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[THEATER] Amon Miyamoto - Broadway's 1st Director from Japan

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  • madchinaman
    Broadway s Fondest, Furthest Fan Comes Home By JESSE GREEN http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/28/theater/newsandfeatures/28gree.html ?oref=login - Amon Miyamoto is
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 29, 2004
      Broadway's Fondest, Furthest Fan Comes Home
      By JESSE GREEN
      http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/28/theater/newsandfeatures/28gree.html
      ?oref=login


      -

      Amon Miyamoto is the first Japanese citizen to direct a Broadway
      show, the Stephen Sondheim-John Weidman musical "Pacific Overtures,"
      with B. D. Wong.

      Gorgeous Entertainment Inc. manages Amon Miyamoto in America.
      Contact for PACIFIC OVERTURES and Amon Miyamoto: Kumiko Yoshii,
      indiemiko@...

      -



      In outline, the story is familiar: a high-strung boy who cries at
      anything (yet is so shy he cannot talk to schoolmates) harbors
      peculiar, passionate interests he feels sure no one can understand.
      Alienated from his rageful father, who thinks he is a freak, he is
      alone in his imaginings - alone except for his mother. Ah, the
      devoted mother: ambitious and creative and frustrated and unwell, a
      former showgirl who gave up performing when she married a man whose
      family did not approve. She understands. Instead of glowering
      incredulously (as the father does) when the boy, in his underwear,
      works out dance routines to the accompaniment of his love-
      worn "Gypsy," "Seesaw" and "A Chorus Line" LP's, she teaches him how
      to make the dances better. "Every single note of rhythm is
      important," she says. "And you must do it over until you get it
      right." Through this discipline the boy will one day become
      powerful; in the meantime, absorbing the messages encoded in the
      lyrics, he will come to feel that there are people like him
      somewhere, that he might eventually be happy, just as in "West Side
      Story" if you ignore the part where everyone dies.

      We have a name for this kind of boy in America; several, really, for
      he's a common type. But the story is more unusual than it seems, and
      not only because the boy in question actually made it big in show
      business, whereas most teenage theater queens just become adult
      theater queens. It's also unusual because it took place in a cramped
      Tokyo apartment. The boy's routines were devised on tatami mats. His
      mother's showbiz experience was as a dancer for American G.I.'s
      stationed in Japan after World War II. And his father did not merely
      threaten to cut off his allowance when the boy committed toko kyohi -
      that is, refused to go to school - for a full year, spending it
      locked in his bedroom, listening to "The Fantasticks" and "A Little
      Night Music," translating the songs word by word from his English
      dictionary. No, the father came at him through a gap in the door
      with his family's heirloom samurai sword, slashing blindly and, in
      the end, unsuccessfully: he was no match for a boy armed with the
      cast album of "Pippin."

      Whatever he might be called in Shaker Heights or in Fresno, there is
      no name for this kind of creature in Japan except the one he was
      given, Amon Miyamoto, because even now, at 46, he is pretty much
      unique: a famous stage director, a major figure in promoting
      Broadway-style musical theater to an Asian audience, a public
      enthusiast in a button-down culture. Indeed, as a host of cultural
      talk shows and a celebrity pitchman in beer commercials, he feels he
      must be careful to maintain - at least for a Japanese audience - an
      appropriate and discreet image of Japaneseness. Though he does not,
      for example, speak about his personal life, he nevertheless projects
      the kind of flamboyance that made him famous and that makes him a
      comfortable figure in Broadway circles. In rehearsal recently for
      the Roundabout Theater's revival of "Pacific Overtures," explaining
      to the cast how a certain movement should look, he tried words (his
      English is good) but quickly resorted to the universal language of
      Fosse. "Like in 'Chicago,' " he said, demonstrating. "With the
      feathers!"

