Meigetsu Hachiman Matsuri:
(The Autumn Hachiman Festival)
Miyokichi (Nakamura Fukusuke) is a spirited geisha in the Fukagawa
district with a distinguished lord as a patron and Sanji (Nakamura Kash˘), a good for nothing boatman, as
a lover. On the occasion of the Hachiman festival, she tries to raise an enormous
sum of money for Sanji, but refuses to try to get it from the patron who has been so good to her.
Instead, she tries to get it from the merchant Shinsuke (Band˘ Mitsugor˘).
Shinsuke has long been in love with Miyokichi and brings the money to make
her his own, but instead, she gets the money from her patron and so, has no
further interest in Shinsuke. When the ardent merchant learns that he has been
deceived, love turns to anger and he kills Miyokichi in a beautiful and gruesome
scene in the rain, under the full moon of the autumn festival.
Bun'ya: this dance is a section of a humorous series of dances,
which show the ancient poetic geniuses famous from classical Japanese literature,
reinterpreted to the tastes of Edo period audiences.
Ono no Komachi, the only woman of the six,
was famous as a great beauty. In this series of dances, all the other poets are in love with her and try
to make her their own. This particular section focuses on the low-ranking court
noble Bun'ya no Yasuhide (Nakamura Tomijűr˘), counted as one of the "Six Poetic Geniuses".
He pursues the fabulously beautiful Ono no Komachi,
but instead encounters some very homely court women in a kind of comic fantasy on the theme of love.
Kinkakuji: "Kinkakuji" retains the epic scale of plays adapted from
the Bunraku puppet theater and is full of miracles and larger-than-life characters
common on the puppet stage. It is full of the classical forms of all kinds of
stylized characters and the role of Princess Yuki is considered to be one of
the most difficult and beautiful roles for an onnagata
female role specialist. Matsunaga Daizen (Ichikawa Danjűr˘) has defeated the Sh˘gun and has
set up base in the Golden Pavilion. The brilliant strategist Hisayoshi, disguised
as a disgruntled retainer named T˘kichi (Nakamura Kichiemon), pretends to come under
Daizen's employ to try to sabotage his plans from within.
Princess Yuki (Nakamura Fukusuke) is being held prisoner by Daizen, but is able to free
herself by drawing a mouse in the cherry petals of the tree that she is tied to.
It comes to life and chews the ropes holding her. Starring the best of the
actors in their prime in a production sure to be full of fire and excitement.
(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 (Ichikawa Danjűr˘) appears to save the day.
This play features the bombastic aragoto style of acting,
which is the specialty of the Ichikawa Danjűr˘ line of actors
and is part of the collection of the Eighteen Favorite Plays (Kabuki Jűhachiban)
of the Ichikawa Family. Featuring Band˘ Mitsugor˘, Nakamura Fukusuke, Ichikawa Danshir˘,
Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Kash˘, ďtani Tomoemon, Kawarazaki Gonjűr˘,
Ichikawa Monnosuke, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Ichikawa Unosuke and Ichimura Kakitsu.
Domo Mata: the artist Matahei has been refused a professional name because of his
stuttering. He makes a poor life by drawing folk paintings and decides
to make one last effort to gain respectability. His wife Otoku, who is
given as much to chatter as Matahei is silent, pleads his case. Turned
down again by his master, Matahei decides to take his life. He draws a
farewell portrait of himself, a painting so skillful that the lines seep
through solid rock and this miracle convinces his master to confer a professional
name. Starring Nakamura Kichiemon as Matahei and Nakamura Shibajaku as his wife Otoku.
Uma Nusubito: a modern dance using the techniques of traditional Kabuki
for a light and entertaining story of a horse thief. Featuring Band˘ Mitsugor˘, Nakamura Kash˘ and Band˘ Minosuke.
Source: Earphone Guide website