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21 May 2009 @ 11:41 pm
Stay Gold  
Well, the good thing about going to an early dinner show that's over by 7:00PM is that I can come home and make a report tonight.

The other good thing about going to the early show as opposed to the later "cocktail show" is that the dinner show is apparently the one that all the Takarasiennes go to. :D :D

I think I'll just copy and paste the entire Soragumi seito list and then delete the names of the people who WEREN'T there.

Kotobuki Tsukasa, Suzuna Saya, Ayazono Yuki, Yuumi Hiro, Suzu Haruki, Hokushou Kairi, Kazari Jin, Toki Irisu, Oomi Ako, Karin Moyuru, Mimaki Sakyou, Hanakage Arisu, Houshou Dai, Ayane Raira, Hasumi Yuuya, Junya Chitose, Himiya Sakura, Maiki Ayumi, Aihana Chisaki, Kashou Naoto, Nanami Hiroki, Moeno Riria, Miyabi Ouka, Mikage Rin, Kanon Mai, Kotoha Sakurako, Amakaze Ibuki, Fujisaki Eri, Ayase Akina, Sumiki Sayato, Yuino Kanari, Kazami Keito and Sakurane Rei.

Yes, I positively identified roughly 40% of Soragumi in attendance. And those are just the ones I know for *certain* were there; I'm sure I didn't catch everyone (but I doubt I would have missed Tani or Tomu). Considering 10 members of Soragumi were on the stage, that makes 50% of them in the same room. ^__________^

Retired Soragumisei in attendance: Otono Izumi, Jun Aira.

Non-Soragumisei in attendance: Hanagata Hikaru, Nono Sumika, (maybe some other Hanagumisei I didn't catch), Kizuki Yuuma, Kotoka Chino...

...And actually TONS more ken-1s / tiny babies; there were just too many to look at them all.

Most of the Soragumisei sat together at tables along the second row. (Sumika was also sitting up there with some Soragumi 91sts.) But lots of people came late, too... Micchan sat two tables away from me (o_O), and then Mitsuru and whoever else, plus Tara-chan, Rin-chan, Eri-chan and a crapload of babies came in after the dinner course, just to see the show. They sat in rows of chairs placed behind all of the tables, around the video cameras and techie people.

There were 45 tables seating 9 people each; maybe 25 more people in chairs to total an approximate 430 guests all told? I was in the second-to-last row, table 37 (Micchan = table 39). I heard someone say once that they thought ordering dinner show tickets through a fan club wouldn't get them the best seats, but I saw one of the Eriko club members I know sitting at table 5, in the first row.

Anyway, if I blather on at this rate I'll never get to the actual show. ;) So I'll skip the dinner portion (fancy shmancy stuff with French names)... I kind of ate on autopilot anyway, and snuck glances at Alice-chan / other Soragumisei when I could.

Dinner was from 5:00PM to 6:00PM, and then the entertainment began with...

The opening song to Ihatov Dream, with Ume-chan as Ameyuki. Blowing a whistle. Then she bounced and skipped through the audience, right past me at one point (this happened two more times; depending on the camera angles there's a high chance that I'll be on the CS recording >.>;;;). The babies onstage (Aiko, Tonica, Monchi, Aa-chan) were actually singing; everything Ume-chan "said" was prerecorded speech being played, so she never moved her mouth. (I presume this was the same way her character was treated in "Ihatov".) Ameyuki exhorted us not to use any video cameras or flash photography because it would be very distracting to the performers.

Once on the stage she blew her whistle again and ran off, and the babies began singing "Stay Gold". The otokoyaku were in gray tuxes with white shirts; the musumeyaku were in one of the many variations of Those Purple Dresses (sleeveless, high-necked black sheen top showing dark purple underneath, lavender skirt).

Then Eriko came out wearing a white button-up shirt, black slacks and a belt -- like on the poster. Masami soon followed, and then Ume-chan. The shirts were not starchly pressed, but made of a slightly thicker, softer-looking material.

The lyrics to "Stay Gold" are about walking forward and always remembering to shine, etc.

After the song was over the three main cast members introduced themselves, and there was a short MC bit, and Masami said something about "Ume wasn't always in Soragumi..." And Ume-chan was like "but we all have something in common...

BERUBARA!!!"

The four chorus members came out carrying mirrors, pink shanshans with candles in them... and blonde pageboy wigs.