      It's only fitting that with "Pacific Overtures," which opens
      Thursday at Studio 54, Mr. Miyamoto becomes the first Japanese
      citizen ever to direct a Broadway production. Like him, the show is
      an unusual and rather startling crosscultural experiment. When it
      first opened in 1976 it was already ambitious enough: an American
      musical purporting to tell the story of Commodore Perry's so-called
      opening of Japan in 1853 from the perspective of the Japanese,
      employing various forms of traditional dramaturgy (Kabuki masks,
      onstage musicians, a lion dance) as well as the considerable
      Broadway savvy of its director, Hal Prince, and its authors, Stephen
      Sondheim and John Weidman.

      In a series of suggestive scenes that are nothing like a normal
      musical plot, Mr. Weidman's book swiftly traced (through the linked
      stories of a fisherman and a minor samurai) the metastasizing
      response to the "barbarian" invaders, from horror to accommodation
      to imitation to fury and finally, in a fast-forward coda, to an
      alarming modern amalgam of them all. Mr. Sondheim's score, weaving
      together Japanese and Western elements (open harmonies, operetta
      rhymes), evoked the increasing interconnectedness - and unresolved
      tensions - of the two cultures.

      Of course "Pacific Overtures" was a failure: too unfamiliar for
      Broadway audiences, too formal, too complicated. And now Mr.
      Miyamoto comes along to complicate it further. His Roundabout
      production is an adaptation of a version he first directed at
      Japan's New National Theater in 2000, and brought to the United
      States for brief, acclaimed runs at Lincoln Center and in Washington
      in 2002. But while that version was performed in Japanese by a
      Japanese cast (pity the translator of such lyrics as "It's an herb
      that's superb for disturbances at sea"), the cast at the Roundabout
      is Asian-American, and the language is once again English. The
      resulting hall-of-mirror perspectives - Japanese history written by
      American artists using Japanese techniques as revisited by an
      American cast overseen by a Japanese director who is a devotee of
      American theater - make it hard to pin down exactly whose
      story "Pacific Overtures" now tells. "It's so twisty!" Mr. Miyamoto
      said in an interview, gleefully. Which may be the point.

      If Mr. Miyamoto could have been born in a trunk in the Princess
      Theater in Pocatello, Idaho, he would have been. Alas, he was born
      in a coffee shop across the street from the Embujo Theater in the
      Shimbashi, or Geishatown, neighborhood of Tokyo. Well, not
      literally, he admits. But the coffee shop, run by his parents, was
      where the actors and dancers from the Embujo hung out, and so where
      his life began. Making deliveries backstage, he watched performances
      from the wings - one month a samurai play, the next month
      Shakespeare - or observed from underneath, while the trapdoors and
      turntables performed their elaborate choreography.

      At first, he was drawn to the ritualized pleasures of traditional
      Japanese forms, but soon his dream of becoming a tea ceremony
      master - the equivalent of an American kid in the 1960's wanting to
      be a priest or a harpist - was overtaken by something even weirder.
      When he emerged from his year of toko kyohi, "a spring that had been
      pressured down in me was sprung," he said. Upon returning to high
      school, though his schoolmates had never seen an American stage
      musical, he directed "Godspell" and played the role of Jesus.

      That musical is a guilty pleasure for sophisticated Americans, but
      it struck Mr. Miyamoto as profound. Talking about it even now, he
      seemed ready to cry. "Sorry, this is my way!" he exclaimed. "I love
      Broadway musicals and I respect this culture; it is very deep, not
      just entertainment. It taught me a lot, about how to have a life."

      There is something uncanny about seeing a dated American stereotype
      superimposed on a contemporary Japanese person. Mr. Miyamoto's
      favorite place to meet in New York is Cafe Edison: the so-called
      Polish Tea Room, where older theater types nosh and trade war
      stories. He wears mostly black clothes, brightly accented, on one
      occasion with a polka-dot cravat. For a Japanese man, he is
      uncommonly physical, touching friends and new acquaintances
      constantly, hooting and clapping with pleasure in conversation,
      misting over at a snatch of melody.

      His enthusiasm seems boyish, even apart from his youthful looks; he
      says he resembles Curious George. When asked what current musicals
      he likes, he looked down as if hunting for something nice to say. "I
      love 'Avenue Q'!" he finally exclaimed, with relief. "And 'A New
      Brain'!" - the William Finn musical from 1998.

