I took ages writing this out, even longer than my Swallowtail entry despite the former having a lot more content. Again please ignore all the bad English and lousy arranging of content. I have no energy to preview XD;
The main reason why Jasmine and I went to Japan this November was because of the (sort of) last minute notice that this year, in celebration of Takarazuka’s Way to 100th Anniversary, the fourth special concert will be an Elisabeth Gala concert featuring graduated troupe members who performed in previous Eisabeth performances.
(Photos are a mix of mine, and from the web which all belong to their respective owners.)
Now we’re not the biggest fans of the musical, but when we saw the cast, we went a little crazy. We are bias.
Our main main main highlights were definitely Shizuki Asato and Hanafusa Mari. Well, there’s Ayaki Nao for me, but with my schedule and budget, I cannot afford to stay in Tokyo for such a long period sob.
Can I just say that I love my team members for being just as bochup as me, but we will all somehow manage to work hard and get an A? I hate it when people don’t do their part, and other members have to do their shit so that their own grade won’t suffer. So when I realised that submissions and presentation deadlines were pretty much just a few days away from my planned trip, I was like oh shit what do I do now ;; Thankfully for both group projects, I have 2 team mates who I have been hanging out with since start of school, and well, we know each others’ stupid last minute chiongster behaviour LOL. They were really nice to let me go even when I told them that I’m abandoning them for a musical. I told them please email me if there’s any work to be done, and I’ll be a good girl and do my work whenever I come back to the hotel.
I was super worried that I would get hated by my team members, so I emailed them once in a while to remind them to chuck me work XD; but nothing really happened. By the time I came back to Singapore, the deadlines were all less than a week away, and no one’s done anything LOL. RUSH.
In this gala concert, there will be a total of 5 Der Todds, 3 Elisabeths, 3 Franz, 2 Lucheni, idkhowmany Rudolphs, 2 Sophies, and more and more and more.. Basically depending on which show you attend, you get different combinations for the main cast. In the beginning there was only going to be one timing which will have our desired Zunko and Hana combi, and tickets on Yahoo!Auctions were going at ridiculous prices oucccch ;; I can’t even bring myself to think of the price now cus I’ll just cry LOL.
Around a month or so closer to the date, the schedule was edited to fit in another timing for one more ZunkoHana combi! POUNCE. (The opening of this timing also probably helped to make the prices of the tickets go lower ;; )
At first, we only have the intention of watching only one performance esp since tickets were so expensive. Tickets for those two showings were so hard to come by, so I was really jumping on almost all of the auctions. I painfully scored one S seat for the Friday show, and then after a while, scored a pair of S tickets for the Saturday show LOL oTL ;;;;; But Lady Luck smiled upon me, and I managed to get a Friday S ticket for pretty much retail price.
So here’s the cast we’re watching on both days!
As you can see, the only ones that changed are Sophie and Franz (edit: And young rudolph opps. Thanks Jasmine). I’m glad we got a chance to hear different performers because they all express their role very differently despite having the same script to work with. My bias self wished that we got the chance to see Mimi Anri reprise as Sophie, and of course Wao as Franz, but that will only happen in my dreams I’m sure. Jasmine and I were hoping to catch Todoroki Yuu and Hatsukaze Midori as Lucheni and Franz respectively, but alas no such schedule LOL.
We’re so happy to get both Asami Hikaru as Rudolph <3 Since we're talking about the cast, I think it's a miracle that a significant bunch of the cast all came from Cosmos Troupe’s 1998 version of Elisabeth. While I’m not entirely sure about most of the smaller cast, if we go by the 2nd showing, excluding Franz, we pretty much have the main-ish cast from that one show. How rare is that?! Heck, even Young Rudolph was from that show LOL. When I was queuing up at the cloak room, a few Japanese ladies in front of me were also commenting how much of a “miracle” this is.
Another wonderful thing about this concert is the location. Just a few years ago, Tokyo Orb was built, and I’m not sure where I read this from, but they said they aim to build a place where all musicals and performances can be gathered in one spot.
And what a damn convenient spot it is. Located in Shibuya Hikarie! There’s a bridge connecting the subway station to it, and for idiots like me, the signs are everywhere! In English! LOL.
