by Chris MaGee
We've spoken about how Japanese actors (and Asian actors in general) have to jack-of-all-trades here on the Pow-Wow before. It's not enough that they bring characters to life on the big screen, but they also have to do the same on television in various dramas and comedies. Add to that that they're expected to pop up on TV panel shows, commercials, release CDs, etc, etc. and you have stars like Joe Odagiri, Miho Kanno, and Kyoko Koizumi turning into one person entertainment conglomerates. One aspect of this multi-purpose entertaining that we don't see much coverage of here in North America are the numerous stage plays and musicals that Japanese stars take part in. One good example of this is "The Hidden Blade" and "K-20: Legend of the Mask" actress Takako Matsu starring in a stage musical adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's classic 1847 novel "Jane Eyre". The 32-year-old actress who has also released eight CDs in Japan, stars in the lead role and performs 22 musical numbers in the play running at the Nissay Theater in Yurakucho, Tokyo until September 29th.
Of course even though we don't get inundated with YouTube videos stage performances from Matsu that doesn't mean "Jane Eyre" is a one off gig. She has appeared in over 20 stage productions including the off-beat "Metal Macbeth", a heavy metal version of Shakespeare's tragedy directed by Kankuro Kudo (check out our original article on that production here). So if you're in Tokyo this month and have a good chunk of cash burning a hole in your pocket then go and see a side of one of Japan's most talented young actresses that we in the West don't normally get a chance to see.