And yes, the three of them put them on.

Masami went first, and they teased her how it was strange to be putting a wig on over a wig (again, her hair was basically like it is on the poster). Ume-chan went next, and murmured "mirror, mirror on the wall..." as she adjusted it.

And then... Eriko.

"As a ken-11... I'm putting on this thing back on..."

We laughed and laughed and laughed. She was the most giant and ridiculous Noble Boy ever.

And they sang "Goran Nasai" like that. BEST GORAN NASAI EVER.

The chorus had already left; when the song was over Masami and Ume-chan dashed off; Eriko ripped off her wig, fixed her hair and sang "You Are My Lucky Star" -- but not from AmeUta, from The Beauties! (Ume-chan's hatsubutai performance). Near the end of the number Eriko was on the left side of the stage and Ume-chan came up the middle in a red dress... doing rockette moves. (Running in place and bringing her knees up really high like they do when they go across the ginkyou.) Eriko left, and the music changed as if they would continue on to the next song...

...But then Eriko came right back out again as Roscoe calling "CUT!!!". She had on that black hat with a bit of curly hair attached to the front, and glasses, but no mustache. ;) Ume-chan stopped, and Eriko spoke to her in the Talking to Lina Like a Baby voice, and was all "you can't do rockette moves, Ume" and she was like "but I wanted to" and Eriko was like "this is 'Stay Gold' the dinner show, not a rockette" and Ume-chan said "baka mitai" and Eriko said to the audience, "baka mitai da neeee~" and we all laughed. Roscoe!Eriko then convinced Ume-chan to sing her song properly.

"And what key is it in?"
"A flat."
"Noooo..."
"*pouts* ...D flat."

Eriko left and Ume-chan sang the real "You Are My Lucky Star". The first stage of her "revenge", getting to do songs from AmeUta again...

When she finished Masami came to the middle in a pink one-sleeved gown singing "Beautiful Girl". Ume-chan, Aiko and Aa-chan danced. Pretty soon Eriko came back in a black sparkly tux with a red velvet vest and sang Dai-chan's part better then Dai-chan did ahaha. Key change and upping the tempo, we transitioned into "Good Morning" (sans tap-dancing) -- only part of it, before it changed again to a "Temptation" dance number. At one point Eriko left the stage and Ume-chan and Masami danced at each other, then Masami left and Eriko came back to dance with Ume-chan.

Next, the lights went down, Ume-chan and Masami disappeared, and Eriko sang "Where in the World". Ngh. ;______;

Then Ume-chan came back in a yellow and green dress, a long, straight wig with gold decorations and sang "Egypt wa Tsuyoi". With all the silly, robotic movements. Aiko and Aa-chan accompanied. Then the chorus left and she sang "Sekai ni Motomu" (if you can't guess or don't know, both are from A Song for Kingdoms).

After that was "Muei to Karen ~ Hoshi o Tsugu Mono" from Ryuusei. Walking through the audience. Not as close to me this time.

There was a screen on the right side of the stage, and I think several times they showed pictures from the performance a song was from. This may have been one of those times... or it may have been only at the beginning and the end. I don't know, I was watching the actual people.

Ume-chan finished her song at the back of the hall; when the lights went out she exited through the nearest set of doors and Masami appeared on stage in a black, spaghetti-strapped gown and black gloves to sing "Innocent Love" (that song from Age of Innocence that I didn't know the name of). It transitioned seamlessly into "Wakaremichi" (Never Sleep).

The song ends with the line "I have to go now..." At that point Ume-chan came on in a red velvet dress that was probably one of her costumes from Fete Imperial. She said something like "you can't go now, you have to stay", and they did a very short MC commenting on the nostalgic-ness of the songs they'd been singing, and Masami said something like "back then we were both still just little mice..." Which was the segue into "Nezumi". They sang this together, and then Masami left and Ume-chan sang "Fete Imperial".

The lights went down again... and Eriko came out of the back doors... singing "Time After Time" from Hotel Stella Maris. White suit decorated with showers of blue rhinestones, blue satin shirt underneath. Passed just inches away from me. Stood there for what felt like an eternity but was actually only a few seconds.

While she was still standing among the tables (*cough* around the one where Alice-chan was sitting *cough*) the song changed to "Butai" from Understudy. When she got back onto the stage, the four chorus members were her backup singers.

