getting nostalgic. It was a bizarre time.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Abe Lincoln? Well, if that don't beat all. I wish I could see how it all turns out. I bet in the next world, he's smiling at this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wonder if this will also include his career as a vampire hunter?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is great news. I went to a few Takarazuka shows in my Tokyo days and they were fun and culturally amazing, gender busting too. The audience was 99 percent female including tons of high school girls. Whether the performers are gay is not important. Doing an Abe Lincoln show is a stroke of genius! With news stories about this in the international media, from new york times to BBC, this show will present a new and startling face of Japan to the world. Only in America, er, I mean, only in Japan. I plan to fly over to catch this once in a century Lincoln love fest. Who knew? Bravo!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

LOL. An interesting idea, to say the least.

It should be at least entertaining if not amusing to see an Honest Abe on stage singing and doing high kicks.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Can't help but wonder if there's going to be any historically accurate information presented and how they plan to present African Americans. Could be some real racial faux pas committed here. Japanese in general are not known for their racial sensitivities.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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