Review of Frozen Tomorrow (Snow 1998)
I quite liked this play. Rather than focusing on the gangâ€™s exploits and adventures, the plotline stresses the emotional lives of Bonnie and Clyde â€“ both their struggles in love, and their yearning for something better in their lives. Yet the two arenâ€™t overly romanticized (for a Takarazuka show, anyway) and donâ€™t become mere caricatures of â€œfree-spiritedâ€ types engaged in futile battle with â€œthe man.â€
The music was well done Takarazuka-style stuff, and the staging reminiscent of other â€œin houseâ€ productions (characters acting as narrators, etc.) As usual, the characters were remarkably well-dressed considering their employment. :)
Kouju Tatsuki: At first she seemed too, well, nice and Tartan-y to be Clyde Barrow, but she was merely lulling me into a false sense of security. She played Clyde as a man slowly finding himself drawn more and more to the dark places inside, yet stumbling to keep his connection to his old life.
Tsukikage Hitomi: Brilliant, as always. This is probably the best role Iâ€™ve seen her in, in that it gave her the opportunity to show the full range of her talents. Her Bonnie was feminine, but hard-edged â€“ a woman, not a girl. I always seem to find it hard to put Gun-chan into words. I think a large part of her gift is its subtlety. She doesnâ€™t run over you like a bulldozer, but draws you in with her sincerity and is believable in everything she expresses on stage.
Aran Kei: It had been so long since Iâ€™d seen Touko in one of her â€œyoung ladâ€ stage roles that I had to have an adjustment moment. Ah yes, the earnest cheerful young man. By the time an otokoyaku gets to the â€œupperclassmanâ€ stage, she can do these in her sleep. But Touko was great, and sang a beautiful opening number. And then at the end, she got to have her angst moment, and Touko is all about the melodrama. The teary eyes, the quivering lipâ€¦ Yep, thatâ€™s my girl.
Shiomi Maho: Only 7 years with the company, and Shiomi â€œCrap o Yaru Ze!â€ Maho was already well on her way to perfecting her idiom. This is, of course, the â€œtough guyâ€ growling voice combined with impeccable comedic timing. As Raymond Hamilton, her job was to be the gun-toting bad guy one moment, and an obsessive-photographer and doting-boyfriend the next.
Kaede Saki: Ted was a rather â€œblahâ€ role, but she was quite earnest and charming.
Konno Mahiru: Future (briefly) musumeyaku top of Snow Troupe. Also quite charming in her role as a girl in love with Jeremy.
Yashiro Kou: Always rocks. She played Bonnieâ€™s mother â€“ and, more importantly, got to sing in solo a bit. Any show is automatically made better by featuring Yashiro Kou, so this was a big bonus.