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25 July 2010 @ 10:33 pm
Romeo & Juliette  
It's an entertaining show. It's a spectacle. It's... pop and hip-hop dancing and crazy hair and a lot of gimmickry, okay.

I spent a good portion of the first act thinking how much it pandered to the new generation and wasn't quite worth all the hype... But by the time it was finished I felt like I had seen something good and decent.

It's still Romeo and Juliet, and all that entails. It's still the story of two innocents who "fall in love at first sight", make very ill-informed decisions and die tragically. The moral of the story is really that they teach their families to stop fighting (aka "make love not war, and by the way you are crappy parents").

It's... really, really not my thing to watch Takarazuka top stars be bright-eyed teenagers who are all naively, stupidly ♥♥♥In Wuv♥♥♥.

But hey, a lot of the big group scenes are great, and there are a lot of really awesome seito in Hoshigumi☆ I agree with people who say this cast was basically hand-picked.

My favorite person was... Shirahana Remi, the Nurse! She was brilliant and mysteriously believable despite the "fat suit" on the one hand and her thin, 20-something face on the other. Her mannerisms were just right and her role as the Voice of Reason, the world-weary adult who still kind of wants to believe in True Love was the best for me. The Nurse's solo is so necessary in my opinion and I'm so afraid they're going to cut it for Yukigumi.

My second favorite person was REI MAKOTO, LOVE. (Actual Love, that was her character you know.) So much amazing dancing. So amazing. So much the embodiment of an abstract concept and not too heavy-handed like Death. (I'm sorry I couldn't really watch Makaze; just her very existence was too clichéd even if her dances were sometimes cool.) BUT LOVE. SO PRETTY. I'm kind of sad she's actually an otokoyaku! In any case Koto, I am watching you *___*

My third favorite people were Doi-chan and Mariya, because they were absurdly awesome background people on a constant basis.

Beni was my favorite person during her death scene (OMG actual acting among all of the over-the-top-ness??), and Toyoko was my favorite person when she did her Oh God I Have to Give My Best Friend Really Bad News song. (Actually Toyoko was kind of perfect everywhere, but I was distracting myself with other Montagues. Beni was mostly... Beni ;)

Special mentions go to Senju Haru for totally tricking me into thinking she was she was an actual musumeyaku and/or Hatsuse Yuka momentarily... Shiotsuki Shuu and no one should have to ask why, with those cheekbones and that hair... And Kisaragi Ren, who blew me away because she has literally become Ayami Haya 2.0, Now with More Sugar.

And Hiroka Yuu and Murasaki Rira (Red Team), just because 95ths!♥ And Otosaki Itsuki and Kisaki Airi (pageboy types), because 96ths!♥

OH and Junna she was perfect, PERFECT as the Prince of Verona.

OH GOD and Koro-chan and Kawai Mizuho, that part at the end with the two mothers was the only place I thought I might cry. Also Koro-chan I'm sorry I ever doubted you, you were SO Lady Capulet and those things you did to Kaname were totally illegal.

Kaname. Was tall and hot and a rock star and stuff! Her "I Am Tybalt" song was completely ridiculous (if not quite as ridiculous as Chie's "I'm Afraid" song)! I found myself feeling a little bad for Tybalt, because he has to deal with all that creepy stuff from his aunt plus being in a family that's full of hate and hey who's to say he didn't have a chance with his cousin, they did that back then. And actually her song that was not the I Am Tybalt Song was really sexy, with all those musumeyaku and such ♥

Chie and Nene... Like I said, it was just hard for me to watch them. They did exactly what they were supposed to, they became Innocent Teenagers In Love to the fullest -- it's just that that turned me off. Especially with Nene. Her voice is okay now, but she's still very much not my style so -- no. Chie... sang really well? And had the depth of a high school student? Kind of a waste of her acting skills.