      Mr. Miyamoto's taste in theater may be catholic but it's also
      refined; he loves Pina Bausch and Peter Brook, too. As an outsider
      he takes Western culture more seriously than we do, and in his 20's
      made a meticulous study of it on many trips to New York to see
      musicals and learn American-style show dancing. "It wasn't that I
      wanted to be a dancer," he said, "but I knew I was bad at
      communicating with people, so I thought it was good to learn to do
      it through dance." He also noted the lack of successors to director-
      choreographers like Bob Fosse and Michael Bennett, and saw an
      opportunity.

      And so, having left college early to make his professional debut in
      a Japanese production of "Seesaw," he quickly proceeded along the
      path from chorus boy to dance captain to choreographer. American
      musicals were just beginning to be popular in Japan, and he was a
      success, but with no personal life to speak of and no art of his own
      to make, he was not happy.

      He still felt the existential aloneness of his youth, and on the day
      before he opened in "Hair," his mother died. (He found her on the
      bathroom floor of his Tokyo apartment, where she had collapsed while
      washing his underwear.) Crushed, and feeling he could grow no
      further in Japan, he escaped to London, where in two years he saw
      750 plays and operas while taking dance lessons and working as a
      maid in people's homes. He presented himself there as a would-be
      director, but when someone at a party asked him what he wanted to
      express, he was flummoxed. No one in Japan had ever posed that
      question.

      Still, living in a foreign country "let me see myself from outside,"
      he said. When he returned to Tokyo in 1987, he knew what he wanted.
      He rented a tiny theater and invested all his money in a cubist
      biographical musical he devised called "I Got Merman."

      The huge success of the show - in which three Japanese actresses
      embodied Ethel Merman, who was all but unknown in that country -
      changed Mr. Miyamoto's life. "A fish finally got his water," he
      said. That such a strange and personal work, as much about his own
      conflicts as about the merging of Japanese and American
      entertainment, should make him successful was profoundly satisfying:
      one of those moments in which an artist is confirmed in his path and
      a culture ratifies a formerly unacknowledged trend.

      Since then he has directed and choreographed as many as five shows a
      year, including major commercial versions of "Annie Get Your
      Gun," "Anything Goes," "Candide" and "On the Twentieth Century." He
      did not merely recreate the original Broadway stagings, as had
      previously been the custom, but reimagined their emotional
      topography, which now frequently took on a melancholic undertow.

      At the same time he brought to these Western works an elemental
      visual vocabulary based on the traditional Japanese depiction of
      nature in art. He set "The Sound of Music" on a giant mound of
      grassy earth covering the stage, a hill that was revealed in the
      final number to be part of the much larger and seemingly endless
      mountain chain that the protagonists must climb to safety.

      MR. Miyamoto arrived each day at rehearsal for "Pacific Overtures"
      very well organized, with binders, Post-it notes and color-coded
      memos. Having directed the show before, he knew precisely what he
      wanted. "He would say, 'On the fourth count of the second measure,
      please say this word,' " recalled B. D. Wong, the Chinese-American
      actor who plays the Reciter. "And then he'd do it with you."

      To stage complicated numbers like "Four Black Dragons," in which
      seemingly endless lines of terrified townsfolk hurry away from the
      approaching American ships, he handed out an elaborate chart showing
      the actors exactly what they should be doing, word by word. "In 20
      minutes we knew the blocking," Mr. Wong said. "Which with anyone
      else would have taken at least a day."

      It's a good thing Mr. Miyamoto was so well prepared; the deceptively
      spare production is among the most complicated and expensive the
      Roundabout has mounted, and it is filled with effects that must be
      perfectly executed to have their intended impact. In rehearsal, even
      as those effects kept failing, Mr. Miyamoto remained calm and
      enthusiastic: no diva moments, according to Mr. Wong. Mr. Miyamoto's
      passion for musicals is unadulterated by the quasi-sadistic rage
      that fuels so many directors.

