Hello Kitty In Ozu!
As briefly mentioned here, one of the reasons I went to Tokyo was to go to Sanrio Puroland and check out a Stage show of
ハローキティトオズの魔法使いの国 or Hello Kitty and the Land of the Wizard of Oz. I must say it was the best stage production of the Oz myth I've ever seen (though frankly, it is the only one I've ever seen. I missed out on Wicked.)
The good news is that flashless-photos were perfectly acceptable so I really went to town and snapped away. A brief synopsis of the play is as follows though forgive me if it isn't entirely faithful but I am unfamiliar with most of Kitty's family and it was in Japanese. After the synopsis, I'll show a string of photos, you may have to fill in some of the blanks of the tale for yourselves.
Kitty-chan and her twin sister, Mimmy are celebrating their birthdays (coinciding with the 35th Anniversary of the franchise.) Her parents give them each a ケイタイ (keitai = cell phone) and Kitty's has a glowing strawberry strap attached. Their brother gave them each a storybook, Mimmy received オズの魔法使いの国 (Ozu no mahoutsukai no kuni or The Wizard of the Land of Oz) and I missed what Kitty got but she whined until her sis relented and gave her the Wiz.
Kitty goes off on her own and procedes to begin reading. A backdrop of Kansas and a whirring Tornado strike and whisk her off to a distant land (guess where!)
Though they don't show the corpse, there are a pair of SILVER shoes that she dons upon the encouragement of her new Munchkin friends (the dancers in large yellow dresses moved around while sitting on wheeled-chairs--nicely choreographed!)
They tell her that to get home, she needs to follow a yellow brick road (sound familiar?) to the Emerald City and make a request of the Wizard.
She first meets a カカシ (kakashi = Scarecrow) getting its head pecked by a カラス (karasu = crow). The two of them sing a number and then come across a ブリキ (buriki = Tin woodsman) and they oil him up and he too gets a solo. Continuing along, they are threatened by a ライオン (Raion = Lion). Dorothy (oops) Kitty slaps him upside of the head and he cries out for his Mama!
They all sing a little number and decide to ask the Wizard for Brains, a Heart, Courage and a return home. The ordeal parallels the more familiar tale until they meet up with the 魔法使い (Mahoutsukai =Wizard), a magnificent Pimped-up Elvis-clone with a gorgeous group of gals by his side. He makes one request of them, that they do away with another 魔女 (Majo = Witch), デビリーナ (Devirina). (The story strays quite a bit from the original plot from here!)
As they venture towards her land, they are captured by a pair of non-flying (!) monkeys and are taken before the Witch, an obese hag who is constantly eating Junk food and then sings a diatribe towards her favourite munchies.
They frisk Kitty for some food and comes across the glowing Strawberry chain. Devirina chows down on the fluorescent berry and then melts down to nothing!
Everybody cheers and they trek back to The Emerald City where all they find is an old man. They soon discover his wig and false beard and he owns up that he was just an ordinary Sunglasses salesman who was just looking for some action and won the denizens of Oz over to his side by providing Green-tinted lenses to one & all.
He granted the Scarecrow a flashy hat for brains, the Tin Woodsman a flashy Heart for a heart and gave the Lion a flashy Wrestler's belt for courage. He pointed out that Kitty could return home with but a click of her Silver-shod ankles and sure enough she landed at home.
The play then bizarrely switches to a broadway number with Rockettes dancing with each family member, showcasing some fancy moves and glorious costumes climaxing in a Curtain Call.
All in all, I was thoroughly entertained for the 40 minutes (including the 5 minute opening birthday scene and 5 minute finale). Although, I can't tell who played Kitty, here are some of the main cast. Curiously, the chorus of 37 featured about a dozen Chinese actors amongst the troupe.
Here is the show presented in picture, my apologies if some are a bit blurry. (For non-blurry pics, go to the Gallery, but I'll be offended if you do so!) If you are interested and want to freak out your friends, you can download some Wallpapers! Please enjoy some YouTubian viewing after you've eyeballed the photos.
Because I was the only adult male unaccompanied with a child in an entire village of kids & parents, I decided not to stick around and took off after a trip to the Giftshop to pick up the DVD. (The final shots include a picture of the washroom which was decked out like the enchanted forest with the urinals built into talking trees! I decided taking pictures inside a washroom was probably taboo!)