Tuesday, December 11, 2012
THE FANTASTICKS IS FANTASTIC! Akira Takarada Returns to Nakatsugawa in Style!
Tonight (December 11) marked the end of this particular run of The Fantasticks in Japan. After traveling all over Japan (including Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Kyushu), the stage musical ended its run in my town of Nakatsugawa. Suffice it to say, I made sure to be there!
For sale at the event were a couple of CDs, including a 1964 recording of Annie Get Your Gun (which, naturally, starred Mr. Takarada) and a slick program booklet, which featured some great photos from the '71 run of The Fantasticks. Looking through them, I was surprised to see Hideyo (King Kong Escapes, Godzilla's Revenge) Amamoto among the '71 cast! I snapped these up in a hurry.
The play was an absolute delight. However, I must say that the absolute highlight was when Takarada-san called my name from the stage. After the performance wrapped, Takarada-san thanked the cast and crew and then introduced some folks from the audience, in whose company I was surprised to find myself! Once I stood up and waved to him, Takarada-san mentioned the school I work for (!) and, well, basically left me in amazement. As the theater was emptying, Mr. Takarada's assistant brought our group (including Michael Field) backstage for this meeting. Good times!
Takarada-san signed all of our program books, discussed his next production, and just proved once again how much he cares about his fans. Takarada-san never ceases to amaze me!
Although The Fantasticks was the first stage play I've seen in Japan, I certainly hope it isn't the last. And if it stars Akira Takarada, I'll do whatever necessary to attend. Arigato gozaimasu, Takarada-sama!