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03 April 2010 @ 12:34 am
Je Chante: The Production (Part I)  
Fun stuff! The details! :D

(*edits* With added Asahi picture links.)

I thought about making a separate post for "The Music", but I'll just incorporate it into this one and see how far I get.

The show opens with your classic "hero with a fedora, trenchcoat and suitcase looking back on his past". It goes...

Kacha: I ran away from this city -- this city where I lost you. But the things that are precious to me were always here, in Paris... (probably incomplete but fairly close)

The scrim behind her rises to reveal the movie studio. Everyone does cute poses to the opening music ("Fleur bleue" with different lyrics), and when the set comes to life the other workers go about turning "Future Charles" into "Past Charles". Kuracchi takes the fedora. Akkii divests Kacha of her coat and puts it on herself inside out, then nonchalantly jogs off. (This was performed almost seamlessly every single time, but on maeraku silly Kacha had done up one of the coat buttons and they almost didn't pull it off in time with the music.) Kacha grabs a cap from someone (Yumi-chan?)'s basket, and someone else takes her scarf (Mayu-chan?).

I know I saw this eight times and should know who all the "someones" were, but I was often distracted by Monchi and Koumai. ^^;;;

Monchi brings the chair, paint bucket and brush from offstage. The bucket & brush are tossed down a 4-person sort of "assembly line" to Kacha, with accompanying "wah!"s and a "Yay!!" from Kacha on her successful catch. X3 After her hasty painting of the chair, Monchi takes the bucket & brush back... and ditches them on someone else's prop cart. XDD Juma-chu is like "wtf is this" and Monchi just goes >:) with a really cheeky grin and skips off. XDDDD

Kacha's job at the studio, in addition to props, is clapping the take board. Koumai is the cameraman. Rio-chan has the reflector and umm someone else mans the boom mike (oh! It's Juma-chu).

Aoi-san, Ecchan, Kuu-chan and Tamami-chan are Keiko-san's "yes girls"; the sycophantic assistants scurrying around to fulfill her every wish. Except Tamami-chan always forgets to look when Keiko-san gestures for her cigarette holder, and almost gets her head bitten off by the diva. ;P

Keiko-san herself always does a vocal warm-up before the filming, ending with a shrill high note. The warm-up is usually just nonverbal notes, but when the Drama City cast came to see the show (Mar. 22nd) it was "Shangri-La, Shangri-La", and on maeraku it was "Ah, a cute little bird!" (a reference to something Kacha says earlier).

Koumai the cameraman has to deal with Keiko-san leaning in for an extreme close-up; sometimes she scoots back in a panic and sometimes she stands her ground. Afterward she whines to Keito, threatens to tear up the script, and/or argues with Kuracchi (Kuracchi worships Keiko-san, whereas Koumai is supremely frustrated). After the chair debacle when Kacha goes off to talk with Alice-chan she hands the clapper board to Monchi, who likes to play with it and clap it in front of the unused camera. Koumai scolds her for this, tells her to get rid of the chair and then chases her offstage with the camera. XP

Most of this happens before Alice-chan is onstage anyway, so my eyes weren't disloyally wandering too much. ;P Near the end of Alice-chan's conversation with Kacha she does a really cute "gambatte" pose, as well as saluting when she goes back "on duty" for her mistress.

...That was only the first scene, you guys. ^^;;

Next scene is The College Inn, which is also tons of fun :D Right at the end of the run I finally confirmed that Re-re does wear different earrings every time... but no matter what they're always heart-shaped ones -- SO CUTE ♥ ♥ ♥ Little silver ones, big silver ones with smaller black hearts on the inside, pink and white ones... On maeraku, one ear had yellow inside turquoise and the other had white inside pink, I think X3 She and BonBon do the whole "reading the newspaper to give you a feel for the time period" -- BonBon talks about Hitler, while Re-re is more interested in Josephine Baker.

It's really cute when Kacha comes in all grinny from meeting Alice-chan and BonBon wants to know what it's about... But actually most days I was watching the drunks at the next table XDDD Koumai, J-ko and Keito are the unruly trio. Koumai was always the most fun to watch, and I have a long list of her antics... Sometimes stumbling around and bothering Akkii and Yumi-chan at the front table, waving at Mayu-chan and other girls who didn't really want her attention... But the best was drunk!Koumai being desperately in love with Re-re 8D She often straddled her chair backwards and mooned over the waitress from afar, or gestured angrily for BonBon to stay away from her. A couple of times she was really horrified when Kacha entered the picture as well, and would ask waiter!Mappuu if Re-re was seeing one of them -- or, heaven forbid, *both* ;D (Mappuu assured her that the waitress was just doing her job.) Once I saw Koumai checking herself out in a spoon, and several times she plunged the spoon into her wine glass, stirred it around and/or churlishly ladled out the wine onto the floor.

