Katsura Sunshine's RAKUGO Offers Sneak Peak

By: Feb. 08, 2019
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Katsura Sunshine's RAKUGO Offers Sneak Peak

Executive Producers Steven Honigman and Joe Trentacosta in association with Yumi Shinozaki and The Yoshimoto Creative Agency of Japan introduce the internationally renowned performer Katsura Sunshine to New York City with Katsura Sunshine's Rakugo with a special Valentine's Day weekend special presentation before its full Off-Broadway run this Spring. Four performances only, Katsura Sunshine's Rakugo will perform Thursday, February 14 - Sunday, February 17, 2019 at The Royal Family Performing Arts Space (145 West 46 Street, 3rd Floor). Tickets are $40 and can be purchased by visit www.Rakugo.lol.

Called King of Kimono Comedy, Katsura Sunshine's Rakugo comes to Times Square. Called 'kneeling down, stand up comedy,' Rakugo is the 400-year-old Japanese traditional art of comic storytelling, currently there are only 800 Rakugo Masters. Hailing from Canada, Sushine is the only Western Rakugo Master in the world and star of NHK Worldwide, he is hilarious, charming, universally funny and yet so very Japanese. Sunshine is the perfect performer to bridge the gap between the East and the West, in a hilarious 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 a traditional story.

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 permission to do that story has been granted by a master storyteller.

KATSURA SUNSHINE. He was born in Toronto, Ontario, to parents of Slovenian origin. He studied classics at the University of Toronto. In September, 1995, his version of Aristophanes' "Clouds" opened at the Poor Alex Theatre in Toronto, and, buoyed by almost universally positive reviews, ran for 15 months before embarking on a national tour of Canada. Sunshine went to Japan in 1999 to pursue studies in Noh and Kabuki Theatre. On September 1st, 2008, Sunshine was accepted as an apprentice to the great Rakugo storytelling Master, Katsura Bunshi VI and received the name Katsura Sunshine. Sunshine received his professional debut in Singapore the following year, and completed his three-year Rakugo apprenticeship in November, 2011. Sunshine is the first ever Western Rakugo storyteller in the history of the "Kamigata" Rakugo tradition, based in Osaka, and only the second ever in the history of Japan. Sunshine has performed in Singapore, the United States and Canada, London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Oxford, Paris, Sydney, Adelaide, Canberra, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Thailand, Nepal, Ghana, Senegal, Gabon, South Africa, as well as throughout Japan. He currently divides his time between London and Tokyo. Sunshine has been appointed Cultural Ambassador for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan, and Friendship Ambassador for Japan and the Republic of Slovenia. He was also Artist in Residence at The Forge Venue in Camden, London.

Katsura Sunshine has performed around the world and has been called "Highly unique and hilarious! Not to be missed!" Camden New Journal, London; "Sunshine is one of a kind! Literally!" Islington Tribune, London; "Hilarious! Singularly Japanese and universally funny!"-The Edinburgh Reporter; "Blinding pace! Mastery of mime and physical comedy! Sheer enthusiasm and energy! It's infectious!" UK Anime Network; "Hilarious, universally funny!" This Is London Magazine; "Sunshine is a must-see!" - Japan Journal, UK; "The most I've laughed all year!" -Japan Journal (UK); "Hurray! Hurray for Sunshine!" -Nikka Times, Canada; "Sunshine has them laughing in the aisles!" - Edinburgh Evening News; "Charming! Engaging! Charismatic!" - Broadway Baby; "Drop-Dead funny!" - Metropolis, Japan; "An onstage dynamo!" -The Calgary Herald; "Japan's answer to stand-up comedy!" - CTV National News; "Fantastic! A sight to behold! Too much fun!" - CBC Radio, Canada

Creative Team includes: Set design by Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams, light design and production management by Ayumu Poe Saegusa, sound design by Hidenori Nakajo, company manager is Marie Fukuda, stage management supervisor is Mariko Takizawa, and the production stage manager is Mariah Plante.


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