We can’t get over how cool this looks: a stage adaptation of Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away with live actors, costumed creatures, and incredible puppets? While legions of Hayao Miyazaki fans will have to make do with these new glimpses of the production—since the Toho Co., Ltd. production is only touring Japan for now—we’re now even more excited to (hopefully) see the performance someday.
The show opened at the Imperial Theater in Tokyo to critical acclaim, and will continue its tour through the summer. If you’re lucky enough to be close to any of these tour stops, we’re not at all completely, totally, and utterly jealous.
April 13-24, 2022 at Umeda Arts Theater (Osaka)
May 1-28, 2022 at Hakataza Theater (Fukuoka)
June 6-12, 2022 at Sapporo Cultural Arts Theater hitaru (Sapporo)
June 22-July 4, 2022 at Misonoza Theater (Nagoya)
Look at all the details! The costume and makeup on Yubaba is immaculate.
Look at Yubaba running her hot spring! These sets bring a storybook vibe that’s straight out of the movie.
All the feels...
This is exactly how we feel not being able to see this in person.
Seriously, though, how cool would it be to see how they expand No-Face’s body for the moments it becomes a giant monster? The theater craft led by director John Caird (Les Misérables) looks next level. The energy of No-Face is timeless. Give us all the snacks to fill the void of not being able to attend this show due to travel restrictions.
The scale of bringing to life iconic animated moments from the film through the medium of theater is sheer gorgeousness. This puppeteer-driven big Yubaba head is everything. So many moving parts to capture the magic of the film through performance.
Folks, we’re running out of superlatives here.
The spider-armed Kamaji in the Boiler Room who befriends Chihiro.
AND OH MY GOD THE LITTLE SOOT SPRITES ON THE GROUND!
Haku in human form. That is all.
Chihiro and Haku in dragon form taking flight combines more of an interpretive performance approach through puppeteering. And we love that the bird and mouse baby are represented. Hopefully their scene-stealing moments are still in the play.
We love a fog machine moment. In all sincerity they make everything more ominous and impactful. On stage? Witchcraft!
Spirited Away FOMO is real.
With over 32 performers and over 50 puppets designed by Toby Olié, Spirited Away looks to be an achievement in taking the whimsical world of Ghibli and translating it right on stage. And while the show ends its Japanese run in July, we lie in wait for any global tour announcements.
For more info visit the play’s official website.
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