'Cats' Musical Wiki
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The Japanese production of Cats by the Shiki Theatre Company has continuously played in the country across multiple locations since premiering in 1983. Cats was the first long-running stage show in Japan and is hugely popular within Japanese pop culture.

Production Specifics

The Japanese production was one of the first productions worldwide, opening two years after the original London production on which it is based. 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. The production has gone through two overhauls that saw major revisions to the show, first in 1998 and then in 2018.

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 is the cat who swings on the trapeze and his design is an interpretation of the Broadway Golden Alonzo costume. Rumpus Cat doubles as an ensemble character along with his usual role in "The Awefull Battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles"; since the 1998 overhaul, his ensemble design has resembled that of the Black and White Alonzo costume. Admetus or Plato are not present in the production, while Macavity doubles as an ensemble character with a separate yellow costume design. For the 1997 to 1998 Sapporo run, the ensemble Macavity was cut and Tumblebrutus doubled as Macavity instead.

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 throughout the show; however, they don't necessarily wear identical costumes and therefore are not always "twins", as is customary in most productions worldwide. There is no official word on their relationship, but their 2018 performers interpreted and played them as a couple instead of siblings.[1]

The show includes both Sillabub and Jemima. Sillabub is the youngest kitten; she sings the "Moonlight" and "Daylight" refrains as well as "Memory" with Grizabella, and is the first cat to touch Grizabella (instead of Victoria). Jemima is not a kitten in this version; she is featured as one of the Gumbie Trio (with Jellylorum and Tantomile) and sings "Grizabella: The Glamour Cat" with Jellylorum (instead of Demeter and Bombalurina).

Starting from the 1998 Fukuoka run, "The Awefull Battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles" was cut from the show. It was added once again starting from the 2018 Tokyo run.

For more details about the Japanese Score, see HERE.

Original Creative Team

  • Director: Keita Asari (浅利慶太)
  • Production Assistant / Artistic Director: Yuji Sawada (沢田祐二)
  • Production Assistant / Production Supervisor: Chizuru Tsuruga (梶賀千鶴子)
  • Production Assistant / Operations: Shizuo Sugita (杉田静生)
  • Choreographer: Taku Yamada (山田 卓)
  • Lighting Designer: Yuji Sawada (沢田祐二)
  • Musical Director: Morihisa Shibuya (渋谷森久)
  • Deputy Musical Director: Akira Aoyama (青山明)
  • Scenery Designer: Satoshi Kanamori Memorial Design Studio (金森馨記念デザイン工房)
  • Assistant Music Director: Megumi Chinju (鎭守めぐみ), Keisuke Shimizu (清水恵介)
  • Stage Director: Keiji Hirase (平瀬慶次)
  • Sound Designer: 実吉英一、金森正和、小幡亨、三浦桃枝

Crew

Position Name Date
Japanese Script Keita Asari (浅利 慶太) 1983 - present
Resident Director Keita Asari (浅利 慶太) 1983 - 2014
Keiji Kato (加藤 敬二) 2015 - 2019
Kanako Sakata (坂田 加奈子) 2016 - present
Resident Choreographer Taku Yamada (山田 卓) 1983 - ?
Keiji Kato (加藤 敬二) 1998 - 2019
Musical Director Morihisa Shibuya (渋谷森久) 1983 - ?
Megumi Chinju (鎭守 めぐみ) By 2018
Musical Supervisor Kristen Blodgette (クリステン・ブロジェット) By 2018
Scenery Designer Shigeaki Tsuchiya (土屋 茂昭) 1983 - present
Shiki Theatre Company Art Club (劇団四季美術部) By 2018
Lighting Designer Yuji Sawada (沢田 祐二) 1983 - present

