Michael Mayer and Tom Kitt's New Adaptation of AS YOU LIKE IT Opens in Tokyo Tonight
Toho Co., Ltd. has announced the world premiere of a new production of William Shakespeare's romantic comedy AS YOU LIKE IT from the Tony Award-winning creative team of Michael Mayer and Tom Kitt, who will reunite after previous collaborations on American Idiot: The Musical on Broadway and Second Stage Theatre's Everyday Rapture, which will open in Tokyo in January 2017.
Mayer, who won the Tony Award for directing Spring Awakening in 2006, boldly transports the exiled lovers and conflicting brothers from the Forest of Arden to the stage of the 1967 social sensation, the Summer of Love rock festival in San Francisco, placing it squarely in the counterculture phenomenon of the 60s. Kitt, who won Tony Awards for the score and orchestrations of Next to Normal in 2009, has composed an original folk-rock score to represent the era of peace, love and happiness. Lorin Latarro, who this year provided choreography for Waitress and Les Liaisons Dangereuses provides the movement for this play with music. Johanna McKeon (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) serves as associate director.
"Shakespeare sets up two very distinct worlds. Duke Frederic has created a world of great animosity, paranoia and unpleasantness. The other part of the story takes place in the Forest of Arden where Duke Senior and his compatriots are living a life of peace, joy and simple pleasures of pastoral life. I think about Richard Nixon and paranoid conservatism of his White House, then I think of the counterculture, the hippies and love children, who found a new way of living outside the confines of such an environment of the conservatism and political machinations." said Michael Mayer.
Reon Yuzuki, a former top star of the all-female theater troupe Takarazuka Revue and the only Japanese cast member to star in the world premiere of Hal Prince's musical compilation Prince of Broadway in 2015, will star as Rosalind. A Japanese-American actor Julian Cihi, who appeared in the Broadway musical Doctor Zhivago and played Romeo in Classic Stage Company's Romeo and Juliet opposite Elizabeth Olsen in 2013, will play Orlando de Boys.
AS YOU LIKE IT will be presented at Toho's Theatre Creation located at 1-2-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo from tonight, January 4, through February 4, 2017. The production will then tour to Umeda Arts Theater in Osaka (February 7 - 12), Rexxam Hall in Kagawa (February 15) and Canal City Theater in Fukuoka (February 24 - 26).
Toho Co., Ltd. is a leading Production Company of theater and film in Japan, internationally recognized for Godzilla series and Akira Kurosawa masterpieces. Its theatrical division has presented numerous original and licensed musicals and plays in Japan, including Broadway and West End imports such as LES MISERABLES, Miss Saigon, My Fair Lady, Man of La Mancha, Fiddler on the Roof, La Cage Aux Folles, RENT, Jekyll & Hyde, Grey Gardens, The 39 Steps, Next to Normal, [title of show], and Jersey Boys among many others. Toho has also produced the Japanese versions of the musicals from Central Europe, including Elisabeth, Mozart!, and Rebecca the Musical. The company ventured to create the original musicals Marie Antoinette and Lady Bess with the creators of Elisabeth, Michael Kunze (book and lyrics) and Sylvester Levay (music). Marie Antoinette was licensed and presented in Germany in 2009, in Korea in 2014-15 and in Hungary in 2016. Toho has also worked with the internationally renowned directors including John Caird (for Candide, Private Lives and Twelfth Night) and David Leveaux (for Rudolf The Last Kiss).
AS YOU LIKE IT is a part of the commemoration of the tenth anniversary of one of the theaters owned and operated by Toho, Theatre Creation. Visit www.tohostage.com/asyoulikeit (in Japanese only) for more information.