mec: (Kame)
[personal profile] mec
I don't imagine anyone who isn't on my f-list actually reads these anymore, but just in case, the usual applies: feel free to link, quote, translate etc.

Well, according to my LJ it's been almost exactly a year since I last went to see a performance of Dream Boys, and this is probably the last year for me. The show might well go on, but it'll do so without me. (Priorities, you know?) After all these years I have finally managed to get to the theatre by a consistent route, which is quite possibly a sign that it's time to move on.

Which is not to say I didn't enjoy my first round of this year's show; in fact, I'd almost consider picking up a third ticket for Miyata and Senga alone! And Kame is, of course, my high-flying god. But as with last year, I'm limited in who I can identify outside the main cast, so if you're reading for the Juniors, you might as well stop here. (Though I can tell you that Ishigaki Daisuke is as lovely as ever.)

I have no memory, an inability to read my own terrible handwritten scrawl (as done in a darkened theatre), and I got kind of sidetracked watching Kame, but if you're prepared for all that, read on!



This is the first time I've been to see Dream Boys where someone other than Koki has been the champ, and it was pretty different in terms of what they did with the characters' backgrounds and presence, though the plot never changes much. But I like the Kisumai guys, and I can put up with Hikaru, so I figured, what the hell.

It was overcast when I left for the theatre and by the time I got to Yurakucho, it had started drizzling. I dashed into a 7-11 to buy an umbrella and the second I'd paid for it, the heavens opened and I was left to make my way through the downpour to the theatre.

Fortunately I didn't have long to wait until they opened the doors, and having picked up goods yesterday (that's a whole other story) all I had to do today was get some stage photos for Ina. (And I couldn't resist one for myself. Kame x Guitar OTP.) One day I hope to remember to write down the numbers before I actually join the queue.

Anyway, photos acquired, I went to find my seat, which was in Row D of the balcony, fairly far across to the right but also pretty far forwards. I was on an aisle, which would've done me a lot of good on the first floor, but sadly not upstairs. I had a pretty decent view, though. When Kame was in the air over the audience, he was too close for me to watch him properly through binoculars, but I did use them a lot of the time because...well...I like to watch Kame dance, okay?

Picture, if you will, a very uncoordinated young woman juggling her glasses, binoculars, pen and notebook for the entire show, and you will see why my notes are kind of all over the place, and in some cases indecipherable. I could probably just sum up the musical by writing "KAME! MIYATA! SENGA! NEXT DREAM! BAD DREAM! LMW! KIZUNA!", but that might not be terribly useful.

Things got off to a pretty different start this year. Before the show began, there were no clowns, no trampolines, no clocks, just ropes of red and blue lights strung across the stage, and the musical's name (plus the year, scrawled like graffiti) across the screen, flashing letters every so often.

Unlike last year, we didn't get an idol group singing Next Dream - in fact, the song barely appeared in the show this year. What we did get, in a haze of smoke and flashing lights, was a rock band playing in the Bayside Club. (Presumably not the same place Zack Morris went to school.) Hikaru was in the band (on bass, I think?) but I was still trying to get my binoculars sorted, so I can't tell you who else. (It's hard to miss his hair.) No sparkly white costumes either; this year we had red-and-black and blue-and-black combinations, because JE loves their colour-coding.

I don't know the song but it was pretty nice, and there were a bunch of girls dancing up on the next level of the club. Then the fights started breaking out all over the place.

So what happened? Kame got lowered to the stage on a giant, glowing white cross. Better than being raised up on a cross, I guess? He was in a school uniform, Fighting Dance was playing, the giant broken picture frame was on the stage and everyone was dancing. Kame threw his uniform jacket into the audience, revealing a white shirt beneath, but then he tried to find it again before long and wandered around muttering "Gakuran? Gakuran?" to himself. A girl from the audience handed it back to him, so he asked her name.

He chatted to Senga and Miyata for a bit - they were messing around, I didn't catch - and then to Tamamori about boxing. Evidently, boxing was Tamamori's thing and he was throwing better punches lately. These guys were all in the same high school, and Kame was evidently the senpai.

