Kabuki, like other Japanese performing arts, began as a speedy, lively, vernacular show and slowed down over the centuries to become the stylized, hieratic form we imagine it to be today. The Heisei Nakamura troupe, apparently not content with that slow-moving grandeur, seems to have two goals for Kabuki: to restore its original sense of everyday reality, and to place it in a framework for a contemporary audience to whom that reality is a remote past. This is tricky, since even actors trained in the sublime physical demands of Kabuki can't walk in two directions at once. But the act of being pulled two ways at once can produce great giddy fun, and so it is with the... More >>>