SciFi Japan

    Akira Takarada Narrates Musical FREDDIE THE LEAF in New York

    U.S. Premiere Opens August 13, 2010 Source: TKO Entertainment press release Official Site: (Japanese)

    FREDDIE THE LEAF An all ages Japanese musical about the importance of every life, narrated by legendary Godzilla film actor Akira Takarada. Fri 8/13 at 7pm, Sat 8/14 at 2pm and 7pm, Sun 8/15 at 2pm New York, NY – Freddie Company in association with TKO Entertainment proudly presents the U.S. Premiere of the Japanese musical FREDDIE THE LEAF, written and directed by Takashi Inuishi, conceived by Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara, with music and lyrics by Shoichi Tama and starring popular Japanese film actor, Akira Takarada, and a cast of 21 Japanese teens and children. FREDDIE THE LEAF runs from August 13 – 15, 2010 in a limited engagement at John Jay College’s Gerald W. Lynch Theater, located at 899 Tenth Avenue, between 58 and 59 Streets, in NYC. The show officially opens on August 13. Performances are Friday, August 13 at 7pm, Saturday, August 14 at 2pm and 7pm, and Sunday, August 15 at 2pm. Tickets are $40 for adults ($50 at the door), and $20 for children/students/seniors ($30 at the door). For more information and to purchase tickets visit or call 212-352-3101. Appropriate for all ages. Running time is 1 hour and 40 minutes with no intermission. Train access via the #1, A, B or D to 59 St. & Columbus or N, R, Q to 57 St.

    FREDDIE THE LEAF is a musical adaptation of Leo Buscaglia’s best-selling novel, The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life for all Ages, about the short life of Freddie, a leaf, and the other leaves on the tree. Through the telling of a touching story about the cycles of nature, and Freddie’s dismay and then acceptance of the annual death of himself and his fellow leaves, the moving musical highlights life’s rotations through generations, with new life reborn every year. In Japanese with English supertitles. FREDDIE THE LEAF is narrated by renowned screen actor Akira Takarada, best known for his roles in the Godzilla film series. Takarada has starred in more than 200 films and has also played leading roles in many Japanese versions of Broadway musicals. He is well known in Japan through his appearances in TV dramas, quiz shows and commercials. Takarada is the narrator in FREDDIE THE LEAF, taking on the role of Dr. Luke, a retired doctor. FREDDIE THE LEAF is written and directed by Takashi Inuishi, one of the most important directors of original Japanese musicals. JAPANESE AT CARNEGIE HALL (2004, 2007) is widely regarded as his masterpiece, dramatically depicting Japanese artists who lived in New York during World War II. In his acclaimed production of CHENNUM`S DREAM (1997, 1999) victims of the genocide in Cambodia make up their minds to look forward to the future and creating their new country. Inuishi has directed plays such as NEIL SIMON`S I WANT TO BE IN PICTURES (2001) and opening ceremonies of national athletic events. Almost all of his musicals have been broadcast by Japanese national television, NHK. He has written numerous scripts for NHK TV children’s programming and is a lecturer at Japan Art College.

    The show is conceived by Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara, one of the world’s longest serving physicians and educators. Since 1941 he has been healing patients at St. Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo. In addition, Dr. Hinohara has published over 150 books, including Living Long, Living Good, which has sold over a million copies. He is also the founder of the New Elderly Movement, with the mission of encouraging others to live a long and happy life, and not be afraid of death, a lesson that came to him when he read the original version of Leo Buscaglia’s book. He has received numerous awards, including the Order of Culture from His Majesty the Emperor of Japan. In Hinohara’s own words, “I think elderly people should be more active in conveying the importance of peace and life to children.” The show’s music and lyrics are by Shoichi Tama, a well-known composer for musicals in Japan. Tama composed, orchestrated and has been the musical supervisor for FREDDIE THE LEAF since its first performance. His compositions also include JAPANESE AT CARNEGIE HALL. Tama was the musical supervisor of many Japanese productions of Broadway musicals, including RENT, KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, LITTLE ME, SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, and more. The design and production team consists of Shintaro Saiki (Stage Manager & Set Design), Shigeru Yamada (Lighting Design), Tomoko Hontani (Costume Design), Eiichi Saneyoshi (Sound Design), and Nana Mirai (Translator). Supported by The Consulate-General of Japan in New York • The Nippon Club, Inc. • Japan Society • The Japanese Educational Institute of New York • The Japanese American Association of New York • FCI

    About TKO Entertainment

    TKO Entertainment, Inc. was established in 1999 to bring Japanese theatrical productions and other cultural arts programs to the United States. The goal of TKO is to facilitate artistic and cultural exchange between the United States and Japan and since its founding has been involved in numerous productions.

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