A Japanese all-female musical revue; enough feather boas and sparkles to please even the most reluctant theatre goer.
Founded in 1913, Takarazuka was the first troupe to bring the revue to Japan with their extravagant adaptations of mostly Western style musicals (think Broadway or Moulin Rouge) and the occasional Japanese folktale or manga comic. Part of the novelty of Takarazuka is that all the male parts are played by women, a tradition which stems from the original model of Kabuki before women were banned from the theatre in Japan.
An understanding of what is being spoken on stage is by no means necessary as the stories of love tend to be universal and heartwarmingly predictable and the blinding costumes, effortless dance routines and pitch perfect chorus lines keep you distracted if not entertained. Whatever you do, make sure you wait for the finale - a Rockette-style kickline with the performers parading down an enormous stage-wide staircase will make you think you're in Vegas!
The Takarazuka Revue performs in Takarazuka City which can be easily reached from central Osaka.
When to go: Takarazuka performances run throughout the year, with 5 different troupes (Flower, Star, Moon, Snow and Cosmo) performing in different shows.
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