Studio 54, (12/02/2004 - 1/30/2005)

First Preview: Nov 12, 2004
Opening Date: Dec 02, 2004
Closing Date: Jan 30, 2005
Total Previews: 24
Total Performances: 69

Category: Musical, Comedy, Drama, Revival, Broadway
Setting: Japan, 1853-Present.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes: Artistic Director; Ellen Richard: Managing Director; Julia C. Levy: Executive Director of External Affairs; Gene Feist: Founding Director); House Manager: LaConya Robinson

Produced by The Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes: Artistic Director; Ellen Richard: Managing Director; Julia C. Levy: Executive Director of External Affairs; Gene Feist: Founding Director); Produced in association with Gorgeous Entertainment

Music by Stephen Sondheim; Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim; Book by John Weidman; Additional Material by Hugh Wheeler; Musical Director: Paul Gemignani; Music orchestrated by Jonathan Tunick

Directed by Amon Miyamoto; Choreographed by Amon Miyamoto; Associate Choreographer: Darren Lee

Set and Mask Design: Rumi Matsui; Costume Design by Junko Koshino; Costume Associate: Maiko Matsushima; Lighting Design by Brian MacDevitt; Associate Lighting Design: Anne McMills; Sound Design by Dan Moses Schreier; Associate Sound Design: David Bullard

Executive Producer: Sydney Beers; Roundabout General Manager: Sydney Beers; Company Manager: Nichole Larson

Roundabout Technical Supervisor: Steve Beers; Production Stage Manager: Arthur Gaffin; Stage Manager: Kenneth McGee and Justin Scribner

Conducted by Paul Gemignani; Associate Conductor: Mark Mitchell; Flute / Clarinet: Dennis Anderson; Cello: Deborah Assael-Migliore; Synthesizer #1: Paul Ford; Synthesizer #2: Mark Mitchell; Percussion #1: Paul Pizzuti; Violin / Viola: Suzanne Ornstein; Percussion #2: Thad Wheeler

Casting: Jim Carnahan; Associate Artistic Dir: Scott Ellis; Dance Captain: Darren Lee; Press Representative: Boneau / Bryan-Brown; Fight direction by Kuzuki Takase; Roundabout Director of Marketing: David B. Steffen

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Opening Night Cast

BD WongReciter
Evan D'AngelesObserver
British Admiral
Joseph Anthony ForondaThief
Yoko Fumoto
Broadway debut
Kayama's Wife
Alvin Y. F. IngShogun's Mother
Old Man
Fred Isozaki
Broadway debut
Francis JueMadam
Dutch Admiral
Darren LeeAmerican Admiral
Hoon LeeSailor
Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry
Lord of the South
Michael K. LeeKayama
Ming LeeCouncilor
Emperor Priest
Telly LeungBoy
Shogun's Companion
Paolo MontalbanManjiro
Alan MuraokaCouncilor
Mayumi Omagari
Broadway debut
Kanagawa Girl
Daniel Jay Park
Broadway debut
Kanagawa Girl
French Admiral
Hazel Anne Raymundo
Broadway debut
Shogun's Wife
Kanagawa Girl
Sab ShimonoLord Abe
Yuka TakaraSon
Shogun's Wife's Servant
Kanagawa Girl
Scott WatanabeFisherman
Russian Admiral
Older Swordsman
Samurai Bodyguard

Swings: Eric Bondoc, Rick Edinger and Kim Varhola

Understudies: Eric Bondoc (American Admiral, Boy, Councilor, Emperor Priest, French Admiral, Kanagawa Girl, Noble, Observer, Officer, Priest, Sailor, Shogun's Companion), Rick Edinger (British Admiral, Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry, Councilor, Fisherman, Grandmother, Lord of the South, Merchant, Observer, Officer, Old Man, Older Swordsman, Physician, Russian Admiral, Sailor, Shogun's Mother, Warrior), Joseph Anthony Foronda (Reciter), Fred Isozaki (Fisherman, Older Swordsman, Physician, Russian Admiral, Samurai, Soothsayer, Storyteller, Thief), Darren Lee (Manjiro), Hoon Lee (British Admiral, Observer, Officer, Samurai, Soothsayer, Storyteller, Thief, Warrior), Ming Lee (Lord Abe, Old Man, Shogun's Mother), Telly Leung (Kayama), Alan Muraoka (Dutch Admiral, Madam), Daniel Jay Park (Sailor) and Kim Varhola (Daughter, Kanagawa Girl, Shogun's Wife, Shogun's Wife's Servant, Son, Tamate)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2005 Best Revival of a Musical [nominee] 

