2016 / “Madame Butterfly”in 2016: Stage becomes live Ukiyo-e in North Hollywood, Nov. 4 – Dec.4

At the opening night of “Madame Butterfly,” from left, Yukari Black, Jonathan Cousens, Yuji Hasegawa, Aramazd Stepanian, Kazumi Zatkin, Beau Ray, Chihiro Kawamura, and Marisa Cole. (Cultural News Photo)

At the opening night of “Madame Butterfly,” from left, Yukari Black, Jonathan Cousens, Yuji Hasegawa, Aramazd Stepanian, Kazumi Zatkin, Beau Ray, Chihiro Kawamura, and Marisa Cole. (Cultural News Photo)

“Madame Butterfly” is extended to Dec. 2, 3, 4.

Famous “Madame Butterfly” story is recreated at a North Hollywood theater by seasoned director Aramazd Stepanian, and Japan-born actors Kazumi Zatkin, Chihiro Kawamura and Yuji Hasegawa who play Japanese roles correctly in Japanese cultural aspect. With Japanese lyrics translated by herself, actress and singer Yukari Black performs in live two songs from Puccini’s opera “Madama Butterfly.”

In spite of a low budget production at a small theater, Stepanian’s play “Madame Butterfly” is meticulously orchestrated with a tragic story line with emotional expressions in Japanese style and well-known music of the opera version. Because leading character Madame Butterfly –Chochosan wears kimono beautifully in the setting of late 19th century Japan, audiences may feel as they see Ukiyo-e scenes in live.

“Madame Butterfly: A Tragedy of Japan” is a play in one act by David Belasco adapted from John Luther Long’s 1898 short story “Madame Butterfly.” It premiered on March 5, 1900 at the Herald Square Theatre in New York City as a curtain raiser to Belasco’s “Naughty Anthony” and became one of Belasco’s most famous works. The play and Long’s short story served as the basis for the libretto of Puccini’s 1904 opera “Madama Butterfly.”

Aramazd Stepanian’s “Madame Butterfly”: Cast of Characters

Madame Buttlefly – Chochosan, Kazumi Zatkin

Suzuki, Chihiro Kawamura

Nakodo – a marriage broker, Yuji Hasegawa

Sharpless – the American consul, Jonathan Cousens

Yamadori – prosperous man, Ray Chao

Lieutenant Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton, Beau Ray

Kate, Marisa Cole

As a curtain raiser, Alpha Takahashi performs Japanese song “Kimi wo Nosete” (“Carrying You” from anime movie “Castle in the Sky’) with choreography. This lengthy opening act with the kimono-wearing performer brings audiences to an entrance to the Japanese atmosphere.

“Madame Butterfly” is playing at T. U. (Theatre Unlimited) Studios, 10943 Camarillo Street, North Hollywood, CA 91602 through Nov. 27.

Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 pm. On Sundays at 7:00 pm, Armenian language version will be performed by Armenian speaking actors.

Tickets are $20. For ticket information, visit www.itsmyseat.com/CAPS

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