But at the same time I kept thinking to myself, I respect them for going all the way there, because it's looking like this show will be The Next Big Thing and in general Chie and Nene seem to be the money-making dream couple of the company. So, I say, fine then.

I can now kind of see it with Kimu.

I can now kind of see it with... Ami-chan. Because hey if Juliette is 16 then obviously Ami-chan is the closest in age. It would make the most sense for her to be pure and innocent and naive, with a voice like a clear, ringing bell. (Maybe my protective spirit has built her up in my mind a little, I don't know.)

(And I'm not saying this makes this all right, by the way. Watching R+J actually made me think a lot about how if Takarazuka wants to put on shows like this, they'll HAVE to have stars who are Chie's age and younger.)

I can imagine it with Mimi but really do not want. I was starting to almost accept Mimi because she's getting all grown up, but when she plays Juliette it will just heighten everything I didn't like again.

I can imagine it with Ayucchi, NENE'S SISTER why don't they give her a turn god so unfair on top of the unfairness already.

The rest of the casting for Yukigumi... will require some more thought.

Bottom line is watch this performance for the crack, not for the tops! Which is basically what I do with every show now anyway.
 
 
Current Mood: okayokay
 
 
 
Fyrefyrie on July 25th, 2010 03:09 pm (UTC)
I'm so curious about this show since I saw it live in Hungary and it made me fall head over heels for Mercutio. Mind you, that might just have been their fae, gleeful, mischievous red-haired sprite of a Peter Pan they had playing him (while his wife was playing Juliet and one of the random Montagues was married to Tybalt). I really can't wait to see how Beni works with the character :D Oh, and Ema Naoki as Laurence! I was so pleased when she got that role (Alas, Romeo and Juliet as characters bore me silly, so tend to skip their bits for the group bits...)
Julie: alice dorothy naughtywao_wao on July 25th, 2010 03:12 pm (UTC)
Alas, Romeo and Juliet as characters bore me silly, so tend to skip their bits for the group bits...

So it's not just me ^^;;;
(no subject) - fyrie on July 25th, 2010 03:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Beth Winter: neil gaimanbwinter on July 25th, 2010 03:26 pm (UTC)
I agree that Romeo and Juliette in this musical are written very forgettably ~_~ Juliette can do something neat during the women-only songs, depending on casting, but Romeo is hopeless. The best roles are Tybalt, Benvolio and Mercutio, with Nurse close after them.
michiru42: Maa-chan and Kashimichiru42 on July 25th, 2010 04:51 pm (UTC)
*claps for Remi* Yay, Remi! Remi love!

Was Juliet 16 in this version? I know Shakespeare wrote her to be either 13 or 14, but I guess 16 is more palatable for modern audiences.

And, ooh! How was Otohana Yuri as evil mom? Did she get to have an affair? I hear she got to have an affair in one of the foreign versions of this musical. I figured they'd cut it, but since she's so awesome, I was hoping, hee.
Julie: alice kochou arrowswao_wao on July 26th, 2010 01:38 am (UTC)
Was Juliet 16 in this version?

Yeah, I can't think of any modern production that's meant to appeal to the masses making Juliet younger than 16. (She does say it in a song.)

How was Otohana Yuri as evil mom? Did she get to have an affair?

She got to have a really creepy, obsessive attraction to her nephew Tybalt. ^^;; Which of course he tries to pretend doesn't exist. In any case Koro-chan was really powerful for being not *that* old; she pretty much convinced me she was Nene's mom.
(no subject) - michiru42 on July 26th, 2010 02:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
Steph: chika2x_poorrudolf_x on July 25th, 2010 07:54 pm (UTC)
I agree with everything you said about Teru! <3 I absolutely adore her as Tybalt, even though the "I am Tybalt" song is kind of hilarious XP I think Teru!Tybalt is my main reason for liking this show, although I really do like all the characters~~ 'Specially Yurika as Death (and her resemblance to Mizu scares me a bit), Beni!Mercutio, and Toyoko!Benvolio >w< <3
Julie: kazu thinkwao_wao on July 26th, 2010 03:53 am (UTC)
I absolutely adore her as Tybalt, even though the "I am Tybalt" song is kind of hilarious XP