Then Masami came out... in the dress O-Hana wore in the Neo Voyage pair dance. I tried to convince myself at first that it wasn't, but... Yes. Masami. O-Hana's dress. Pair dancing with Eriko.

;_______________________;

The music was a swanked-out version of "Copacabana", which they explained afterwards was chosen because it was their line dance song. I don't remember if there was more to the MC, but then they talked about Ume-chan when she first entered Soragumi, and her nickname was...

"Otemba Tenshi (Agnes)". She performed it in the fancy gold ballerina outfit. The four chorus members accompanied. (I feel bad that even with Monchi among them I spent so little time looking at the chorus, but the show wasn't about them.)

Then.

...Then.

The courtroom music from Phoenix Wright started playing.

...Edgeworth!Eriko came out.

We screamed and laughed and cried. (Or at least I did.)

Edgeworth!Eriko tried to put Agnes!Ume-chan on trial for being an accomplice to the criminal deeds of the Phantom Thief Lupin. Leona!Masami came to her defense, asking if Edgeworth had any evidence. Eriko shouted "kurae!" and a picture of Lupin!Tani and Agnes!Ume-chan went up on the screen.

I laughed and laughed and laughed and cried and cried and cried.

At one point Ume-chan called out "objection!" and everyone was like "...?" and she replied, "I just wanted to try saying it. :P"

Then she said, "just sing your song already! That's what you came out here for, right?" And Eriko was like, "...Yeah."

So Eriko sang "Watashi no Rule". Monchi and Tonica as backup dancers (not in mini-Edgeworth costumes). Ume-chan left but Masami stayed around and did some of the moves Tomu had done.

I covered my mouth and stifled my sobs as best I could.

Edits: Now that I think about it, it seems like Masami sang part of Leona's song "Shinjiteiru" after that, but it's not in the program's set list...

Ume-chan's second revenge came next. She sang two songs from the two halves of the show she never got to perform in -- "Hitomebore" from Reimei, and the theme song from Passion ~Ai no Tabi~. She was in a sparkly silver dress. During "Passion", Masami came out in a darker gray dress and Eriko appeared in a gray tux and a red satin shirt with a high, black collar. She danced with Ume-chan for part of it while Masami sang. The chorus members were also in gray-ish costumes.

Transition to "New Life!" The Paradise Prince image appeared on the screen. They did the dance with the clapping bit and everything. So cute.

Then there was another MC, they probably said things like "did you enjoy the show" and "we definitely had fun", and Ume-chan explained that she had chosen a song that was very special to her for the last number.

"Fantasista Reborn" from Sora Fantasista.

I may have cried or I may have sung along... or both.

The three of them came through the audience. When Eriko went by Masako and Chiya-nee, they waved really enthusiastically at her and she waved back.

Then when she got around to Micchan, Micchan reached out and shook her hand -- both of them doing a really exaggerated two-hand shake and grinning really widely.

Masami went right past me. Thus they all were within inches of me at some point during the show.

They ran back up to the stage and used the dance interlude section to introduce the band (Takarazuka New Sounds). When Eriko called out the name of the bass player and he did his solo, Ume-chan kicked one leg up and played air guitar on it.

Then they actually did the dance part, and finished the number, and it was basically over.

...Only not, because we all knew there would be an encore. But to give them time to prepare, they played a video montage on the screen first. Mostly I remember pictures of Eriko, Masami and other TMS students holding ice cream and hugging each other and things, and kimono!Ume-chan posing with TimeSpirit!Osa, and then after that it was just a parade of stage photos that I've seen and/or have.

When Ume-chan was ready again, she came out in her pink/purple/red Hallelujah Go! Go! dress and sang one of the slow songs from that show. Afterward, Masami and Eriko returned in the white shirts and black slacks and they reprised "Stay Gold". Maybe with the chorus members too.

The last MC was about "please keep supporting us until the last day in Tokyo, and after that please keep supporting our cute chorus members who have so much still ahead of them", etc. They talked a little bit about Mura raku, and Ume-chan said that she'd gotten a little emotional when Eriko's name was called for speeches, and a lot of the audience members had obviously been crying too. Eriko said when the curtain was finally going down, she looked up and all around, trying to drink in the atmosphere of the Grand Theater one last time and burn it into her memory. Masami said her moment was when they were singing "Takarazuka Forever" and going across the ginkyou, and then went back and looked at all the faces of everyone on the stage... Ume-chan agreed, repeating some of the lyrics to "Takarazuka Forever" and somehow they all got around to crooning "Takarazuka fooooooooreveeeerrrrr".