      The surprising result is a "Pacific Overtures" that feels more
      American than the exaggerated Kabuki style of the original. The
      Reciter - played by Mako in 1976 as a terrifying Voice of Japan - is
      in Mr. Wong's portrayal a genial host. There are no traditional
      masks. Yet Mr. Miyamoto did not attempt to untangle the material's
      various perspectival knots. Indeed, he has added several. He
      includes as much beefcake as a production of "Pacific Overtures" is
      ever likely to accommodate, and has given the Shogun an unscripted
      but historically plausible male companion.

      He has retained the cross-dressing of the original where it suits
      the humor of the piece: the awkward young prostitutes and their
      instructive madam are still played by men. But having cast a woman
      in the role of the fisherman's wife, he altered the impact of the
      couple's scenes: "instead of looking at the idea of that
      relationship," Mr. Weidman said, "the audience experiences the
      relationship itself."

      To the few reviewers who were critical of the 2002 production, this
      piecemeal approach seemed to denature something they saw as pure;
      one called it a Starbucks version of musical theater. Mr. Miyamoto
      doesn't mind that criticism; indeed, globalization is his
      goal. "There is more than one kind of people in the world," he
      said. "When I first worked on this show it was about Japan, after
      the economic bubble burst and confidence was low. It was about the
      pain of materialism. But when a world is changing we are all torn
      people - you can hear that in Sondheim's lyrics. This is about
      America too. We are all in each other's lives."

      This could not have been the point of "Pacific Overtures" in 1976,
      when, as Mr. Weidman pointed out, "the idea of eating raw fish in
      New York was an exotic adventure." But what may be harder to accept
      than the Americanization of sushi is the outsourcing of the musical.
      If Mr. Miyamoto loves and respects a form that strikes many
      Americans as hopelessly glitz-krieged, it's in part because he is
      taken more seriously in his country than any musical theater artist,
      except perhaps Mr. Sondheim, could ever be here.

      Todd Haimes, the Roundabout's artistic director, said that 150 print
      and television reporters turned out for the announcement in Japan
      that this production was coming to New York. ("We do a press
      conference like that here," Mr. Haimes said, "and we're lucky if we
      get four writers and someone with an Instamatic.") Mr. Miyamoto may
      find New York freer, more accommodating of eccentricity and
      ambition; the boy who at 14, sporting an Afro and bell-bottoms,
      would travel by himself on the night train to Kyoto to gaze at the
      Buddhas may be less alone in the world thanks to his sublet on the
      Upper West Side. Nevertheless, when he's finished being the first
      Japanese director of a Broadway show (a show that is, after all,
      about his own country), his next project is a major revival of "The
      Fantasticks" - "I adore it!" - in Tokyo.



      ===========

      Director
      Amon Miyamoto
      MIYAMOTO AMON
      Born on January Fourth, 1958
      Tokyo, Japan
      Blood Type: O
      http://www.puerta-ds.com/amon/
      http://www.puerta-ds.com/amon/frame.htm


      After being an actor and choreographer, Amon Miyamoto went to study
      in London and in New York for two years. When he came back to Japan
      in 1987, he made his debut as a director with an original
      musical, "I Got Merman." In the following year, in 1988, he received
      the Directional National Arts Festival Prize for this work. He,
      being one of the most remarkable directors at present, has been
      extending his directing activity not only in musical, but also in
      other fields including straight play and opera.
      Fall 2004: Will become the first Asian ever to direct a Broadway
      play.


      Record of Main Activity
      2004
      February - March He directed "Urine Town" at Nissei
      Theatre ,Tokyo.
      April He directed "Candide" at Tokyo International Forum,Tokyo
      June He directed "Into The Woods" at the New National Theatre,Tokyo.
      July He directed opera "Don Giovanni" for Nikikai Opera at Tokyo
      Bunka Kaikan,Tokyo.
      Fall Will debut and direct "Pacific Overtures" on@Broadway,@
      NewYork,USA. He will be a first Asian person who directs a musical
      on Broadway.

      2003
      January - March Miyamoto's version of "The Fantasticks" performed
      and toured in 14 cities, Japan.

      2002
      February He directed "The Marriage of Figaro" for the Nikikai Opera
      Company.
      March He wrote and directed "Hello Kitty,Dream Revue 2" at Sanrio
      Puroland.
      July - September He brought his New National Theatre production
      of "Pacific Overtures" to Lincoln Center and Kennedy Center (USA).
      October Back in Japan performance of "Pacific Overtures" at the New
      National Theatre as well as the Japan tour of "I Got Merman."