Locations

Japan Cast Poster.jpg

  • Tokyo - 11/11/1983 - 10/11/1984
    Cats Theater, Nishi-Shinjuku, Tokyo
  • Osaka - 20/03/1985 - 30/04/1986
    Cats Theater, Nishi-Umeda, Osaka
  • Tokyo - 10/10/1986 - 31/05/1987
    Cats Theater, Shinjuku, Tokyo
  • Nagoya - 23/11/1988 - 23/11/1989
    Cats Theater, Nagoya, Aichi
  • Fukuoka - 20/04/1990 - 19/11/1990
    Cats Theater, Momochihama, Fukuoka
  • Sapporo - 21/05/1991 - 26/04/1992
    Cats Theater, Sapporo, Hokkaido
  • Osaka - 18/07/1992 - 23/09/1993
    Cats Dome, Namba, Osaka
  • Tokyo - 04/01/1995 - 14/12/1996
    Cats Theater, Shinagawa, Tokyo
  • Sapporo - 08/04/1997 - 08/03/1998
    JR Cats Theater, Sapporo, Hokkaido
  • Fukuoka - 01/07/1998 - 09/05/1999
    Fukuoka City Theater, Fukuoka
  • Nagoya - 20/07/1999 - 28/01/2001
    Shin-Nagoya Musical Theater, Nagoya, Aichi
  • Osaka - 11/03/2001 - 13/01/2003
    Osaka MBS Theater, Osaka
  • Shizuoka - 29/04/2003 - 09/07/2003
    Shizuoka City Cultural Hall, Shizuoka
  • Hiroshima - 02/08/2003 - 24/11/2003
    Hiroshima Postal Savings Hall, Hiroshima
  • Sendai - 19/12/2003 - 05/05/2004
    Miyagi Prefectural Hall, Sendai
  • Tokyo - 11/11/2004 - 03/05/2009
    Cats Theater, Gotanda, Tokyo
  • Yokohama - 11/11/2009 - 11/11/2012
    Canon Cats Theater, Yokohama, Kanagawa
  • Hiroshima - 09/12/2012 - 24/03/2013
    Hiroshima Ueno Gakuen Hall, Hiroshima
  • Sendai - 23/04/2013 - 20/08/2013
    Tokyo Electron Hall Miyagi, Miyagi
  • Shizuoka - 15/09/2013 - 1/12/2013
    Shizuoka City Cultural Hall, Shizuoka
  • Fukuoka - 20/04/2014 - 04/10/2014
    Canal City Theater, Fukuoka
  • Sapporo - 18/01/2015 - 21/03/2016
    Hokkaido Shiki Theater, Hokkaido
  • Osaka - 16/07/2016 - 06/05/2018
    Osaka Shiki Theater, Osaka
  • Tokyo - 11/08/2018 - 20/06/2021
    Cats Theater, Ōimachi, Tokyo
  • Fukuoka - 27/07/2021 - 17/04/2022
    Canal City Theater, Fukuoka
  • Nagoya - 07/2022
    Nagoya Shiki Theater, Nagoya

Milestones

  • 1,000th performance on 9 November 1986 at the Cats Theatre in Shinjuku, Tokyo
  • 2,000th performance on 13 October 1991, at the Cats Theatre in Sapporo
  • 3,000th performance on 3 October 1995, at the Cats Theatre in Shinagawa, Tokyo
  • 4,000th performance on 5 December 1998, at the Fukuoka City Theatre
  • 5,000th performance on 4 November 2001, at the Osaka MBS Theater
  • 6,000th performance on 8 July 2005, at the Cats Theater in Shinagawa, Tokyo
  • 7,000th performance on 27 June 2008, at the Cats Theater in Shinagawa, Tokyo
  • 8,000th performance on 28 October 2011, at the Canon Cats Theater in Yokohama
  • 9,000th performance on 22 August 2015, at the Hokkaido Shiki Theater
  • 10,000th performance on 12 March 2019 at the Cats Theater in Oimachi, Tokyo

30th anniversary celebration in 2013

Cast Recordings

Publications

  • All About Cats - the official book of the Japanese Production; published by Kobunsha on 22 August 2014
  • Commemorative Magazine - 96 pages commemorating 10,000 performances in Japan, released in 2019