After depositing some of our bags and coats at the cloak room, there was this massive board thingy showing photos of the entire cast. Naturally, everyone and their grandmother auntie sister mother uncle husband brother kid friend had to take a photo. It really was huge, and it was a huge crowd, so taking photos was really difficult even if you just wanted to take a photo of one potrait.
Which is why I have no idea how the heck some people (who are not from the press or whatever) can actually take a photo like this in its entire glory. Please refer to the earlier photo of the Deaths and Elisabeths to get an idea of how huge it was XD;
When we entered the theatre hall, oh wow it was soooo big and pretty.
For the first show we attended, Jasmine and I were separated. I sat in Row 27 to the right, which is (almost) right at the back of the S hall, but it was good enough. Even though the photo of my view feels like I’m really very far from the stage (okay I am), it actually felt a little bit bigger somehow idk why.
Call me a dummy or something, because I was actually all ooh ahh at the (electronic) candle effects, and how effective the whole setup of the stage is despite the simplicity of it. In fact when the stage lighted up with that blue hue in the beginning of the musical, and I could see that the backdrop looked like really impressive flags (or the poster design for that matter lol), I’m all OOOOOOOH *A*
When the orchestra gathered and did that whole tuning thing in the beginning, I really shivered at its grandness, and from what I can tell, many around me did too.
The singing, ohhhhh the singinggggg. Everyone was so great D: They were even better than whatever they did back then as a sienne. Even though the number of performers is like half of whatever Takarazuka will dish out in one seating, they were so amazinggggggg I can die with no worries D8 When Zunko sang Saigo no Dance, everyone was holding their breath waiting for her final flourish to start, and omg it was ….
Wow D8 I mean, in the back of my mind I did consider what will happen if some of the audience here have hearing aids, but OMGWTFITWASTOOAMAZING LET US ALL CLAP LIKE WE HAVE NEVER CLAPPED BEFORE!
And then I forgot that after her song, there will be this small interlude of music for her to exit to the sound effects of mirrors breaking, but whatever man let the mirrors break and LET US ALL CLAP LIKE MAD ONCE AGAIN.
Someone in front of me whispered to her partner which was the same as my thoughts (and possibly everyone too). I am not sure of the exact wording, but it’s basically along the lines of since Zunko did such an amazing performance, Hana’s solo later will be even more highly anticipated, and will it match up to that amazing solo of Zunko’s? Of course no one’s expecting her to go flat or off tune, and of course an Empress like her will definitely be astounding, but will it be stellar?!
Hana did not fail. I never really liked Watashi dake ni. But now, I’m looping it nonstop haha. In her 1998 performance, she was basically sniffling while singing the early part of the song, which is good cus that’s part of the show, but this time, it was a lot more subtle. Less trembling of the voice and sniffling, but the emotions could really be felt. And then her final chorus leading to the final note: WAAAAAH CLAP CLAP WE MUST CLAP OH HEIKAAAAAAAAAAAA.
For those who didn’t know, on the day I left for Japan, I fell sick. Very sick. Fever flu cough sore throat running nose sick. I was dying. I magically revived the next day (probably due to a good rest, a good meal, and medication), but sometimes I would have a coughing fit which is not very nice obviously ;; Especially for a concert no less ;;;
I was able to hold it and didn’t cough during the front part of the musical.. but a coughing fit came about by Scene 14 where the citizens were singing that they were bored lol. Dammit. I really controlled it to the best I could, I was sweating and tired by then XD;; I put on my mask too just for hygiene purposes (and hoping it would muffle some of it.) On day 2, the same thing happened at the same scene XD;
Before all this, I discussed with Jasmine about whether to rent binoculars since this sounded like the norm. In the end we decided against it because since we’re seated at the S seatings, it can’t be that bad right?
And then the audience who were seated way nearer to the stage than Jasmine and I were all brandishing binoculars. Opps.
So okay I couldn’t really see their expressions super clearly from where I was. I suspect it’s just my astigmatism, but I’m sure that some basic facial expressions can be seen. But if they were to cry or do any subtle acting, I’ll definitely miss it. (Even though I said I will miss it, they were actually able to portray their emotions just through their singing. I mean wow Hana, you cried D: but you could “hear” it too even without being obvious!)
