2006-05-19

Don't run for your life...

...to see "Run For Your Wife"! I saw this play last night out in the suburbs and, though the theater was lovely and the performances lively, I didn't really enjoy myself. For those not in the know, RFYW was written in 1982 by Ray Cooder and is a British farce about a bigamist taxi driver who complicates his life when his picture ends up on the front page after having performed a heroic act. Technically, it's a well done production, using one set to represent both households and two telephones at opposite ends of the couch to distinguish one abode from the other. But the play has not aged well for most of the humour revolves around the protaganist pretending to be gay around the investigating policemen and passing off one wife as a drag queen to the other wife. An upstairs neighbour, who is SO flaming he's on fire, tends to fall in love with every male character who enters the picture.

Enough history. On with this production. I imagine that the translation is adequate, for everyone seemed to chuckle at the lines but most of this may be due to the "hilarity" of the actors. British farce seems to translate well to the Japanese sense of humour, with lots of slapstick, coincidences and wordplay. The dialogue was spoken a mile a minute, however, I could figure out most of the goings-on by action alone (but I still didn't find it all that amusing.) The taxi driver, best friend and 2 wives were all played very well but the poufter was WAY TOO over the top for my taste.

What, you may ask, possessed me to pay 30 bucks and go see such a production? The answer should be obvious...a woman (or two). My companion for the evening was Hana, who I've known through the Echophonyk gang for over 6 years. She introduced me to a friend of hers, who just happens to be an actress. We dated for a while a few years ago. Her name is Eriko Kawanome and some of the locals may recognize her as a co-host of an afternoon talk show called "Hey Hey Miyagi" (I think) that aired everyday at 5:00. I saw it a few times and it had fluffy little pieces, such as cooking displays and interviews with local people in and around Sendai. I've seen her in 2 or 3 other productions, one of which was her own One-Woman show where she performed in 6 different skits. It was an excellent show.

Unfortunately, single career women in Japan tend to have their priorities in the following fashion: #1--full-time job; #2--part-time job or hobby; #3--breathing and #4--social life. In-between breaths, we dated a few times but she got busier and busier and our dates became fewer and fewer. Whenever I hear of one of her performances though, I'll jump at the chance to go see it, with the hopes that it'll equal or surpass her One-Woman show (RFYW definitely didn't.) And besides, I may rekindle a spark...

In summation, a good show, not a great show; a good time, not a great time. At the end of the show, during the Curtain Call, several audience members presented the cast with bouquets of flowers. I felt a little inadequate, but Hana encouraged me to do the same, and I tossed my single red rose up on the stage. (Much to the amusement of the crowd.)

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