Casts

Cast List from Opening Night Booklet

Role Cast
Original Cast, November 1983
Asparagus / Bustopher Jones Akihiko Mitsueda (光枝明彦)
Bombalurina Tomoko Hanaga (羽永共子)
Carbucketty Isamu Furusawa (古沢勇)
Cassandra Megumi Mochizuki (望月めぐみ)
Coricopat Masahiro Fukami (深見正博)
Demeter Mayumi Kamata (鎌田真由美)
Gilbert Yoichi Kishikawa (岸川洋一)
Grizabella Akiko Kuno (久野綾希子)
Jellylorum / Griddlebone Chizu Hosaka (保坂知寿)
Jemima Hitomi Kuroda (黒田ひとみ)
Jennyanydots Yoshiko Hattori (服部良子)
Macavity Yoshiaki Sugitani (杉谷嘉昭)
Mistoffelees Osami Iino (飯野おさみ)
Mungojerrie Masayoshi Yamaguchi (山口正義)
Munkustrap Shintaro Sonooka (園岡新太郎)
Kenkichi Hamahata (浜畑賢吉)
Old Deuteronomy Takanori Yamamoto (山本隆則)
Jun Kitagawa (北川潤)
Rumpus Cat Mitsuru Takakuwa (高桑 満)
Rumpleteazer Youko Asami (浅見陽子)
Rum Tum Tugger Yuuichiro Yamaguchi (山口祐一郎)
Sillabub Ryoko Nomura (野村玲子)
Skimbleshanks Koji Suzuki (鈴木孝次)
Akira Aoyama (青山明)
Tantomile Sonoko Fukui (福井園子)
Tumblebrutus Jouji Masukawa (桝川譲治)
Victoria Mamiko Yaesawa (八重沢真美)
Mami Nakai (中井まみ)
Understudy Keisuke Honda (本田 薫)
Understudy Masaki Nogaki (野垣真実生)
Understudy Keiji Nakai (中井敬二)
Understudy Mitsuo Okamoto (岡本光夫)
Understudy Moriku Morizono (森園斉)
Understudy Takeshi Morikawa (河岡武樹)
Understudy Miki Kuwabara (桑原美樹)
Understudy Mari Nasu (那須まり)
Understudy Yayoi Aoyama (青山弥生)
Understudy Kasumi Aoki (青木香澄)
Understudy Miko Nishijima (西島美子)
Understudy Kumi Yamauchi (山内久美)
Understudy Yuko Shibagaki (柴垣裕子)
Understudy Yukimi Shimura (志村幸美)

Further Japan Casts

For further Japan Casts see here.

Videos

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.

Cats Theatre

Purpose-built Cats Theatres for the Japan production.

Merchandise

The Japanese production releases new merchandise every season that isn't available in any other production, including stuffed toys, character trading cards etc.

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Original Cast - Tokyo 1983

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Osaka 1985

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Tokyo 1996

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Sapporo 1997

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Nagoya 2000

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Osaka 2001

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Tokyo 2004

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Yokohama 2009

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Shizuoka 2013

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Fukuoka 2014

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Sapporo 2015

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Osaka 2016

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Tokyo 2018

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Fukuoka 2021

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Awards and Nominations

Main article: Awards

Trivia

  • Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone saw the show in Osaka on 26 September 1985
  • Queen frontman Freddie Mercury attended an Osaka performance in 1986
  • Audience members are required to leave their belongings (including phones) in lockers in the theatre lobby before each performance. Hence bootlegs of this production are very rare.
  • From 7 March 2019 onwards, the Rinkai Railway Line in Tokyo changed its 13:14 train departure melody at the Oimachi Station to jingles of "Memory" (for the train to Osaki Station) and "Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat" (for the train to Shin-Kiba Station). The Oimachi station was chosen because the Cats Theatre is located nearby.[2]
  • Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Shiki Theatre production of Cats was temporarily halted from March to July 2020,[3] with performances resuming on 15 July.[4]

References

External Links


ve Cats in Japan
Production Japan (1983 - present): CastScore
Recordings 1985 (live)1989 (studio)2001 (demo)2019 (studio)
Galleries Merchandise1983198519961997200020012004200920132014201520162018
Characters BombalurinaBustopher JonesCarbuckettyCassandraCoricopatDemeterGilbertGriddleboneGrizabellaGrowltigerGusJellylorumJemimaJennyanydotsMacavityMistoffeleesMungojerrieMunkustrapOld DeuteronomyRum Tum TuggerRumpleteazerRumpus CatSillabubSkimbleshanksTantomileTumblebrutusVictoria
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