      2001
      January He directed "Boys Time." It was performed at PARCO Theatre
      and other places including Osaka.
      June He directed a Broadway musical, "Candide" (conducted by Yutaka
      Sato).
      September He presented "I Got Merman" in Stamford, Connecticut,USA.
      November His autobiography "ALIVE" is to be issued from NHK
      Publishing.
      From December 25th to January 2002. He is to direct new original
      musical "The Nutcracker" composed by Micheal John Lachivsa in the
      form of musical for the first time in the world.

      2000
      March He created and directed "1 'ONE' Hello Kitty Dream Revue" at
      Sanrio Puroland.
      April He directed the special version of "I Got Merman" for the
      opening of a new theatre, TBS Akasaka ACT Theatre.
      April - He has been appearing in NHK General's "Otoko-no-Shokusai
      (Man's Colorful Meal)" as a semi-regular guest.
      April 26th He directed Mozart's "Cosi Fan Tutti" (in the form of
      concert) at Osaka International Festival. It was conducted by Yutaka
      Sado.
      July He put "Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of
      Love" again on the stage for the first time in seven years at PARCO
      Theatre.
      October The tour of "I Got Merman" opened. The new cast members
      (Witchy Sisters) also appeared.
      October He directed the Japan Premiere of a Broadway
      musical, "Pacific Overtures," at New National Theatre Tokyo.
      December He directed "I Got Merman" at Hakuhinkan Theatre.
      December He directed "Girls Time" which was performed at PARCO
      Theatre.

      1999
      In October, he put his legendary debut work "I Got Merman" again on
      the stage for the first time in almost eight years. It extended to a
      national tour starting in Tokyo (Hakuhinkan Theatre).
      December 31st - He presented an original musical, "Boys Time." It
      extended to a national tour starting at PARCO Theatre.

      1998
      In March, the film "BEAT" (starring: Yuki Uchida, Claude Maki) was
      completed and was released in September of the same year.
      In October, he returned to directing stage work and presented a
      collection of dance performances, "7"-The Seven Deadly Sins-
      / "PLAYERS" -From the Shipwreck of Titanic- / "PULSE".

      1997
      He started the production of his first directed feature
      film, "BEAT," in which the story takes place in Okinawa.

      1996
      March He presented Amon's version of "Tanuki-Goten (The Palace of
      Raccoon Dog)" at Shinbashi Enbujo.
      May He put the straight play "Mary Stuart" again on stage at
      Sunshine Theatre.

      1995
      Feburary - March He presented the first stage work in a year, an
      original musical "The Tropical Feast Play: Maui" in Tokyo and Osaka.
      In April, May, and August he staged "Sound of Music" again in Tokyo,
      Nagoya, and Osaka.
      In June, he presented a straight play "La Traviata" at PARCO
      Theatre.
      From November to December, he presented an original musical "Girls
      Time" at PARCO Theatre.
      From December to January 1996, he put a straight play "Spiral" on
      stage at Benisan Pit.

      1994
      He put "The Psychedelic KABUKI: Lunar Eclipse" on stage in Tokyo and
      Kobe. It was his only stage work in 1994.

      1993
      March - April He presented the first original musical "Hong Kong
      Rhapsody" with Dick Lee, the standard-bearer of Asian pops, in Tokyo
      and Osaka.
      In October, he presented a straight play "Unidentified Human Remains
      and the True Nature of Love," which was the first public performance
      in Japan, at PARCO Theatre.

      1992
      May - July The final long-run performance of "I Got Merman" at
      Hakuhinkan Theatre.
      In November, he appeared on the stage as an actor in
      Kafka's "Metamorphosis,"directed by Steven Berkoff.