Oh! Were you here, did you see it?? ^^

'Specially Yurika as Death (and her resemblance to Mizu scares me a bit)

It's what totally turns me off to her. ^^;;; This may not be true, but in my head I'm all "people only like you because you look like Mizu!" and the Death thing only makes it 10 times more blatant >.>;;;
(no subject) - x_poorrudolf_x on July 26th, 2010 10:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - wao_wao on July 27th, 2010 01:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
A fascination frantic in a ruin that's romantic: Misuzu Akishirabyoshi on July 25th, 2010 09:20 pm (UTC)
Ah, a cocktail of everything I dislike about this newer, younger, "modernised" Takarazuka we've been getting lately. Just what I was afraid of. :( And even if I avoid the Hoshigumi version, I'm going to have to sit through the Yukigumi one, because Mattsu will be in it. Why, God, why?

Edited at 2010-07-26 12:48 am (UTC)
arlecchinic on July 25th, 2010 11:04 pm (UTC)
It's... really, really not my thing to watch Takarazuka top stars be bright-eyed teenagers who are all naively, stupidly ♥♥♥In Wuv♥♥♥.

Because they're too old or too jaded by company politics? Or you're too jaded by company politics?

I agree with people who say this cast was basically hand-picked.

And that's why it won't be as good as a Daigeki, just saying (again).

I'm sorry I couldn't really watch Makaze

I loved Makaze so much. I couldn't stop laughing <-

My third favorite people were Doi-chan and Mariya, because they were absurdly awesome background people on a constant basis.

True this! :D

Beni was my favorite person during her death scene (OMG actual acting among all of the over-the-top-ness??)

I, TOO, WAS SURPRISED TO SEE ACTUAL SKILLS FROM KURENAI YUZURU.

Toyoko was my favorite person when she did her Oh God I Have to Give My Best Friend Really Bad News song.

Did she go high did she go high please tell me she went high.

Special mentions go to Senju Haru for totally tricking me into thinking she was she was an actual musumeyaku and/or Hatsuse Yuka momentarily...

..... NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT OH MY GOD.

And Kisaragi Ren, who blew me away because she has literally become Ayami Haya 2.0, Now with More Sugar.

*ten million thumbs up*

Otosaki Itsuki and Kisaki Airi (pageboy types), because 96ths!♥

96THS ♥!

Koro-chan and Kawai Mizuho, that part at the end with the two mothers was the only place I thought I might cry.

I CRIED. ...That's not surprising, but still worth mentioning!

Also Koro-chan I'm sorry I ever doubted you, you were SO Lady Capulet and those things you did to Kaname were totally illegal.

YES THIS OH MY GOD. But Kaname did get a laugh out of me when she threw the rose back, ALTHOUGH, when Nene and Remi get all giggly about it does that mean that they KNOW, and if so, Nene, the correct response to your mum's crush on your cousin IS NOT CUTE GIGGLING.

And actually her song that was not the I Am Tybalt Song was really sexy,

The Mariya in that song was really sexy. I suppose Kaname was also in that scene somewhere <-----

Chie and Nene...

OH, JULIE. I love how we feel differently about everything except Sumika. Because they totally, totally worked for me, more than any other romance in any show has lately. Since... I actually just pulled up last year's schedule to check, and honestly probably since 'My dear' which surprises even me. Admittedly a lot of the romance plots in the past year have been pretty ordinary and anyway I'm getting off the point, which was just that it really worked for me. (And I want to swear that it's not troupe bias, but it might be, but I don't think it is, because, really, look at last year's schedule.) (What was your favourite romance of 2009, by the way?)

