Sunday, March 6, 2016

MONSTER KIDS AND MONSTER STARS! A New Dracula Play Debuts in Tokyo!

On Sunday, March 6, I attended a performance of a play in Tokyo called "Endless Love with Dracula," which mixes comedy, horror, and action in an amusing way. What was most interesting to me, however, was that two of the principal cast members were kaiju eiga stars.

Actor Masaaki Daimon (Godzilla vs. MechagodzillaTerror of Mechagodzilla) played the antagonist, a vicious vampire who does battle with good-guy Dracula. (As you can imagine, this was a completely different take on the Dracula mythos!) After the show, Yasushi and I had a brief conversation with Daimon-san, but given that he was swamped with admirers, we had to keep it rather short. (I hope the photo taken of all of us together gets sent to me soon!)

Actor Masanori Machida played a comic-relief police detective in the new play. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Former child actor (and current voice actor) Masanori Machida led the supporting cast as an over-the-top police detective who's in way over his head.

Who exactly is Machida-san, you ask? He played none other than Saki, the little island boy, in Gappa the Triphibian Monster (a.k.a. Monster from a Prehistoric Planet, 1967)! These days, Machida-san is a busy actor who does a lot of voice work, but he still does traditional acting roles.

Yasushi and I had a great time chatting with him after the show, and (needless to say) he was surprised to find that an American was familiar with his work. We had a lot of fun with the "Gappa, Gappa angry! Angry!" line from the dubbed version!

All in all, it was a fun afternoon spent with two kaiju eiga stars I grew up admiring. It was a blast to meet Machida-san since I've always had a soft spot for Gappa. The play itself was entertaining and contained some funny pop culture references. Oh, and I guarantee you that the Spanish version of this play isn't better! (Hm, I wonder if it'll be up for a Rondo next year...)

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