      TV Programs
      NHK General "Ningen-Map AMON COMEON" M.C. (April,'94-September)
      TBS "Kagayaku! Nihon Record Grand Prix" M.C. (December 31st,
      '93 and '94)
      NHK "New Year Opera Concert" M.C. (January 3rd,
      '93 and '94)
      Chukyo-TV "Kirei-Suteki" M.C. (October,'94-March,'95)
      TV Asahi "Oh! Eru-Club" M.C. (October,'94-March,'95)
      NHK General "Shin-Otoko no Shokutaku" Guest (April,'00-)
      NHK Education "Art Theatre" M.C. (Every other week) (April,'00-)

      Radio Programs
      TOKYO FM "BANYU Talking Gallery" Personality (April '96-March '98)
      ¦Others: He has been appearing on so many TV and radio programs as
      M.C. and a guest.

      CF
      Nescafe Gold Blend (September 1st,'93-August 31st,'94)
      Kanebo Testimo (October,'94 - September,'95)
      Nestle Gift Set (November,'96-October,'97)
      Daishi Bank (April 1st,'98-March,'00)
      Nomura Real Estate "Ciel's Garden" Image Character (September,'01-
      February,'02)
      Orion Beer (October,'01 - September,'02)


      Directed Works
      Musical "I GOT MERMAN"
      Musical "Anything Goes"
      Musical "Annie get your gun"
      Musical "The Sound of music"
      Musical "Opera do Malandro"
      Musical "On The 20th Century"
      Musical "Hong Kong Rhapsody"
      Musical "The Psychedelic KABUKI: Lunar Eclipse"
      Musical "The Tropical Feast Play: Maui"
      Musical "TANUKI - GOTEN"
      Musical "Pacific Overtures"
      Musical "Girls Time"
      Musical "Boys Time"
      Musical "Candide"
      Musical "Nutcracker"
      Musical "The Fantastics"
      Musical "Urine Town"
      Musical "INTO THE WOODS"
      Opera "L'elisir d' Amore"
      Opera "Cosi Fan Tutte"
      Opera "The Marriage of Figaro"
      Opera "Don Giovanni"
      Operetta "The Marry Widow"
      Operetta "Pinocchio"
      Straight Play "Mary Stuart"
      Straight Play "Unidentified Human Remains and
      the True Nature of Love"
      Straight Play "La Traviata"
      Straight Play William Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing"


      Film
      "BEAT"
      * The 55th International Venice Film Festival
      Officially Invited Film for International Critics' Week
      * Screened at Stockholm International Film Festival


      Book
      "Deep Kiss to Musical!" (Magazinehouse 1992)
      "Amon Diary: Extremely Personal Thoughts on Opera"
      (Ongaku No Tomo Sha Corp 1996)
      "ALIVE" (NHK Publishing 2001)


      OTHERS
      "1992 Golden Arrow Theatre Award" Winner
      "1993 Sponichi Grand Prix Culture Art Grand Prize" Prize Winner
      "1994 Best Dresser Award, Art and Culture Category" Prize Winner



      ================


      Pacific Overtures - Groundbreaking Musical Returns To Broadway
      http://www.cgj.org/en/c/vol_12-3/title_05.html


      Following this season's triumphant production of "Assassins,"
      Roundabout Theater presents another landmark musical by Stephen
      Sondheim and John Weidman. Tony Award winner B.D. Wong (Madame
      Butterfly) stars in "Pacific Overtures, "a brilliant tale of culture
      clash as sparked by America's 1853 mission to westernize Japan. A
      show of sheer theatrical genius, the work features Sondheim's most
      daring music Ean adventurous blend of Broadway razzle-dazzle and
      pure Eastern beauty. Visionary Japanese Director Amon Miyamoto
      brings a fresh perspective to this American musical masterpiece.

      Spanning 150 years, "Pacific Overtures" tells the story of Commodore
      Matthew Perry's arrival in the "Floating Kingdom" of Nippon in 1853.
      The landmark musical chronicles the influence America had upon
      Japan, detailing and dramatizing the Westernization of Japanese
      culture. The style of the musical, with music and lyrics written by
      Sondheim, is based on ancient forms of Japanese theater such as
      Kabuki and Noh. "Pacific Overtures" originally opened at the Winter
      Garden on January 11,1976 under the direction of Harold Prince. The
      Tony Award-winning production ran for 193 performances.

