Posts Tagged ‘Sena Jun’

Image from Toho Stage

No matter how fiercely you reject me, one day you’ll seek me out

I’ve written before about Elisabeth, my favorite musical when I saw it at the Imperial Theatre in Sept. 2010. That review was primarily a review of that run of the show and its actors since Elisabeth is an incredibly dense work with 20 years’ and multiple countries’ worth of shows; I’m convinced one could write several dissertations on any of the facets of the show, which is why I love it: it provides both the pleasure of consuming and the pleasure of producing analyses.

This year, I decided again to travel to Tokyo to see the 2012 Toho run show because, in addition to the excellent Sena Jun reprising her role as Elisabeth in a double cast with Haruno Sumire (my first Takarazuka love!), Toho brought on Hungarian actor Máté Kamarás for the role of der Tod, whom he had played in the Vienna revival run. Given my unenthusiastic feelings on Yamaguchi Yuichiro’s interpretation of the role, I was thrilled to be able to see an actor I actually knew I liked as der Tod on stage.1

Warning: this review has spoilers for Elisabeth the Musical as well as discussions of the musical’s themes of depression and suicide.


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Elisabeth the Musical
帝国劇団 (Imperial Theatre, Tokyo)
Sept. 23, 5:30 pm

Starring Sena Jun (瀬奈じゅん) as Elisabeth, Yamaguchi Yuichiro (山口祐一郎) as der Tod, Ishikawa Zen (石川 禅) as Franz Joseph, Irei Kanata (伊礼彼方) as Rudolph, Takashima Mashiro (髙嶋政宏) as Luigi Lucheni, and Kotobuki Hizuru (寿 ひずる) as Sophie.*

The Story
The musical begins in the land of the dead, in which Luigi Lucheni, an Italian anarchist, has been resurrected to explain why he murdered the Empress Elisabeth of Austro-Hungary. He replies that he’s explained over and over—un grand amore! She was in love with Death, he claims. She wanted to die! And so, to give his testimony, Lucheni resurrects the Hapsburgs to illustrate his story: Elisabeth, her husband Franz-Joseph, her son Rudolph, her mother-in-law Sophie—and the key witness: der Tod, the king of the dead. The musical follows Elisabeth’s life from the fall that sent her to the land of the dead, where der Tod falls in love with her, to her troubled marriage with Franz, to Rudolph’s revolutionary activities, and eventually, to the fall of the Hapsburg empire and Elisabeth’s assassination.

Although Elisabeth has been performed for over 20 years, those not wanting spoilers about the details of the show should stop reading here.


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