But as the musical went on, I realised that faces weren’t the only thing people were raising the binoculars up for. The costumes matter too. For every new costume or entrance of a performer, WHOOSH up went them. And I was like oh darrrrn I knew there was that one costume I really wanted to see up close!
At the whole bathroom scene where Franz starts crooning to Elisabeth and then she will appear in her iconic white dress and slowly descend down the stairs with this really grand music (and I love that scene a lot because this is like the only thing I can hear all 3 main cast in one song)
And when the lights shine on her (and binoculars raised up), I totally got blinded by the bling. She was a walking ball of bling. Her hair and her neck too. Bling. And I’m not exaggerating, because I really couldn’t see her face nor anything on her other than this mass of white and bling LOL.
This photo is a lie. I should photoshop all those glint brushes all over her.
And so during the intermission where I met up with Jasmine to just fangirl, I went and rented binoculars too haha.
I thought that I wouldn’t have the chance to see that outfit up close until the next showing, but I sure want to see many other costumes and stuff like this:
And of course, her:
And because I’m upset that there are no gorgeous photos of her in this role because she’s really damn pretty, I am going to put up a chiraishi of her in her upcoming performance Othello.
Btw, Komu’s singing improved so much. Young handsome prince trying to do something for his country indeed. And she’s so pretty so pretty so so so pretty. I really liked that little harmonising part where Rudolph met up with the revolution people.
In my search of pictures of the gala concert, while I’m not surprised by the many photos of Ichiro Maki and the original cast of Elisabeth, I’m a bit shocked by the lack of Kozuki Wataru and Zunko photos. I’m guessing that there was only one chance for the press to take photos of the musical, and the casting is of the first cast. But I’m still upset that I can’t find any photos of them LOL.
When the intermission ends, the second half of the show starts with Lucheni lalala-ing into the middle of the audience looking for a pretty lady to take a photo of.
I was wondering if she would just pick a random lady, or if we would have any special guests this time. Big surprise, not only Soragumi members were there, apparently Mate Kamaras, the Der Todd of Vienna and Toho’s Elisabeth, was there too HAHAHA. Everyone gave that “OHHH~~~~” cry when Kozuki announced him out and told him to stand up so that she could “take a photo” of him. She also jokingly “taunted” him saying “Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. I know your Japanese is really very good.” LOLOL. But he was too late in standing up and even turned about here and there, so when the sound effect of the flash came too early, everyone just laughed.
During another solo part of Lucheni’s, Kozuki came out in this purple bling costume and was supposed to be selling Elisabeth and Franz potrait mugs, but the music stopped, and she was looking around to see who she could give a mug signed by herself to the audience LOL. “This cup is valuable. It has my signature.” LOLOL.
So now armed with binoculars, I spotted what I would call my own Easter egg in this musical. My favourite Madame Wolf is there! LOL.
With the power of my binoculars, I was amused to find that she did a lot of drawing and contouring around her cleavage thingy at her dress. Idk why I’m so amused. I mean I know this is standard procedure, but seeing it super pronounced like that makes me amused. Maybe it’s because back at home, my mother is trying to do the same for herself for her bellydancing performances.
And with this knowledge that she’s around for the musical, I started to pay attention in the second showing onwards, and surprise surprise, most of the cast other than the main ones are all acting in various other small roles like the maids and citizens.
So using our Madame Wolf as an example, I caught her in all the other scenes such as:
Speaking of other cast, I really enjoyed Helene’s performance. Even though I was seated way back, her expressions are very clear and funny. When she was in the middle of Franz and Sisi and realised that she wasn’t chosen, with impeccable timing, she gave this jawdrop expression that made the crowd laugh. And the hilarious way she sobbed to her mother really made the whole scene look like it jumped out of a comedy skit. Watching everyone perform, and experiencing it live myself, made me really appreciate a lot of the songs which I used to just skip. I think right now I’m listening to them more than the signature songs LOL.
Lemme just say again that I’m upset I can’t find Zunko photos.