      One of Japan's most successful theatrical and musical directors,
      Amon Miyamoto will lend his considerable energy, talent and unique
      experience to this historic Broadway revival. After several years of
      performing and choreographing, as well as studying in London and New
      York, Amon Miyamoto returned to Japan in 1987, where he made his
      debut as a director with the original musical play, "I Got Merman,"
      which received a National Arts Festival Award in1988. Miyamoto has
      directed plays, operas and numerous musical productions, including
      Pam Jems' "Camille," Brad Fraser's "Unidentified Human Remains and
      the True Nature of Love, "Leonard Bernstein's "Candide," Cole
      Porter's "Anything Goes" and Mozart's opera, "The Marriage of
      Figaro. "His debut film, "BEAT," won critical acclaim at the 1998
      Venice Film Festival.

      Miyamoto's staging of "Pacific Overtures" has been presented at the
      New National Theatre, Tokyo, the Lincoln Center Festival and the
      Kennedy Center's Sondheim Festival. In 2004,
      Miyamoto will be directing "Urinetown," "Into the Woods," "Candide"
      and the opera "Don Giovanni" in Japan.

      "Pacific Overtures" is based on a book written by John Weidman, who
      has co-authored, with Timothy Crouse, the new book for Lincoln
      Center Theater's revival of Cole Porter's "Anything Goes." Since
      1986, Weidman has written for "Sesame Street" and, among his
      numerous honors, has received eleven Emmy Awards for Outstanding
      Writing for a Children's Program.

      Among Stephen Sondheim's many musical and theatrical achievements
      are the music and lyrics he composed and wrote for such Broadway
      hits as "Passion"(1994), "Assassins"(1991), "Into the
      Woods"(1987), "Sunday in the Park with George"(1984), "Merrily We
      Roll Along"(1981), "Sweeney Todd"(1979), and "A Funny Thing Happened
      on the Way to the Forum"(1962). He also wrote the lyrics for "West
      Side Story"(1957), "Gypsy"(1959) and "Do I Hear a Waltz?"(1965), and
      composed music for film and television productions. He has won Tony
      Awards for Best Score for a Musical, a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and
      several New York Drama Critics Circle Awards, including one
      for "Pacific OverturesE

      Actor B.D. Wong last performed at the Roundabout Off-Broadway
      in "The Tempest" (1989). His first book, Following Foo (The
      Electronic Adventures of the Chestnut Man), is in bookstores now.
      Born and raised in San Francisco, Wong is perhaps best remembered by
      moviegoers for his diverse work in "Seven Years in Tibet," "Father
      of the Bride" (Parts I and II) and as the voice of the
      heroic "Shang" in Disney's animated hit, "Mulan."

      The ensemble contains an impressive roster of experienced
      performers.

      The design set for "Pacific Overtures" includes Rumi Matsui (sets),
      Junko Koshino (costumes), Brian Mac Devitt (lights) and Dan Moses
      Schreier (sound).

      The show opens on November 12, 2004 and is scheduled to run through
      January 30, 2005 at the Roundabout Theater at Studio 54 (254 West
      54th Street Ebetween Broadway & 8th Avenue). Tickets are available
      at the Studio 54 Box Office or can be ordered by phone at (212) 719-
      1300. Performances are Tuesday ESaturday evenings at 8:00 p.m. with
      Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday Matinees at 2:00 p.m.


      ===========



      Pacific Overtures
      http://www.ibdb.com/production.asp?ID=383003


      Pre-opening information; subject to change
      Studio 54, (12/2/2004 - )
      Preview: Nov 12, 2004 Total Previews: 21
      Opening: Dec 2, 2004
      Closing: Total Performances: 0


      Category: Musical, Comedy, Drama, Revival, Broadway
      Setting: Japan, 1853-Present.