The picture frame returned for the song that starts with "When I was seventeen..." and I don't know who they had singing it this year but his English pronunciation needed a little work. Still, nice to see the girls riding rings overhead as Kame went backwards on the staircase. Dream Boys tends to have such attention-grabbing principals that it's easy to forget they have all these lovely dancers in the background, sometimes making such slow, graceful movements it's like watching a dream in mid-air.

Time moved on, and Tamamori became a professional boxer. I have to apologise to Tamamori fans, because I had real trouble keeping track of him here. I'm used to him blond; also, it doesn't help that his current hair looks a bit like Koki's current hair, and I missed Koki here like crazy. Tamamori was okay, but I'm afraid he was just there for me - I didn't get any feelings off him one way or another.

Hikaru, Senga and Miyata became a band, surprise surprise. Cue lots of talk about the nature of friendship. The clock finally appeared, beginning with their graduation in 2007 and flipping forwards to 2012, by which time Tamamori was a champion boxer having a movie made about his life. You know the drill. If you don't know the drill by now, you probably know nothing about Dream Boys and have clicked on this post by mistake.

Were Dream Boys to become an actual movie, I think it would probably fare better with Madame Ran and the scheming Sakiho kept far, far away from it. (Sakiho was a new face to me - Makoto has presumably moved on? - but I'm guessing she's still a Takarazuka actor. The pamphlet will probably tell me...)

DB this year has kind of split the roles a little differently, so Hikaru's part is sort of taken by Miyata and Senga too, and their roles have been beefed up so they're not just guys in the band. It works out quite nicely, I think, but it did mean I was a little surprised when out came a guy in the hideous bright yellow shorts and open black vest and it turned out to be Senga. But my god, can the boy dance. I sat there mesmerised for a bit. Then Miyata, in the same outfit but green shorts, joined him and they sang and danced together. They had kinda creepy hooded back-up dancers.

Kame emerged in his sparkly gold hooded robe, the very height of fashion (hah!), got hooked up by Senga and Miyata, and took to the air, shedding his robe as he went. It's just not the real Kame if he's not desperately trying to struggle out of every inch of clothing. What made me very happy was seeing that he flew out over the audience. Last year they didn't really do that, so I'm thrilled that they brought it back for this year. The aerial acrobatics really are one of the best things about the show.

Down to the stage Kame went to sing One Night, but before long Tamamori and gang (I think Snow Man minus two?) interrupted the filming of the movie - Tamamori didn't like Kame's style of boxing and evidently he had quite a bit to criticise. He had a go at Hikaru, Miyata and Senga too, poor guys. They were just there to do the music! Kame threw a diva fit and stalked off.

I don't know the Junior playing the little brother this year - name of Naoki? He was short, and cute, and all the things Juri wasn't last year. (Not that Juri's not cute, but he was too grown up for the role, I think. I love that they got him in to have actual brothers in the roles, it worked for me, but for what they normally try to do in DB, I think a little kid works best.) Tamamori's gang loved him, of course, and were quite concerned that he didn't want to go back to hospital.

Tamamori soliloquy, followed by the bridge scene and the always beautiful Hoshi no Hikaru Sora. The bridge didn't quite come out over the audience but it got closer. No fishies this year. Like last year, there was a fair chunk of ad-libbing and messing around in certain scenes, but they don't play around with the bridge scene anymore. Come back, Yaracchi! All we got were the pretty blue and green girls in the background until Sakiho came out to join Kame for the chorus, and to tell him the tale of the "tragic champ" and his disintegrating body.

Kame wasn't terribly moved, not even when Sakiho said he should do the movie for his kouhai's sake, and Hikaru appeared. Kame wanted to know how deep Hikaru's debt was, but he was cagey about it, so Kame told him he wasn't a kid anymore and he should sort it himself. DB always pushes the friendship and family angles, but this year it added the senpai/kouhai dynamic too, which of course works in real life for these guys.

