“The Cinema Rhapsody”- In the Scene of Berlin - Written and directed by Ryo Harada Takarazuka Revue 90th Anniversary
“Bouquet de TAKARAZUKA”Written and directed by Sumio Sakai On sale from: August 26, 2017, at 10:00 AM(JST) - Price SS Seat : 12,000 / S Seat : 8,300 / A Seat : 5,500 / B Seat : 3,500
“The Cinema Rhapsody”
In Germany, 1927, the UFA film studio was massively in debt and on the verge of going bankrupt, wasting its old glory built on the back of masterpieces produced in Berlin, the film capital of the world alongside Hollywood. While UFA still had a way out by transferring the business to Nazi-affiliated businessman Hugenberg, President Klitzsch of UFA struggles against the push, true to his belief that the free expression of creators should never be restricted. In the face of executives insisting on selling UFA, producer Kaufmann, infused with the same spirit as President Klitzsch, declares that they will make a low-budget entertainment film that the public is sure to love. Who would take on such an audacious task? When Kaufmann himself was shuttered, one man took up the challenge—Theo Wegmann, an assistant director at UFA. Foreseeing the end of the age of silent films, Theo suggests making a talking movie with singing. If Hollywood can do it, so can we here in Berlin! With the condition that he gets to choose his cast and staff, Theo promises Kaufmann that he will produce a low-budget movie that will entertain everyone and be a major hit.
After leaving the studio, Theo heads straight for his usual café. He had someone in mind as a screenwriter, an essential component for the success of the movie—his best friend, picture book author Erich Kästner. Theo tries to persuade Erich that a popular entertainment movie needs a script that can be easily understood by everyone. The sudden offer perplexes Erich, but encouraged by his sweetheart Luiselotte, he decides to participate in the film project.
Before long, Erich writes up a screenplay titled “Unforgettable Love”, a story of unattainable love between a would-be writer and the daughter of a count. Theo handpicks Rolf, a striving bit-part actor, and Leni, a chorus girl at a revue theater, as his stars and steadily prepares for filming. One day on the set of his production, he notices an actress standing uncomfortably in the dressing room at the studio. Brought to the studio by Leni, the girl, Jill Klein, is getting ready with a nervous look on her face. Theo teaches her make-up techniques for movies and gives her some tips for looking at the camera. With the brush-up, Jill quickly makes a beautiful transformation.
Berlin’s first talkie is a roaring success with the audience and is an undeniable hit. “Unforgettable Love” was splashed on the front pages across Berlin, but it was Jill who was featured, not the lead actress Leni. Faithfully following Theo’s advice, Jill outshone everyone in front of the camera. Theo, however, was convinced that it was not the techniques he taught her, but her own charms that captured the hearts of audiences. Under Theo’s direction, Jill starts her career as a film actress, but it was not just Theo who saw her as the future top actress of Germany. Josef Goebbels, the Nazi head of propaganda, was also mesmerized by Jill’s pure freshness.
Theo took his first giant step toward living his childhood dream of creating movies filled with love, dreams, and hope, which could take people away from cruel reality for a fleeting moment. At the same time, his ideals and pride as a film maker was about to be engulfed and tested by the tide of fascism that suppressed freedom of expression.
“Bouquet de TAKARAZUKA”
Carrying on the tradition of the Takarazuka Revue, the “Bouquet de TAKARAZUKA” celebrates the theater’s 90th anniversary with a full range of scenes taking viewers around the world. The intriguing Star Troupe, led by Yuzuru Kurenai giving a colorfully stellar performance, delivers a revue of magnificent splendor.
“The Cinema Rhapsody”
Theo Wegmann: A young man who is an assistant director in the UFA and later becomes a film director engaged in the production of talking pictures
Jill Klein: A revue girl at Nelson Theater who will star in Theo’s film
Erich Kästner: Theo’s friend, a picture book author
Josef Goebbels: A politician who is a Nazi head of propaganda and later becomes propaganda minister
Gerda: The hostess of Café Friedrichs-Hof
Ludwig Klitzsch: President of the UFA
Alfred Hugenberg: A business leader
Nicolas Kaufmann: A UFA film producer
Johannes Mayerhof: A UFA executive
Magda Goebbels: Josef Goebbels’ wife
Victor Lyman: A distinguished silent movie actor
Leni Riefenstahl: An actress who joins the revue at Nelson Theater and stars as the heroine of a movie directed by Theo
Georg Claisen: A UFA executive
Robert Ebal: A UFA executive
Vim Heinrich: A UFA executive
Josephine Baker: A revue star known as the “Creole Goddess” and “Bronze Venus”
Fritz Lang: The film director who directed "Metropolis"
Gilbert Schwarz: Goebbels’ subordinate
Ewald Schneider: A UFA executive
Gregor: Viktor Lyman’s attendant
Actress (wet nurse):
Rolf Schellenberg: A young actor
Christoph: A young man working at the Babelsberg Studio
Luiselotte: A waitress at Café Friedrichs-Hof and Erich’s girlfriend
Elmer: A cameraman working at the Babelsberg Studio
Eva: Josephine Baker’s attendant
Boris Effenberg: President Klitzsch’s secretary