All three of them had extra rouge on their cheeks to indicate inebriation, and although it seemed improper for a musumeyaku J-ko acted quite plastered as well. On the 28th (2:30PM show) she and Koumai launched a double attack on Mappuu -- Koumai was being overly friendly at first, and then J-ko actually maneuvered the helpless garcon into a chair and sat in her lap XDD Koumai poured her a drink; Mappuu accepted the glass but didn't drink it, just put it back down and escaped nervously once their attention drifted ;D

On maeraku J-ko sat on Koumai's lap -- they'd sometimes had brief, drunken flirtations before, but Koumai always went back to pining over Re-re. :P That day J-ko also swirled a spoon around in her glass.

I feel like I should have more on the drunks, but I think that's about it... Except whatever they were doing, Koumai was always in her chair in time to hook manager!Tomoe as she walked by and ask when the musicians were going to arrive.

Koumai is also the one who suggests that Kacha sing in place of the entertainers who canceled. At first she pulled Kacha by her ear and sounded really angry, but in later performances she delivered the line more silly, just three sheets to the wind. Then she stumbles backwards, catches herself on her table but upsets all the wine bottles and glasses. And then Rio-chan (pretty unsubtly ;P) knocks a wine bottle off of her tray, and that's when Kacha starts to compose "Boum!"

There's also some unsubtle chair-holding and table-steadying by Yumi-chan and Akkii respectively when Kacha jumps up on their table. It reminded me of Casablanca, when Ten-chan and the other customers at La Belle Aurore would hold the tables steady for their can-can dancers... X3 And this is off-topic, but I learned from the Casablanca Now On Stage for Tokyo that Chii-chan was always "casually" leaning against the chess table when Mii-chan tried to kiss Yuuhi... So that nothing got knocked over, I guess ^^;;;

...Wow I'm getting nowhere fast, am I XDD I hope this is entertaining??

"Boum!" itself is of course really fun, a sort of "Lambeth Walk"-esque song and dance with clinking utensils / glasses / bottles (no going down the aisles, though, sadly)... But the next part is one of the best parts, actually ^__________^ Because it's the part where Kacha and Alice-chan stand under the awning and chat and fall in love and are ridiculously cute together ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I wish I could recreate their whole conversation... I wonder if I can, actually...

(This alone took me over an hour but I think it's at least 75% accurate.)

Kacha: It's a good thing we didn't have work today, in this rain.
Alice: With weather this bad, if it hadn't been a day off they would've canceled anyway.
Kacha: Yeah... So what are you doing out this early in the morning with no umbrella?
Alice: On an errand for Mis. I'm more afraid of her temper going sour than the weather turning cloudy.
Kacha: [something disparaging about her mistress]
Alice: I know she acts like that, but Mis is actually a good person.
Kacha: She is?!
Alice: Yes, she's warm and gentle...
Kacha: [some sentiment of disbelief]
Alice: You'll get used to it soon.
Kacha: By the time I get used to it, the filming will be over!
Alice: Probably, yeah
(laughs) Anyway, Charles, what were you doing out in the rain at this hour?
Kacha: What, well... It's a long story.
Alice: Come on, what?
Kacha: Well, I was at this pub I go to a lot, and I remember I was singing, and then...
Alice: Before you knew it, it was morning, huh?
Kacha: Yeah, something like that.
Alice: Hmm... This rain is really terrible, isn't it.
Kacha: Yeah, it's terrible, but I feel fantastic.
Alice: Huh? What's that about?
Kacha: Well, 'cause I got to see you again.
Alice:
(taken aback, blushes and then laughs) You're a really strange person, aren't you.
Kacha:
(still grinning) Am I? (chuckles)
(They watch the rain for a bit.)
Alice: I wonder when it'll clear up. It feels like it'll never stop.
Kacha: There's no such thing as rain that doesn't stop. It'll clear up some time.
Alice: Yes, you're right... It will clear up, won't it?
Kacha: Yeah, it will... sometime.
Alice: But... Right now... I don't want it to stop.
Kacha: Y...yeah... I... feel the same way.
(They slowly turn and glance at each other shyly, then look away again)
Alice: I wonder where the rain comes from, and where it goes.
Kacha: Well, it flows into the Seine.
Alice: And then?
Kacha: Then it flows into the sea!
Alice: And then?
Kacha: And then it travels to different countries! America, India, China...
Alice: That's amazing!
Kacha: Because the rain is free! It can go to all sorts of places that we can't go to. It can even rise up into the sky!
Alice: Then what happens?
Kacha: Then... It falls again... and flows back into the river... and then to the sea again!
Alice:
(starts to giggle, then laughs and clutches her stomach)
Kacha: Is something funny?
Alice: No...
(can't stifle her giggles)
Kacha: You're the strange one.
Alice: Oh, really?
Kacha: Yeah.
(joins in chuckling)
Alice:
(after some time) The sea... does it look like the sky is right now?
Kacha: Not at all! It's more blue and brilliant...
(Alice has a far-away look) Have you never seen it?
Alice: Oh, I have, once. But that time, the sea wasn't blue.
Kacha: It wasn't blue?
Alice: No, it was like this. Dark and gloomy, like it was going to cry.
Kacha: Then let's go -- to see the blue ocean.
Alice: To see... the blue ocean?
Kacha: Yes! My hometown of Narbonne is close to the Mediterranean Sea.
Alice: The Mediterranean--!
Kacha:
(sings) La Mer -- even now, it's the same as it always was...
Alice: La Mer...
Kacha: That's right. The beautiful blue ocean that stretches out as far as the eye can see...