Hikaru stormed off, the bridge was pulled away, and the scene switched to the gym, which looked the same as last year. Tamamori shouting out orders, his guys yelling out about how they'll become stronger, same old, same old. He bawled them out a bit until he had one of those sudden attacks that look like tinnitus to me. The pamphlet says it's a crack in his skull that could have lethal consequences. Sakiho really could've picked a better moment to walk in and gloat.

Hikaru showed up, then Kame sauntered in, sighed heavily, and dropped to his knees to beg Tamamori to let him continue with the movie. You all know how this goes: Tamamori's condition was that Kame face him in the ring. Hikaru thought it was a stupid idea; Sakiho loved it to pieces. Kame took the blue gloves Tamamori offered him, rubbed them together for a bit, hit Tamamori with them, and agreed.

I have to add here that there was something a little off about Kame at several points during the show, and I don't know if it's that he was pausing extra long for dramatic effect, that he didn't have enough rehearsal time because of Bem and thus had trouble remembering the lines, or if he was just tired. I'm guessing not the middle one because he could probably play the part in his sleep by now. It's like, you know when someone's telling a joke and they make you wait too long for the punchline? Just like that.

The pamphlet says Fight Man, but if that's what the Kisumai guys were singing in the gym, it's not a version I know. Naoki danced at the front and looked pretty adorable doing the moves.

Scene switched to the baseball stadium with bench. I could see Kame waiting off in the wings with his guitar, amusingly enough, while Miyata and Naoki talked. Miyata was talking about Kisumai's tour, I think? I've written over this part. Kame came in and there was something about him, Senga, Miyata and baseball, also Kame doing a cute little song and dance when they were talking about the Tokyo Dome. I've actually written diagonally across the page so god only knows what this thing says. Kame looked adorable when he was actually doubling up with laughter around his guitar, though.

(I'm not really talking about Kame's costumes because as far as I can recall, they haven't changed from last year. Maybe just the black outfit with gold trim that he wore right at the end, I don't know? At least the Run For You hobo look didn't make a reappearance.)

Miyata...okay, I don't follow the language fast enough to get the jokes, but the physical comedy is awesome. He was doing impressions of a dog (in the snow, I think?), making all the typical movements including...er...marking his territory. Kame walked around with his guitar the whole time, sometimes narrating for Miyata, and I think he was barking at one point too. He talked about the dog's cute little face, aww. He took Miyata by the shoulders and sent "kyo no genki na Toshiya" off to play, but Miyata played dead and Kame got worried, running over to him with concern.

Of course, the playful puppy was fine and scampered off, leaving Kame to play Kizuna on guitar for Naoki, who liked it and was impressed when he found out Kame had written it. I love Kizuna. I love Kame playing guitar. For that combination alone, this year was worth the ticket price. I have nothing against Aishiteiru Kara but I was a trifle annoyed when it was all over the place last year, as opposed to Next Dream in 2007-2008. (I am willing to kill people for versions of Next Dream, that's how much I love it.) But Kizuna is certainly an acceptable substitute.

So of course the BGM for them talking in this scene was Kizuna too, a lovely instrumental version as Kame set his guitar down behind the bench. Talk about their mutual lack of family, blah blah blah, which I think Naoki sees as a kind of freedom (maybe Tamamori's tough to live with) and Kame thinks is rather less of as good thing.

The thing that always puzzles me is okay, Naoki starts coughing, says he's all right, but then they immediately play catchball as the stage revolves. It was fun to watch, though. First Naoki missed the ball, and then Kame missed the ball, which went flying off behind him, and he collapsed to the ground and rolled. I love this boy.

Off to Hikaru's studio, where Sakiho has just played the rock version of Kizuna to Senga and Miyata. They liked it, thought it was Hikaru's song, but he admitted he didn't write it and Sakiho wouldn't tell them it was Kame's. Senga was particularly insistent on finding out who the brilliant writer was - debuting with a song they didn't write didn't seem to sit easily with him - but Hikaru was convinced they could make the song their own.

