“Nihonmachi: The Place to Be,” a musical journey about California’s Japan towns, returns to Little Tokyo on Saturday, Nov. 16, at 2:00 p.m. at the Aratani Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, in historic Little Tokyo.
The performance is a benefit for the Little Tokyo Public Safety Association (a.k.a. Little Tokyo Koban) that celebrates its 31st anniversary.
Produced by the Los Angeles-based Grateful Crane Ensemble, “Nihonmachi: The Place to Be” is written by Sansei playwright Soji Kashiwagi, (The Camp Dance: The Music & The Memories), directed by Darrell Kunitomi, with musical direction by Scott Nagatani.
This two-act show tells the fictional story of Alan Iwata, Sansei (Third generation) manju (Japanese confectionery) maker who is faced with shutting down his family business after 99 years in Nihonmachi (Japantown). But just before he closes his doors, the spirit of his Issei (first generation) grandfather returns and takes Alan on a journey back some 77 years to Nihonmachi the way it used to be.
Fugetsu-Do Confectionery presents “Nihonmachi” to celebrate its 110th Anniversary. The musical production is based on the Fugetsu-Do’s history, one of the oldest Asian owned businesses, which opened in 1913 by the Kito family.
The Aratani Theatre is located at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, 244 South San Pedro Street in Little Tokyo.
Tickets are $75 reserved orchestra section and general admission $45 rear orchestra, $35 balcony, and group sales groups of 10 or more $70, $40 and $30.
A post-performance mochi reception to celebrate the Fugetsu-Do 110th anniversary will follow in the JACCC Plaza, sponsored by Brian Kito, owner of Fugetsu-do manju-ya, and also the President of the Little Tokyo Public Safety Association.
For tickets, information, and sponsorship opportunities, call the Little Tokyo Koban at (213) 613-1911, from 10 am to 6 pm, Monday through Saturday.
Tickets may be purchased at the Koban at 307 First Street, from 10 am to 2pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Aratani Theatre charge by phone (213) 680-3700 or tickets online at www.jaccc.org