Given the chance to listen to two different Franz (Suzumi Shio and Takane Fubuki), I once again thought of how each of them (and many other Franz in previous Takarazuka performances) expressed their role. I once said that Hatsukaze’s Franz felt like a father figure, while Wao’s was.. okay I think it could just be me being bias, but he really felt like a tragic lover as always LOL (and as Jasmine said, the strictest father to Rudolph). While I know that Death is basically The Manly Figure here, I was a bit disappointed at Suzumi Shio’s Franz because his character is so bloody weak. He’s a pushover. Ya Franz’s a pushover, but this one felt like he lost before anything even started. Even in his last attempt to get Sisi back, it was like, “Oi.. are you even trying?! D< You pretty much went there knowing you can't get her back, and you're just talking to her for the heck of it didn't you!?" Takane Fubuki on the other hand, I thought it was a really nice version! TRUE I'm still a bias person so I really liked Wao's Tragic Lover Franz, but but this is probably the Franz with the most fighting spirit in most of the Elisabeth performances I've seen =D A fighting Franz! He looked all ready to fight for Sisi in the showdown with Death (she practically shouted at Death in the face LOL), and that little gesture where he reached out for her one last time (and stopped walking to just stand there in that very silent agony way when he got rejected by her) was so "AWW D: You can do it, Franz!! D: " (I also realised I'm switching "he"s and "she"s all around, but please ignore that minor detail haha 8D; ) And yey! Even though we won't have a parade, the cast did come out and sing one last time! And then to my utter joy, Hana came out in the white dressssss! /raises binoculars! I really love how every Elisabeth actress out there perfected that back turn thingy like in the painting. So elegant and pretty and sexy LOL. [caption id="attachment_303" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Popular painting of Elisabeth, Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary[/caption]
And they gave a mini tallllk <3 But I stupidly forgot what they've said oTL. I also can't remember which Franz was it that went all "Oh I'm so sorry I'm like some sore thumb here, everyone's from Soragumi and I like come from nowhere~" LOL (And Soragumi ex members were all nooooo XD; /embarrassed) Jasmine and I bought concert goods too! We didn't get the tote, but we both bought the pamphlet and t-shirt! I bought the photosets because well. Photosets /shot. The tee is really very simple but classy enough for a simple tee. It's a bit like a class tee where you have the main logo in front, and all the classmates names at the back LOL. It's all black with only the simple concert name in front of the tee.
The pamphlet has a loooot of wonderful information which I completely don’t understand, but it makes up for lots of precious pictures such as rehearsal photos and of course, photos from the previous Elisabeth musicals.
The staff (or fanclub staff) also arranged a whole bunch of flyers for everyone to take, and while all chiraishis are basically arty farty whimsical musicals that should interest musical go-ers, the bulk of it is basically anything involving any ex Takarazuka sienne hahaha such as the previous Othello flyer.
Like this gem 😀
I also randomly found this really interesting makeup brush set LOL.
On the second day, Jasmine and I went and searched for Hachiko to take a picture of it hahaha
This time, Jasmine and I are seated together yey. While Jasmine’s seat is not as good as her previous one, it is definitely a level up for me XD From Row 27 on the right, to Row 21 in the middle!
We also both rented binoculars, but for some reason mine wasn’t working very well, so I really couldn’t see much with it. But it’s okay! I’ve had my fill of closeups yesterday!
The cast did stuff which they didn’t do in the previous day, probably because they either forgot their lines, or they decided to jazz it up idk haha. Stuff that they did this time was the missing scene of attempting to throw the Hungary flag (“NOOOO. That is the pride of Hungary!!! DDD:”), and Rudolph kneeling down in agony and some mild dancing here and there.
During the start of the 2nd half, we were excited to see if there might be any other special guests this time for “phototaking”. Unfortunately, Kozuki announced that there’s no oneeeeeee D8
But since this is such a short description, let’s have some pretty pictures to round it off haha.
What’s better than one beautiful Sisi? Three of them =D
Also, I just realised this haha. Wtf is an Elisabeth doughnut LOL.
I finished this entry in an appropriate time! I just heard from Jasmine that Alice and the Pirates are doing a print series for Elisabeth ~the Queen who was loved by Death~ HEHEHE. Can’t wait to see samples! Don’t disappoint!!!
If it’s nice, there might be a high chance I will cave in to the Elisabeth choker because you know, “mottainai” LOL. (Sorry terrible joke I know. In the musical, I love this scene between Franz and Elisabeth where he gave her a choker) I’m also very curious to this hairpin of theirs..