Sayonara OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Quincy Lee
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    July 5, 2015
    Closing:
    July 26, 2015

    Theater: Theatre Row Complex / 410 W 42nd St, New York, New York, 10036

    Synopsis: 

    Tisa Chang directs this re-imagining of the epic musical of US military in post-WWII Japan. This production highlights the all female Takarazuka dance theater and how compassion and love can heal prejudice despite the inevitable collision of two disparate, codified cultures. 2015 will be the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII and we feel this is the perfect time to re-visit this story of love vs prejudice and the question of what constitutes a legal or acceptable marriage – an issue we see tested even now - in all parts of the United States.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Sayonara

    ‘Sayonara’ Reimagines a Story of Cross-Cultural Love

    Alexis Soloski

    July 9, 2015: It’s 1952 in Kobe, Japan, and the American airmen stationed there must confront an unfamiliar culture with its strange rituals and customs. Even the booze is perplexing. “This is the first rice I ever drank,” says Maj. Ace Gruver, tasting sake. “Back home we make pudding out of rice.” “Sayonara” capitalizes on this cross-cultural confusion. A 1987 show, it is adapted from the 1954 James Michener novel, which also inspired a Marlon Brando movie. Chockablock with romantic melodies, it follows the sentimental education of the flyboy Ace. At first, Ace tries to dissuade a private, Joe Kelly, from marrying a Japanese woman, Katsumi, using racial invective. But soon he falls in love with the star of the Takarazuka theater, Hana-Ogi, risking censure from his military betters. Pan Asian Repertory Theater’s production, directed by Tisa Chang, promises a fresh approach to the material, rendering the Japanese women at its center as more than merely foreign, sexually desirable and susceptible to American charms.

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