Of course, I do love Nene's style. I love, love her when she's being cutesy and I'm glad she got a chance to do that, because I love it more than her Therese, and probably more than her Carmen (<- not that I've seen it yet). Also, a couple of gestures and things where at first I thought, "That's pretty cutesy, even for you, Yumesaki," I realised the second and third time that that's exactly how I acted when I was 16 and in love, though whether that says more about Nene's acting ability or my ridiculousness, I'm not sure.

But, as you may remember from Taiou! I think that one of the strengths of this combi is the ability to be convincingly young and foolish. I know that Chie can do more, and I like to see her do more, but lately I've been really into cute, innocent Chie, so basically this show was my favourite Chie and my favourite Nene, so okay maybe it is just personal bias, but I think there was still more to it than that.

But I'm going to shut up because oh my God longest comment, I'm sorry.

I can imagine it with Ayucchi, NENE'S SISTER why don't they give her a turn god so unfair on top of the unfairness already.

Because someone has to be shinko Juliet to Gaori's Romeo. DON'T LET ME DOWN, COMPANY.

I was going to say more about 'this kind of show', but comment was too long so I took that as a Sign.
arlecchinic on July 25th, 2010 11:06 pm (UTC)
OH MY GOD THE LONGEST COMMENT. When will I learn to actually make posts instead of just spamming people's comments?

(Also, pretend I added something about being truer to the popular image of R+J than the actual text and Takarazuka and its world of dreams because I meant to.)
(no subject) - wao_wao on July 26th, 2010 01:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
Julie: alice katherine writewao_wao on July 26th, 2010 12:53 am (UTC)
Because they're too old or too jaded by company politics?

Because they're too old!! Top stars =/= teenagers, period!!

(...............Yet. T________________T)

I love Re-re in Trafalgar when she plays a child, because she is a ken-5 and also a *secondary character* (tertiary character?) and the sweetness and the innocence act as a foil for the stupid, complicated adults' lives. I can take that in small doses.

(This does not in any way mean Trafalgar is better than R+J; between the two RomiJuli probably wins.)

But I saw Chie being a Bright, Blue-eyed Shounen and said "not the Chie I liked -____-".

There's no way to say it other than "it turns me off", I guess. It's hard for me to put up with stories about teenagers these days (I think I mentioned this to you re: books?) and I just can't swallow love at first sight when it's THIS blatant.

On to more squee-ful things!

Did she go high did she go high please tell me she went high.

She went high :D ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I, TOO, WAS SURPRISED TO SEE ACTUAL SKILLS FROM KURENAI YUZURU.

Of the things I would watch this show again for, that was one of them☆

..... NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT OH MY GOD.

IT WAS THE FIRST THING I THOUGHT I was like "I know that one! :D ...Wait o_O;;;"

But Kaname did get a laugh out of me when she threw the rose back

It was funny because the rose seemed weighted, so it looked pretty unrealistic the way it dropped to the ground / flew back to Koro-chan's hand. ^^;;;

ALTHOUGH, when Nene and Remi get all giggly about it does that mean that they KNOW, and if so, Nene, the correct response to your mum's crush on your cousin IS NOT CUTE GIGGLING.

Yeah not thinking about this >.>;;;

The Mariya in that song was really sexy. I suppose Kaname was also in that scene somewhere <-----

I SAW. BELIEVE ME, I SAW. But I was trying to say *something* for the Kaname fans.

What was your favourite romance of 2009, by the way?

Of ANY show, definitely Phoenix Wright, definitely. (You only saw #2?) If I'm limited to Daigeki then... Probably My Dear, yeah >.>;;

though whether that says more about Nene's acting ability or my ridiculousness, I'm not sure.

Both? That's what I tried to say at the end -- at least they なり切った with it because otherwise the production might not have worked as well. They did what they were supposed to and they did it with all their might, it's just that I can't sympathize with characters whose eyes are glassy and reflect one emotion at a time like HOPE or WUV or こわいぃぃ and I'm just like, yeah, can't get into that. :\

Because someone has to be shinko Juliet to Gaori's Romeo. DON'T LET ME DOWN, COMPANY.

