Monday, January 26, 2009

Eiji Wentz joins the cast of Yukio Ninagawa's latest play... and goes in drag to do it

by Chris MaGee

Eiji Wentz, one half of the Japanese pop duo WaT and star of the live-action "Gegege no Ktaro" films has joined the cast of Yukio Ninagawa's stage play "Ame no Natsu, Sanjunin no Juliet ga Kaette Kita". Originally staged by Ninagawa in 1982 the play follows members of an all girl theatre troupe who, now all in middle-age, want to return to the stage. Ninagawa has mirrored the plot of the "Ame no Natsu" by bringing back cast members from the original production to star in this revival while 23-year-old Wentz will be one of the few newcomers. He'll be portraying a handsome young man who must dress in drag with the troupe during different points in the play.

As we've reported before, 73-year-old Ninagawa is a world reknowned theatre director who isn't averse to casting young film actors in his stage productions. Wentz joins the likes of "Death Note's" Tatsuya Fujiwara and "Returner's" Ann Suzuki who starred opposite each other in a 2004 Ninagawa production of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet". Ninagawa has also moved into the world of feature film with his adaptation of Hitomi Kanehara's novel "Hebi ni Piasu (Snakes and Earrings)" last year.

"Ame no Natsu, Sanjunin no Juliet ga Kaette Kita" will run from May 6th to 30th at the Bunkamura Theater Cocoon in Shibuya. Thanks to Tokyograph for this story.

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