Over in the corner, Kame started wrapping up his fists for the fight, and the band ran over to tell him about their fantastic new song. The women argued about the fight for a bit; Madame Ran was opposed.

Then...time for the boxing match! I don't know who was doing the English announcements this time but I'm going to take a guess that there were no English-speaking cast members - I'm pretty sure those lines were learned phonetically. Tamamori came out to the sound of Fire Beat, which was awesome and just what you need for a fight. I couldn't tell what Kame came out to, I'm afraid, but the announcement said he weighed 127lb. I wonder if that was before or after DB started? He had two hearts on the back of his robe, aww.

Kame hit Tamamori's glove to start the fight, and it went basically the same as last year, with the centre of the ring lifting up at one point for a slow motion fight in the darkness, before lowering and continuing at normal speed. Tinnitus attack, tinnitus attack (well, you know what I mean) and a knock-out, Tamamori's on the stretcher and Kame's in the doghouse. Naoki threw himself at Kame's waist (about as high as he could reach, which tells you how small he was) and begged him to "say it ain't so", Kame had the unfortunate experience of finding out about Naoki and Tamamori, and along came the press. Looking for all the world like she'd stepped out of an old Bogart movie, Madame Ran sidled up to Kame to tell him to join the world of masks.

Hikaru couldn't curse himself enough, Sakiho couldn't gloat enough. The woman loves a good scandal and pretending to rig the fight with Kame's glove certainly qualified.

The circus stuff was different this year too! Miyata came out all dolled up as the ringmaster, introducing a bear as his partner. (Your kink is not my kink, Miyata, but your kink is okay, you know?) They performed a trick together. Miyata gave the bear a water bottle to examine, shake up, whatever, and then he poured the water inside his voluminous hat. Put the hat on and ta dah! No water, dry hair. He locked the bear up in a cage, and I was obviously laughing so hard at all the miming going on that I wrote everything on top of everything else again, oops. If I'm making sense of this correctly, the bear turned into Madame Ran, who did her usual intro with a chibi to welcome us all to the circus.

But before that, she had the usual ticketing problems. I think it was Iwamoto again this year but he appeared just below my line of sight, so I can't be sure. First he produced a biscuit, then a castanet, but never did he manage to find a ticket! No circus for you, boy.

First up in the aerial acrobatics, Kame did his orange-and-purple clown walk along the inside of a picture frame, which put itself together as he moved. The flames were only projected, of course, as even Kame would probably draw the line at walking on fire. (I hope???) The usual - thundering rock music, mask fell off while he was upside down, some girls dancing below.

I don't know why they still play the "risky tightrope" song when they dispensed with the actual tightrope a good few years ago, but I love all the circus music, anyway. It does a great job of building excitement. The girls snatched away the horrible costume and Kame, now wearing red and black, launched himself up and over the audience. I was further off to the side than I'd have liked for it, but he was too close for me to watch him through binoculars while he was up in the air for this routine. There were girls up in the air too, but because their costumes were full body things and light in colour, they actually looked like they were wearing nothing but the harnesses. Kame did some mid-air acrobatics around and between them.

The cube stuff from 2008 was there again this year, with the guys down below twirling sparkly cubes while Kame was suspended inside one, with all his lovely slow motion moves. I don't know why but I love it when he stands on the edge of the frame, like something out of a superhero movie.

Meanwhile, Tamamori's gang were searching high and low for Kame. Along came the creepy trees and coffin, which of course meant only one thing: the beautiful, gorgeous extravaganza that is Lost My Way, here performed by Kame with Miyata and Senga in tow, plus people I don't know. There is nothing I can say about Lost My Way that I haven't already said - it is, without a doubt, one of the sharpest, most elegant things Kame's ever done, performance-wise. If he were controlling the weather with his movements, he'd have it down to the precision of a single raindrop and he'd do it with such grace that you wouldn't even care that you were being rained on.