They did their thanks and bows (they must have introduced the chorus members before this), and then they all left except Ume-chan, who bowed and waved more and I found myself whispering "don't go, don't go, don't go" ... But she left and I was crying.

They did one more curtain call and said "come see us in Tokyo" and bowed again and waved again and I whispered "don't go, don't go, don't go".

But they did. And it was over.

Then came the slow exodus of spectators and seito. Unlike in theater performances, the stars didn't try to rush out and avoid the crowd. They walked slowly and aisatsu'd various people and I just wanted to catch Alice-chan's eye but almost ran into Masako and Ecchan. And everybody. Then they stood in a big group just outside the doors and talked and people stared and then they streamed off in smaller groups. Alice-chan was wiping at her eyes and I probably didn't look so cheerful myself when I nodded to her.

O'young found me after the show and we rode the train together most of the way home. She told me a few things about Tani's dinner show and I said we might see each other again on the last day in Tokyo, but who knows.

That took me about 3 hours to dictate out.
 
 
Current Mood: indescribableindescribable
 
 
 
lliri_blanc: Ahi/Machamilliri_blanc on May 21st, 2009 03:19 pm (UTC)
Wow, thanks for taking the time to do the report so soon. <3
It really sounds amazing and I'm glad you got the opportunity to go.
Becca: Ume by pam_hikarumuffin_song on May 21st, 2009 03:56 pm (UTC)
LJ ate the comment I just tried to make, so I'll try again:

It makes me really happy to see the taidansha honored this way.

And to think that you were thinking of not going ;)

(I wonder if the other half of soragumi was at the late show? XD)
Mr. 288: [the face you wear]prim on May 21st, 2009 04:14 pm (UTC)
That was simply (heart-achingly) lovely.

Thanks so much for getting that all into words, and for sharing it. Wow.
utena1409: Wao/Mariutena1409 on May 21st, 2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
It sounds like it was a really wonderful show! Though I guess I would have cried most of the time too. T__T
Thanks for taking the time to dictate this all! ;_;

(You HAVE to come to Tokyo! I need someone to cry with!! ;___; And whoever this mysterious O'young is, I suppose she's going to Tokyo? Tell her if she sees the blonde gaijin she is welcome to say hello! XD )
A fascination frantic in a ruin that's romanticshirabyoshi on May 21st, 2009 05:15 pm (UTC)
Now you see why when you were deciding whether to go to this I practically shouted that you had to. Musumeyaku music salons are the most precious performances imaginable. And it sounds as though this one was even more precious than most. I'm so, so happy that you were able to attend it. ♥ ♥ ♥
Ms. Brittladybretagne on May 21st, 2009 06:17 pm (UTC)
*sniffles* It sounds absolutely beautiful and I'm so glad you got to go. God I'm going to miss them all so much.
Proactively Untwist Octagonal Hippopotamus Pants: takarazuka - wao refreshingdramaturgca on May 21st, 2009 07:26 pm (UTC)
Aww... It sounds so beautiful.
kirakira_sora: Eriko Goldkirakira_sora on May 21st, 2009 09:00 pm (UTC)
I think I only got part of the way in before i started sobbing hysterically. In fact I'm still crying like crazy and I can barely see the screen.

I'm so happy you got to go. I don't know what else to say. I can't stop crying.
quinquinquinquin on May 21st, 2009 09:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for putting together such a long report. It sounds wonderful and I love Ume-chan for doing Fête Imperial <3
Jess (Ducky)just_keep_on on May 22nd, 2009 01:59 am (UTC)
Wow.... This sounds incredibly awesome!!! Thanks so much for the detailed report. It sounds like it was a funfunfun time, and soooo much <333 for all the people that came!
cosmos14: raburabucosmos14 on May 22nd, 2009 05:40 am (UTC)
awww that show sounds nice... ^__^
Stephanieskye_fall on May 22nd, 2009 07:30 pm (UTC)
Wow, it sounds like it was such a wonderful show!Thanks for the report, I really enjoyed reading it and I'm so glad you got to see it. <3

I admit, I made it until the Takarazuka Forever part before the tears started coming. TT_TT