She goes back to singing, and there's a line about La Mer being "blue just like your eyes", and then the music swells and the set pulls apart and the fog pours in and Kacha leads Alice-chan into the cutest and sweetest "falling in love" pair dance ever ever ever.

Ah, you guys, my heart just aches to talk about this show T___T;; Partly because it's over, but also partly I think because I just want to blather on endlessly about it and for everyone to love it but I have no idea if my posts are actually interesting. ^^;;; It takes a lot of effort to dictate out so many words, you know, and it's kind of unrewarding when the responses I've gotten back so far are mostly "it's too bad this won't be on DVD". >.>;;; I guess I should gratefully take that to mean people wanted to see it, but...

Um, I'm just being really needy and asking if people are getting entertainment value out of my efforts or if I should just keep my notes to myself?
 
 
Current Mood: productiveproductive
 
 
 
A fascination frantic in a ruin that's romantic: Ayane-chan CAUTIONshirabyoshi on April 2nd, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC)
I started reading your first post about Je chante, and was so enchanted that straight away it became like Aibou for me... I want to save knowing about the plot and your reactions until right before I actually see the stages in question, so that it's all still fresh and exciting.

When it's on Sky Stage, I promise to come back and leave properly appreciative thanks. ♥
ohtori_tsuki: maikoohtori_tsuki on April 2nd, 2010 03:58 pm (UTC)
I really am enjoying your descriptions, it sounds like a lovely show! And honestly, I am in constant need of things to entertain me during working hours. I really would like to hear more!
Beth Winter: Star Wars - world's endingbwinter on April 2nd, 2010 04:22 pm (UTC)
It's absolutely entertaining to read your posts - next best thing to a DVD ;) Or maybe even next best thing to seeing it live, because you give so many comments about how things are done on different nights! That's what I most regret about not being able to see Takarazuka live...
michiru42: Maa-chan and Kashimichiru42 on April 3rd, 2010 06:23 am (UTC)
Of course your posts are entertaining! If I can't see this show--though hopefully, if Kacha makes top--it's great to see pictures and hear as much about it as possible.

Great dialogue; very sweet, very romantic, very Zuka.
dybjidybji on April 3rd, 2010 07:37 pm (UTC)
I know so few of the names here ... but ahaha, dialogue. <3 It would drive me crazy if it wasn't Takarazuka. <3

I love reading your notes! Even if I don't know all the names. I think it's amazing that you noticed/remembered so many details from the show. It's a great vicarious resource for the rest of us. :)
utena1409: Wao/Mariutena1409 on April 4th, 2010 07:52 am (UTC)
THIS is sooo much better than just a normal summary! :D
I looooove all the baby background stories (because I never catch any of those ^^; ) so please don't stop doing those posts! ;_; At the moment I'm trying really hard not to loose my interest in the recent Sora productions and so much lovely details about "my" Sora girls make it a bit easier. ^^;

Also, the conversation between Alice and Kacha is so...silly and cute and awww ;__; (Even though I hate the song "La Mer" ^^;; but I guess I could deal with it when they are just dancing to it! ^__^ )
anthy1306anthy1306 on April 6th, 2010 08:35 am (UTC)
Whut, whut, whut??
Don't stop the entertainment E-VER, please! I enjoy every post, allthough they are LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG and I suffer reading too much, but I want to! *__*

As long, as you want to tell something, I want to read it ^____^