      -----------

      Opening Night Production Credits


      Theatre Owned / Operated by The Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd
      Haimes: Artistic Director;
      Ellen Richard: Managing Director;
      Julia C. Levy: Executive Director of External Affairs;
      Gene Feist: Founding Director);
      House Manager: LaConya Robinson


      Produced by The Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes:
      Artistic Director; Ellen Richard: Managing Director;
      Julia C. Levy: Executive Director of External Affairs;
      Gene Feist: Founding Director);
      Produced in association with Gorgeous Entertainment


      Music by Stephen Sondheim; Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim;
      Book by John Weidman;
      Additional Material by Hugh Wheeler;
      Musical Director: Paul Gemignani;
      Music orchestrated by Jonathan Tunick


      Directed by Amon Miyamoto; Assistant Director: Scott Smith;
      Choreographed by Amon Miyamoto; Associate Choreographer: Darren Lee


      Set and Mask Design: Rumi Matsui;
      Costume Design by Junko Koshino;
      Costume Associate: Maiko Matsushima;
      Lighting Design by Brian MacDevitt;
      Assistant Lighting Design: Anne McMills and Rachel Eichorn;
      Moving Light Programmer: David Arch;
      Sound Design by Dan Moses Schreier;
      Associate Sound Design: David Bullard


      General Manager: Sydney Beers;
      Company Manager: Nichole Larson

      Production Stage Manager: Arthur Gaffin


      Conducted by Paul Gemignani;
      Associate Conductor: Mark Mitchell;
      Flute / Clarinet: Dennis Anderson;
      Cello: Deborah Assael;
      Synthesizer #1: Paul Ford;
      Synthesizer #2: Mark Mitchell;
      Violin / Viola: Suzanne Ornstein;
      Drums: Paul Pizzuti;
      Percussion: Thad Wheeler


      Associate Artistic Dir: Scott Ellis;
      Casting: Jim Carnahan;
      Dance Captain: Darren Lee;
      Press Representative: Boneau / Bryan-Brown;
      Assistant Dance Captain: Mayumi Omagari;
      Fight direction by Kuzuki Takase;
      Assistant to the Fight Director: Yoshihisa Kuwayama

      -----------

      Opening Night Cast

      B. D. Wong / Reciter
      Eric Bondoc / Swing
      Evan D'Angeles / Observer, Warrior, Officer, British Admiral
      Rick Edinger / Swing
      Joseph Anthony Foronda / Thief
      Yoko Fumoto / Tamate
      Alvin Y. F. Ing / Shogun's Mother
      Fred Isozaki / Noble
      Francis Jue / Madam
      Darren Lee / American Admiral
      Hoon Lee / Sailor
      Michael K. Lee / Kayama
      Ming Lee / Councilor
      Telly Leung / Boy
      Paolo Montalban / Manjiro
      Alan Muraoka / Councilor
      Mayumi Omagari / Kanagawa Girl
      Daniel Jay Park / Priest
      Hazel Anne Raymundo / Shogun's Wife
      Sab Shimono / Lord Abe
      Yuka Takara / Son
      Kim Varhola / Swing
      Scott Watanabe / Fisherman


      Understudies: Eric Bondoc (American Admiral, Boy, Councilor, Emperor
      Priest, French Admiral, Kanagawa Girl, Noble, Observer, Officer,
      Priest, Sailor, Shogun's Companion), Rick Edinger (British Admiral,
      Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry, Councilor, Fisherman,
      Grandmother, Lord of the South, Merchant, Observer, Officer, Old
      Man, Older Swordsman, Physician, Russian Admiral, Sailor, Shogun's
      Mother, Warrior), Joseph Anthony Foronda (Reciter), Fred Isozaki
      (Fisherman, Older Swordsman, Physician, Russian Admiral, Samurai,
      Soothsayer, Storyteller, Thief), Darren Lee (Manjiro), Hoon Lee
      (British Admiral, Observer, Officer, Samurai, Soothsayer,
      Storyteller, Thief, Warrior), Ming Lee (Lord Abe, Old Man, Shogun's
      Mother), Telly Leung (Kayama), Alan Muraoka (Dutch Admiral, Madam),
      Daniel Jay Park (Sailor), Kim Varhola (Daughter, Kanagawa Girl,
      Shogun's Wife, Shogun's Wife's Servant, Son, Tamate).
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