Report: Ueda Tatsuya’s Stageplay『冬眠する熊に添い寝してごらん』- “Trying to sleep with the Hibernating Bears”

Ueda’s Stage play was the first part of my spring break! Even though classes were over, I still had to write 2 long papers before my break could really begin. In the middle of this, I took a day off with my friend Meghan who is a huge Ueda fan and went out to Osaka to see Ueda’a stage play!  I saw the first show of two on February 10th. Meghan’s friend helped us get the tickets back in November, but she was only able to get us standing tickets on the day that the general sales opened, so I was prepared to stand for over 3 hours. Yes, OVER 3 hours. This play was longer than other stage plays that I had been to before and had an intermission, which the other stage plays I had been to hadn’t had before. The first part was about 70 minutes long and the second part was closer to 90 minutes.

When Meghan and I got to the theater, we got in the standing seats line and we were within the first 5 numbers in the standing seats section, so we were called up first. We weren’t called to go in yet…. they actually had extra regular seats available to sell to us! We got lucky because there were only many 8 – 10 seats available and we were numbers 5 and 6 for standing seats. Apparently, special guests or press come to these stage plays and at this show there weren’t any, so they sold the seats to us for 2000 yen more (the standing seats were 2000 yen less than the regular seats) and we got first row of the 2nd block of seats in the theater right in the middle! They were pretty amazing seats!

Meghan and I got into the theater and sat down and about 15 minutes later the play started! The biggest thing that stood out was that during all of the show a huge buddah statue on the stage the whole time, at some points changed into a dog’s head.

To be honest, Meghan and I both didn’t understand most of what was going on in the play. Not because we didn’t understand Japanese, but because there were like 3 story-lines going on at the same time: One in the past, one in the Meji Period of Japan, and one in the present? After the play was over that day, we even asked Meghan’s Japanese friends what exactly happened in the play and they were just as confused as us! It was pretty funny that even the Japanese fans were confused, but at least we know that it was just a confusing play in general!

Ueda’s character was in the present and his story-line revolved around him and his brother and his fiancé. His brother was an olympic and professional Rifle shooter. Ueda’s character was a young salary man who was really energetic. After we meet those 2 characters, we meet a girl character who was supposedly conceived from her mother being raped by a dog? This girl character ends up being Ueda’s Fiancé. Later on Ueda’s older brother and Ueda’s character’s Fiancé meet at a conveyer sushi restaurant while waiting for the rest of the family to come and end up sleeping together. Somehow Ueda’s character finds out and goes crazy. Ueda was really good at playing a crazy character! His movements and the facial expressions were amazing and it was a complete 360 change from the really energetic character that he portrayed at the end of the play.

The conveyor belt sushi part of the play was my favorite part because they had many extra characters on the stage and even extended the whole conveyer belt restaurant out into the audience, and right in front of Meghan and I because we were sitting in the row right in front of one of the pathways in the center of the theater. There was so much going on during this scene and you could see the extras coming and going and shouting across the theater and even changing characters as they came and left! It was really funny to see all of the things going on the same time.

The other storyline or 2 that was going on was really confusing to follow. There was an oil factory and its manager and the manager having the workers practicing singing a song for when the head boss came to visit the refinery. Then the head boss came in later during the 2nd part of this scene. There was the Manager’s mistress too who was probably cheating on him with one of the other characters that entered with them. Meghan pointed that out during the first time this scene came and then when the second part of the scene came, it was almost an exact repeat of what happened in the scene earlier, but continued through until it merged with the other story line in the present somehow. It continued with the Mistress of the manager cheating on the manager with the other guy who Meghan though she was going to cheat with until finally it merged into the present time line story as well. In this scene there was also a hunter that I think was upset with the manager because they were drilling oil in nature or something? Either that or possibly didn’t like the changed in the Menji era though turing more into an Industrial nation. I don’t think that they even directly mentioned the reason he was mad, though. All I know is that the hunter and the manager of the oil refinery didn’t like each other and the had an scene right in front of Meghan and I where the hunter stared at us at one point!

As I said earlier, somehow these past and present story lines merged and the hunter from the past story-line and the brother from the present story-line ended up at the Kaiten sushi restaurant and shot a different person, the past hunter shooting the main boss of the oil refinery and the brother shooting Ueda’s and his grandfather?

It was a really confusing story line, but this is all I understood from it! After the play, Meghan and I were hungry so we headed to a restaurant around the corner and had some Omurice and meeting a friend of Meghan’s who was going to the 2nd show of the day before heading out to Shinsaibashi for a while where we shopped around.

The next morning, I wake up to a twitter message from a girl that saw us at the play the day before, she also was in the restaurant that we went to after the play with her mom, and she also was sitting near us during the KAT-TUN countdown concert as well! She was so happy that she found us on twitter and I was surprised that she found me over Meghan, because Meghan likes KAT-TUN more than I do! I am always so happy to meet foreign fans and Japanese fans of Johnnys! It’s always a fun experience!

Well, that wraps up my post about Ueda’s stage play! I hope you all enjoyed it and please check out the rest of my posts about my spring break that are coming up soon!

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