Camp Classic THE BLACK LIZARD Will Star Yuhua Hamasaki And James Yaegashi
The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival is excited to announce that New York City-based drag performer Yuhua Hamasaki (RuPaul's Drag Race) and actor James Yaegashi (Marvel's Runaways) will star in the Festival's one-time-only staged reading of Yukio Mishima's camp classic The Black Lizard at Provincetown Town Hall (260 Commercial Street) on September 29.
Hamasaki wowed audiences on the tenth season of RuPaul's Drag Race, and New York magazine named her one of the top 100 Most Powerful Drag Queens in America in June. Yaegashi has appeared on acclaimed television shows including Madam Secretary, Daredevil, and Runaways.
On Festival Sunday, Hamasaki and Yaegashi become arch enemies in Yukio Mishima's over-the-top criminal caper The Black Lizard. Hamasaki steps into the heels of the sinister lady crime boss Black Lizard - a glamorous jewel thief who has snatched a rich jeweler's daughter in hopes the jeweler will exchange her for his prized Star of Egypt diamond. Yaegashi plays the handsome detective Akechi, Black Lizard's worthy opponent.
In her P'town debut, Hamasaki will also perform her cabaret solo show Yuhua Comes to Town! in which she sings, dances, and - no surprise - lip syncs, decked out in the eye-filling iconic costumes she designs herself at the Crown and Anchor (247 Commercial Street) on Festival Friday.
Tickets to The Black Lizard are $45 each, and tickets to Yuhua Comes to Town! are $25 each. All Festival Passes and tickets are available for sale online at twptown.org and by phone at 866-789-TENN.
Mishima's outrageous camp classic is the mid-morning climax of the Festival's 14th season. The Black Lizard will be staged at Town Hall with a wide range of Festival artists, directed by Jesse Jou, produced by the Festival in association with Texas Tech University.
Set in giddy, groovy 1960's Japan, Black Lizard's action spins from a ritzy hotel room to a millionaire's kitchen, up to the observation platform of Tokyo Tower, and down onto Black Lizard's private yacht and the dungeons of her secret island. Black Lizard (played by Yuhua Hamasaki), as strong-willed as she is well-dressed, decides she'd like to keep, for her own pleasure, the ransomed diamond and the body of a kidnapped heiress.
Black Lizard's worthy opponent, Kogoro Akechi (played by James Yaegashi), the Sherlock Holmes of Japan, first appeared in 1925 in a story by Edogawa Ranpo, Japan's premier mystery writer. Akechi is still a fixture in Japanese popular culture, appearing in films, television shows, video games, anime and manga.
Mishima's outrageous stage version of Black Lizard was a sensation on the Japanese equivalent of Broadway in 1962. For the 1968 film version of the play, starring cross-dressing male actor Akihiro Miwa as the lovesick lady crime boss, Mishima played one of Black Lizard's sex slaves.
Translated by Mark Oshima, the Festival's ensemble staged reading follows 2018's Harvey Award-nominated Festival adaptation of The Snagglepuss Chronicles by Mark Russell.