Two new theaters will be born in the Takeshiba area where "WATERS takeshiba" is proceeding with construction.
A press conference was held in Tokyo before the opening of the theaters in 2020, where the outline of the new theater and the new musical performance that troupe Shiki worked on were revealed.
The Shiki Theater [Spring] and [Autumn], opened in 1998 as the first theaters in the Tokyo Metropolitan area.
The two theaters, which were closed temporarily at the end of June 2017, will be given new life as brand new theaters in 2020.
JR East Shiki Theater [Autumn] will be the first to lift its curtains. It is scheduled to open in July. According to the Representative CEO and President of Shiki Inc. - Chiyoki Yoshida when he attended the press conference, the troupe is currently selecting their opening repertoire, with final decision prospected for this Autumn. Compared to the old [Autumn] theater, the new [Autumn] theater will increase the number of seats by about 300, to 1200 seats in total.
The former Shiki Theater located at Hamamatsucho district used to have [Spring] theater on the right, and [Autumn] theater on the left, but the new theater is divided into the upper and lower floors inside one theater building. The entrance of [Autumn] is on the second floor of the theater building, and the entrance of [Spring] is on the third floor of the theater building.
Also, on September 10th, Disney's latest musical “FROZEN” will be staged as the opening repertoire of the JR East Shiki Theater [Spring].
The animated movie of the same name released in Japan in 2014 was a big hit. With the opening of its Broadway show in March, 2018 and performances in London, Sydney, and Hamburg, this vigorous musicals will now mark the grand opening of the new theater.
The script is by Jennifer Lee - director of the animated movie version, and directed by Michael Flandage (received the Tony Award in 2010 with “RED”), and music was co-produced by Robert Lopez, who won the Academy Award for “Let It Go” and his wife Kristen Anderson-Lopez. In addition, in the musical version, in addition to the songs used in the animated movie version, more than 10 musical numbers will be added to the show, such as “Monster” sung by Elsa in the second act.
The Japanese version of the script and translation of "FROZEN" was done by Chikae Takahashi, who worked in the Shiki troupe, and was in charge of the Japanese translation of the musical “Aladdin” as well. According to President Yoshida's comment at the press conference, the lyrics are not necessarily the exact same as the animated movie version. A new “FROZEN” world is to be built with these new musical numbers.
The JR East Shiki Theater [Spring], where the Disney musical “FROZEN” is staged for the first time, will have an additional 300 seats compared to the former [Spring] Theater, to 1500 seats in total.
After the conference, a tour of the new theater construction site was held for the press and related parties, and a part of the facility was shown to public for the first time.
On the day of the construction site tour of the new [Autumn] theater, the guests were first brought to the stage on the basement 1st floor to take a look up at the grand view of the audience seats.
View from the first floor audience seats, with view of the back entrance at the far end, likely for large equipments etc.
A photo image taken from the front of the audience seats of the stage. Although it is not shown in this photo, but there is also a space designed for the orchestra pit.
Although it was still a site with only concrete and rebar, with just the thought of the theater's rebirth here, a rush of indescribable emotions came to me.
In the new theater, not only stairs, but escalators will also be installed. It is designed in consideration of small children and elderly audiences.
The details of the new hotel “mesm Tokyo, Autograph Collection” located inside the tower building next to the theater building were also announced. The opening will be on Monday, April 27th, 2020, which is scheduled one step ahead of the theater.
The photo above is a shot of another building overlooking the theater under construction. The two new theaters are both located inside the building with blue exterior. Also, the JR East Art Center Shiki Theater: JIYU, which was built in November 2003 as one of the 50th anniversary commemorative projects for the company, is located just a short distance away.
In the past, it was quite difficult to find places to spend some leisure time before and after shows at the Shiki theaters, but with this “WATERS takeshiba” project, new facilities such as hotels, restaurants, and parking are also designed so that guests may enjoy their time in this multipurpose entertainment environment.
The Hamamatsucho / Takeshiba area is under a new development project of a waterside city theme. In addition to the two new theaters opening there, the Shiki Theater: JIYU continues to prosper with many upcoming new shows. In 2020, we can expect many high quality works to be released here.
Material・Article・Photo by Yukiko Kamimura
Photo by Tomoaki Nakata