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Cats has played near continuously in Japan since 1983, moving location nearly every year. The production is hugely popular within Japanese culture.

Production Specifics

The Japanese production was one of the first productions worldwide, opening two years after the first production. It was based off the Original London Production. It has developed independently over the years without much influence from more western productions, leading to a strongly Japanese influenced production that still maintains a replica status.

One unique element of the Japanese production is its ensemble characters, which differ significantly not only in design but in role compared to most other productions of Cats. There is no Alonzo; his role is covered by two ensemble characters, Gilbert and Rumpus Cat. Gilbert's design is an interpetation of the Broadway Golden Alonzo costume; while Rumpus Cat has had various designs throughout the history of the production, in recent years his costume designed has resembled that of the Black and White Alonzo costume. Admetus or Plato are not present in the production, while Macavity is an ensemble character. The roles of the Twins, usually Coricopat and Tantomile, are instead Cassandra and Tumblebrutus in this production, with Tantomile wearing the smooth brown costume design normally identified as Cassandra. Cassandra and Tumblebrutus are featured as pair dancers; however, they don't necessarily wear identical costumes and therefore are not always "twins", as is customary in most productions worldwide. The show includes both Sillabub and Jemima, with the elements of the role split between the two characters.

According the the Japanese production website[1], Jemima is featured as one of the Gumbie Trio (with Jellylorum and Cassandra) and sings the "Moonlight" refrain during "The Moments of Happiness", Coricopat and Victoria dance the Invitation to the Jellicle Ball, Cassandra and Tumblebrutus dance a solo during "Moments of Happiness", while Sillabub is the youngest kitten and is the one who sings "Memory" with Grizabella.
Cats - Japanese 2011-2012 production

Cats - Japanese 2011-2012 production

Venues

Japan Cast Poster
  • Tokyo - 11/1983 - 11/1984
  • Osaka - 03/1985 - 04/1986
  • Tokyo - 10/1986 - 05/1987
  • Nagoya - 11/1988 - 11/1989
  • Fukuoka - 04/1990 - 11/1990
  • Sapporo - 05/1991 - 04/1992
  • Osaka - 07/1992 - 09/1993
  • Tokyo - 01/1995 - 12/1996
  • Sapporo - 04/1997 - 03/1998
  • Fukuoka - 07/1998 - 05/1999
  • Nagoya - 07/1999 - 2000
  • Osaka - 2001 - 01/03
  • Shizuoka - 04/2003 - 07/2003
  • Hiroshima - 08/2003 - 11/2003
  • Sendai - 12/2003 - 05/2004
  • Tokyo - 11/2004 - 05/2009
  • Yokohama - 11/2009 - 11/2012
  • Hiroshima - 12/2012 - 03/2013
  • Sendai - 04/2013 - 08/2013
  • Shizuoka - 09/2013
  • Fukuoka - 05/2014 - 10/2014 
  • Sapporo - 01/2015 - 01/2016 


Gallery

Costume Designs

The Japanese production has a distinctive look influenced by Japanese culture, and has developed separate from other productions worldwide. This has led to unique characters and designs that can be hard to relate to the more familiar western names and designs.

Original Cast 1983

1983 Japan Cast
Asparagus / Bustopher Jones Akihiko Mitsueda
Bombalurina Tonoko Hanenaga
Carbucketty Isamu Furusawa
Cassandra Megumi Mochizuki
Coricopat Masahiro Fukami
Demeter Mayumi Kamata
Gilbert (chorus) Yoichi Kishikawa
Grizabella Akiko Kuno
Jellylorum / Griddlebone Chizu Hosaka
Jemima (chorus) Hitomi Kuroda
Jennyanydots Yoshiko Hattori
Macavity Yoshiaki Sugitani
Mistoffelees Iino Osami
Mungojerrie / Ghengis Masayoshi Yamaguchi
Munkustrap Shintaro Sonooka
Old Deuteronomy Takanori Yamamoto
Rumpus Cat Mitsuru Takakuwa
Rumpleteazer Youko Asami
Rum Tum Tugger Yuuichiro Yamaguchi
Sillabub Ryoko Nomura
Skimbleshanks Akira Aoyama
Tantomile Sonoko Fukui
Tumblebrutus Jouji Masukawa
Victoria Mamiko Yaesawa
Swing Jun Kitagawa
Swing Keiji Nakai
Swing Koji Suzuki
Swing Mari Nasu
Swing Yayoi Aoyama
Swing Kumi Yamauchi
Swing Miki Kuwahara
Swing Yuuko Shibagaki
Swing Mami Nakai
Swing Yukimi Shimura
Swing Atsuko Sekimori
Swing Kaori Kason
Swing Megumi Harada
Swing Atsuko Kurokawa

1996 Cast


Scenes

References

  1. Shiki.jp Website - "Characters"

www.shiki.jp/applause/cats/