News is coming in that Stephen Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures is returning to London next year.
A Japanese / UK production of the show is coming to the Menier Chocolate Factory in South London.
It will be the first co-production for the Menier with a Japanese company – Umeda Arts Theater, based in Osaka.
The show will premiere in Tokyo on 8 March 2023 at the Nissay Theatre, running until 29 March before heading to Osaka’s Umeda Arts Theater from 8 to 16 April 2023. There are no firm dates yet for its Menier run in 2023.
Pacific Overtures will be directed by Matthew White (Top Hat), and the principle cast includes the duel casting of Koji Yamamoto and Yuya Matsushita as the Reciter; Naoto Kaiho and Yusuke Hirose as Kayama Yasaemon; and Eiji Wentz and Toshiki Tateishi as John Manjiro. Also Hikaru Asami will play Shogun／Madam.
Other cast include the Councillor played by Hiroko Kachi, Tamate by Sayaka Watabiki, Fisherman by Kota Someya, Thief by Naruhito Murai, Boy by Akari Taniguchi, Admirals by Keisuke Sugiura, Kan Muto, Yuichi Tamura, Katsuyuki Nakanishi and Hirotaka Terui, Sailor by Hiroki Fujita, and Girl by Hana Inoue.
Set in 19th-century Japan, Pacific Overtures has music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, a book by John Weidman, and additional material by Hugh Wheeler. The original Broadway production premiered in 1976 and was staged in Kabuki style.