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KATSURA SUNSHINE'S RAKUGO Will Now Begin Performances on March 10 at New World Stages


Katsura Sunshine will simultaneously perform the show in NY and on the UK’s West End with a year-long residency at the Leicester Square Theater.

KATSURA SUNSHINE'S RAKUGO Will Now Begin Performances on March 10 at New World Stages

Due to the recent spike in COVID cases and out of an abundance of caution, Katsura Sunshine's Rakugo will delay its New York run, originally slated to begin at New World Stages on January 27, will now start performances on Thursday, March 10, 2022.

The internationally acclaimed performer and the world's only Western Rakugo Master, Katsura Sunshine, will simultaneously perform the show in NY and on the UK's West End with a year-long residency at the Leicester Square Theater, which began performances on December 12, 2021, and will continue once a month for the remainder of 2022. For more information and tickets to shows in New York and in London, please visit

A celebrated, internationally renowned performer, Katsura Sunshine, originally began an extended run of Katsura Sunshine's Rakugo in NYC in September of 2019 and opened to rave reviews; it ran for six months before the shutdown forced to shut down along with the rest of the global theatre community.

"When I first had the idea of bringing Rakugo to New York, I was met with a lot of apprehension but decided to push forward anyway. We introduced American audiences to the art of Rakugo in September of 2019 and were welcomed with amazing reviews and audience responses. We ran for an astounding six months and the world-renowned New World Stages before we had to close. I am so excited to return to New York and pick up where we left off, and this time, we are adding a monthly stop on London's West End." Katsura Sunshine

"The pandemic gave us all a time to regroup, refocus and rededicate ourselves to creating safe and entertaining ways that we can all reconnect as a community and storytellers. As theaters around the world continue to open, we are thrilled to bring the celebrated art of Rakugo and the unquestionable talent and charm of Sunshine back to the stage - on both sides of the Atlantic. Still, due to the Omicron variety, we will push the dates a few weeks to ensure the safety of staff and audience." Executive Producer, Joe Trentacosta

Called the King of Kimono Comedy, Rakugo is the 400-year-old Japanese traditional art of comic storytelling. Currently, there are only 800 Rakugo Masters. Hailing from Canada, Sunshine is the only Western Rakugo Master globally and star of NHK Worldwide; he is hilarious, charming, universally funny, and very Japanese. Sunshine is the perfect performer to bridge the East and the West gap in an entertaining style. Critics have raved. "A delight, Katsura Sunshine's Rakugo is funny and exciting. If you're looking for a good way to laugh and forget your troubles, this is the show for you!" and "Funny and delightfully intimate with a feeling of improvisation that makes it easy to love."

With a minimal set, Rakugo features a lone storyteller dressed in kimono, kneeling on a cushion, using only a fan and a hand towel for props, entertains the audience with a comic monologue followed by traditional stories.

In order to become a recognized professional Rakugo storyteller, one must apprentice to a Rakugo Master, from whom one receives a stage name. The apprenticeship lasts for three to four years and is very strict. Depending on the master, the apprentice may not drink, smoke, or go on dates and is subject to a strict curfew during the apprenticeship period. The apprentice cleans the master's house, does laundry, cooking, preparing and folding kimonos, and other chores, and learns the art of storytelling by watching the master perform and imitating. Throughout one's career, one is only allowed to perform a given story once a master storyteller has granted permission to do that story.

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