Produced by The Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes: Artistic Director; Ellen Richard: Managing Director; Julia C. Levy: Executive Director of External Affairs; Gene Feist: Founding Director); Produced in association with Gorgeous Entertainment

 2005 Best Orchestrations [nominee] 

Jonathan Tunick

 2005 Best Scenic Design of a Musical [nominee] 

Rumi Matsui

 2005 Best Costume Design of a Musical [nominee] 

Junko Koshino


music by Stephen Sondheim; lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

ACT 1 Sung By
The Advantages of Floating in the Middle of the SeaReciter and Company
There Is No Other WayObservers
Four Black DragonsFisherman, Thief, Reciter and Company
Chrysanthemum TeaShogun, Shogun's Mother, Shogun's Wife, Soothsayer, Priests, Shogun's Companion, Physician and Shogun's Wife's Servant
I Will Make a PoemKayama and Manjiro
Welcome To KanagawaMadam and Girls
Someone in a TreeOld Man, Reciter, Boy and Warrior
Lion DanceCompany
ACT 2 Sung By
Please Hello!Lord Abe, Reciter, American Admiral, British Admiral, Dutch Admiral, Russian Admiral and French Admiral
A Bowler HatKayama
Pretty LadySailors
NextReciter and Company


AP: "Pacific Overtures Coarse"

A "Pacific Overtures" lost at sea? There is a rough, unsteady quality to the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of the Stephen Sondheim musical, a show that can be as delicate and demanding as any musical the composer has ever written.

Which is strange since the production, which opened Thursday at Broadway's Studio 54, is a direct descendent of a highly praised, Japanese-language version that director Amon Miyamoto brought from Japan to the United States in 2002 for brief runs in Washington, D.C, and New York.

The Roundabout adaptation uses a cast of Asian-Americans and, surprisingly, something is missing in the musical's return to its home turf.

Not that there aren't pleasures to be found, but this revival seems coarser and not as secure as other productions of the show, particularly director Gary Griffin's immaculate, small-scale version done in Chicago and London.

This latest incarnation is midsize and middling, finding its strengths in the emotional qualities of the score, one of Sondheim's most ambitious, right up there with "Sweeney Todd" and "Sunday in the Park With George." The production doesn't look particularly lavish, although designer Rumi Matsui's movable tan panels and Junko Koshino's colorful costumes are often lovely to see.

"Pacific Overtures," which has a book by John Weidman (with an assist from Hugh Wheeler), concerns the opening of Japan to the West, starting in 1853 with the arrival of Commodore Matthew Perry. It chronicles the changes to the culture and its people, primarily through two men: Kayama, a poor fisherman turned samurai, who embraces Western ways, and Manjiro, a sailor, who has seen the outside world but who returns to fiercely reconnect with traditional Japanese culture.

The disparity between the two men is seen most succinctly in the song "A Bowler Hat," as Kayama, portrayed by Michael K. Lee, sheds his native identity for a more Western appearance.

And there is an equally affecting moment in "I Will Make a Poem," a simple, haiku-like duet for the two men as they each sing of the woman they love. Lee and Paolo Montalban, who plays Manjiro, handle the number beautifully.

B.D. Wong makes for a genial, unassuming Reciter, the show's nominal narrator. Wong's affable personality is more tour guide than forceful personality, and he tends to get lost in this over-busy production.

Part of the problem is Weidman's book, a tale of epic scale, in which the often convoluted story dwarfs the characters, even the fisherman and the sailor. And that busyness hampers the musical's ensemble numbers which often come across as raggedly overacted. Particularly unsuccessful are the show's few moments of musical comedy. "Welcome to Kanagawa," sung by a madam and a bevy of geisha girls eager to greet sailors, falls flat in its obviousness.

And what should be the comic highlight of the show - a parade of American, British, Dutch, Russian and French admirals - collapses in incomprehensibility, a major crime in any Sondheim musical. His lyrics for each of these "barbarians" are witty comments on their nationalities, but none of them come through at Studio 54.

The last number of "Pacific Overtures" has been updated since the show first opened on Broadway in 1976 and where it ran for about five months. The musical finale is ominously called "Next," a hard-driving pean to what Japan has accomplished late in the 20th century.

"Let the pupil show the master," goes one lyric as the country finds its place in contemporary life. Japanese successes in the United States - from Sony to Toyota to New York Yankees superstar Hideki Matsui –are enumerated by punk, trendily black-clad dancers, looking as if they would be right at home in Studio 54 in its previous incarnation as a disco. It's a frantic ending for an often shaky production.


Replacement/Transfer Info

The following people are credited as replacements or additions if they were not credited on opening night.

Studio 54

(12/2/2004 - 1/30/2005)

Understudies: Alan Muraoka (Merchant).

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