Daily Sun **

by Yumiko Hashimoto

"(This) is truly a first-class comedy. It is filled with great laughs, beautiful emotions, and superlative timing and rhythm."

** NOTE: This review is translated from Japanese.

This is it for your weekend - Play, "The Teahouse of the August Moon" - Wonderful Comedy of Okinawa

Is it rude to say this is Yoshimoto New Comedy Theatre* in North Hollywood? (*NOTE: This excellent theatre is well-known in Japan.) "The Teahouse of the August Moon", playing at the Secret Rose Theatre, is truly a first-class comedy. It is filled with great laughs, beautiful emotions, and superlative timing and rhythm. I found it very enjoyable.

"The Teahouse of the August Moon" is an American comedy classic, set in Okinawa right after World War II. It was performed on Broadway in the early 1950s, winning numerous awards. A movie version came out in 1957 and made this play famous, with Marlon Brando's cute Japanese translator as the main role.

The story begins with Captain Fisby of the American Occupational Army in Okinawa being ordered by Colonel Purdy to build an elementary school in Tobiki village. The good American, Captain Fisby, is immediately given all kinds of trouble from his weird translator, Sakini, and native village people. Then suddenly, unexpectedly, a geisha comes into his life, and Fisby is ...

The Secret Rose Theatre started planning the production of this comedy three years ago. Because the theatre has a Japanese co-owner, Kaz Mata-Mura, the theatre has produced many Japanese-themed plays, such as MADAME BUTTERFLY and URASHIMA TARO. This time, "August Moon" is the best production of them all.

Among the numerous memorable scenes is the wonderful funniness of the conflict between troubled Fisby and the quite natural actions of the geisha. Additionally, the writing, planning, timing, clever stage design, etc., etc., ... this play offers many aspects which you MUST see.

The original book was written less than ten years after the end of WWII. It portrays the Okinawans' likeability and the Americans' post-war, goodwill policy towards the losers - that is, forcing them to accept American democracy. Japanese living in today's very complicated times, in particular, must see this play.

The story is spoken in English, but Sakini's translations and the villagers' Japanese makes it very easy for Japanese-speakers to follow. To all people who usually don't go to see stage plays, or for whom this will be the first time they have seen one, and to inexperienced audiences, you all MUST see this play.