Oh, true that! IT HAD BETTER BE HER.

Also, pretend I added something about being truer to the popular image of R+J than the actual text and Takarazuka and its world of dreams because I meant to.

This whole show is the popular image, the popular music and the popular dancing etc etc?

(Out of order) And that's why it won't be as good as a Daigeki, just saying (again).

It really won't; I ran through options in my head and someone(s) is bound to get significantly snubbed. Unless they do more role-switches, which oh god they actually might.

(Sorry for all the edits; I hope I hit the most important points of your Longest Comment Ever ♥)

Edited at 2010-07-26 01:33 am (UTC)
(no subject) - arlecchinic on July 26th, 2010 01:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
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「日本に早く笑顔が戻ることを心から願ってます。」: Kachazabeth <3fubusan on July 26th, 2010 12:02 am (UTC)
I'm going to play the devil's advocate here and say that, for Chie and Nene's defense, they had not so many ways to play their characters given the original musical.

It also explains the show being all about pop/hip-hop dancing and such. That's pretty much how every single musical works in France. (Take a look at this and you'll have understood everything -even if I rather liked this musical-). The main goal of these musicals is to sell and so they only nearly aim at the (pre)teens public.
I just hoped Takarazuka would turn it in a bit more mature thing.
I've always respected the company's choice in matter of big western musicals adaptations.
"Elisabeth", "The Scarlet Pimpernel", they' were both great shows. But, I have to admit, when they made an announcement about playing the french "Roméo et Juliette" , I knew something like that was going to happen. Both characters and songs are empty in this musical. To save it must have been a real challenge for both actresses and staff.
So, I blame it all on the original musical ! xD
(if you want to play a french musical, play "Notre-Dame de Paris", goddamn ! -ok this is never going to happen...-)

Now, I don't know about Yukigumi. I think Kimu could fit the "teenager stupidly in love" even better than Chie.
Also, thank you Julie, for allaying my gut anger towards Ami. Seeing things from this point of view, I can more or less accept it. Or at least I can face it a bit more easily.
Julie: alice kochou arrowswao_wao on July 26th, 2010 01:04 am (UTC)
for Chie and Nene's defense, they had not so many ways to play their characters given the original musical.

So, I blame it all on the original musical !


Which is why I don't have to like it, as a musical! ^_^ As I said I respect the actresses. But as you said, the characters are empty. :\

Also, thank you Julie, for allaying my gut anger towards Ami.

It's one of my new goals in life, to make people not hate Ami-chan ♥

Edited at 2010-07-26 01:05 am (UTC)
(no subject) - arlecchinic on July 26th, 2010 01:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - wao_wao on July 26th, 2010 03:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - wao_wao on July 26th, 2010 04:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
Es ist Zeit zu Leben.: Kaname & Nene // Capuletviolet_tango on July 26th, 2010 09:20 am (UTC)
Thank you for your report. ♥ ♥ ♥

I totally see your point about Nene and Chie in such roles, but having *that* Kaname, I am totally able to not care if top couple got my favourite kind of top couple roles. ♥♥♥
(Although I have to admit, I like Romeo and Juliette in the french version of the play.)

Actually, it's quite interesting to get a not-hoshi-fan opinion on the play, and I am so happy that Remi!nurse turned out so wonderful, as I hoped that much it would. ♥♥♥
*throws in more hearts just because* ♥♥♥
Julie: alice reimei generalwao_wao on July 26th, 2010 03:07 pm (UTC)
^_^;; ♥ I feel pretty self-conscious for being all "meh, it was alright" after all the Hoshi fans have been THIS SHOW IS AMAZING. Like I'm letting people down or something. >.>;;; But this is my journal and my opinions, after all...
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