Make-up Artist Kaori Nara Turner presents “Arigato Little Tokyo, from Kaori” featuring Stage Performer Makoto Matsui from Japan at Aratani Theatre on Sunday, August 4 at 2PM

 

The First Japanese Emmy Award Winning Make-up Artist, Kaori Nara Turner is inviting Japan-based renowned stage performer Makoto Matsui and his theatre company, to show their stages at the Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo for the first time in 9 years.

“Arigato, Little Tokyo, from Kaori” will be performed on Sunday, August 4 at 2:00 p.m. General admission is $35. Group of 10 or more people for $30 per ticket. Parking is $15 with theater validation at the Joe’s Parking (garage entrance on Second Street, half block east of Alameda).

The show will run approximately 2 and half hours with a 15-minute intermission.

To purchase tickets, contact Sanwa Enterprise Inc. 114 Onizuka Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012, call 213-625-1998, or email ArigatoLittleTokyo@gmail.com

“After I produced his show in Los Angeles in 2015, I promised to bring Makoto and his company back because there was no one like him here, and people wanted to see more,” says Kaori Turner.

Matsui Makoto is a star of a theatrical style “Taishu Engeki” – Theatre for Public. He creates a stage with dance and music producing a contemporary flamboyance along with the elegance of classic kabuki.

“It’s been 65 years since I set foot in this country. I have had a great career and have always felt Little Tokyo grounds me, so I wanted to show my gratitude to the people who have supported and protected our heritage,” says Turner.

Turner will be donating 200 tickets to local elders and keeping the ticket cost at a more affordable rate of $35.

The second act will be a Karaoke performance by a local group Kinyo Kai in Little Tokyo of Los Angeles.

The initial show “Makoto and U.S. Friends show in Los Angeles” was a huge success in 2015, and Kaori and Makoto have been planning to bring a new show since then.

In 2023, when Kaori turned 90, she decided to move forward with the production because she wanted to share the show one more time with people in Los Angeles, where she always felt encouraged and supported by the community.

Kaori Nara Turner

Nara Kaori Turner was born in Tokyo in 1933. She began to train in traditional Japanese dance and tap dancing at the age of six and became a professional dancer at 14.

After some years as a top star of Asakusa’s “Shinsekai,” she moved to the United States. Koari got married but soon after suffered a torn ligament which forced her into retirement of the tap dancing career.

She began to help her husband with his work, and eventually became a makeup artist in her own right. In 1978, she became an official member of Hollywood’s Makeup Artists’ Union (1600 members), which was a first for a Japanese national.

Currently, she has retired as a make up artist, and owns and operates Star of Color her makeup and skin care line of products and wigs.

Makoto Matsui

Makoto Mastui was born to a theater family in 1960 in Fukuoka prefecture. He debuted in theaters as a role of an abandoned baby before the age of one.

Matsui started acting in Japan’s musical theatre at the age of 18, and since then has gone on to garner popularity. At the age of 25, Matsui launched his own troupe “Gekidan Makoto.” He has appeared in productions not only in theatres but also television dramas and movies.

Kinyo-Kai is an active Karaoke group since 1988 with 60 members in Little Tokyo. This performance features 11 singers. Nobuyuki Hanai, Noriko Yonami, Shigeru Kobayashi, Shoko Helm, Sinichi Hirokawa, Hiroshi Fukushima, Hideo Imai, Yoshie Mellgren, Koji Kuninaga, Satoko Schmidt and Akira Fujimoto.