So, the usual. Little batwing mask, into the coffin, coffin explodes, "Kame" goes flying back and forth, does a few twirls, gets lowered into tank of water and "dies" before miraculously appearing in the aisle and running up to the stage. I could actually hear him running beneath me, this time, which I found kind of hilarious. They appear to have ditched the gunshots for good.

Kame took off over the audience again, and as far as I can tell when he does this bit he's not actually attached to anything when he's spinning around up there, just has the two harnesses under his arms. The lunatic. More writing over stuff here; something about Miyata and Senga being in front and the Chinese army girls behind.

He does get a bit more support when he goes in the triangle thing from last year, though. Up in the air, a girl on either side, and two below at one point that he had to loop around. If you've seen the video from last year or saw the show yourself, you'll know how it goes and it's pretty impressive. The poor guy was sweating buckets and had a hard time keeping it and his hair out of his eyes while he was up there. Maybe he needs to do the pineapple fringe thing? Or would that look too uncool for a stunt like this?

For the last go around, the girls got down and everyone else left the stage, it was just Kame and no music, so we could hear every single grunt of exertion, every single puff and pant, and the cute little "yosh!" before it. It never ceases to amaze me, how Kame seems to be intent on pushing his physical limits to breaking point and beyond. He certainly deserved the victory poses afterwards.

Scene change to backstage at the circus, with the guys looking for Kame still. Kame exchanged an "otsukare" with a pair of the female dancers who wandered through before Iwamoto found him and the fight began. Out came the knife, in came Naoki; into Iwamoto went the knife and out of him came "blood". Iwamoto collapsed, Naoki wailed, Hikaru/Senga/Miyata looked horrified and Kame got arrested. He took an awfully long time to drop the knife! Maybe he wanted a souvenir. The usual: Naoki collapsed, Kame found out about his bad heart (are there no healthy small boys in this country?) and broke away to leap off the stage, taking us into the interval.

I spent the interval (2:25 - 2:55) trying to make sense of what I'd written and smoothing things out for later, but didn't get very far. Now for the fun part, where I try to read what I wrote in the second half and didn't have time to edit... Oh, and I got a page through it before I noticed my pen wasn't working. :-(

Kame didn't start out with Bad Dream; I'm pretty sure it was Kizuna but like I said, the pen foiled me. Bad Dream performance was like last year, with all the projections, the line of Juniors, Kame being spectacularly riveting. This was another one of those times where I just kept my binoculars trained on him the whole time, just to watch him dance.

Usual wall scene, complete with police officers, random acts of arson, breaking office windows, beating people up in mid-air - but this year, we had some flying over the audience too!

Nice touching scene in front of the camera, with Naoki in a wheelchair and Hikaru, Miyata and Senga talking about Kizuna, friendship, etc., and it came out that Naoki had told Miyata about Kame having written Kizuna. The three guys performed a rock version! Miyata looking extremely happy on the drums, Senga on keyboards, and I'm guessing from the pamphlet pictures that Hikaru plays bass? They had a guitarist in the show somewhere, anyway. He just hung out in the walls a lot, like Ishigaki. It's a gorgeous version of the song. I love how this beautiful song that Kame wrote all those years ago is still going strong, like some kind of anthem. It couldn't have had a more impressive life if it had been written by Freddie Mercury.

And there it was again, an instrumental version playing softly as Naoki, now out of his wheelchair, went to cuddle up on his brother's hospital bed. Naoki wanted to learn boxing; Tamamori said he'd teach him, (From beyond the grave? Good trick, that.) The band showed up in time to witness Tamamori giving Naoki his glove to look after; Naoki vanished and Tamamori talked about how he'd heard and liked their song. Revelations about the author, about the fight, about Tamamori, and how Kame's punch hadn't changed, with the guys getting as close to Tamamori on the bed as they possibly could. Wise move, because when they all got up and went to the front of the stage, he died. Oops. No earthquake this time, but a handful of white flowers and some crazy nurses.

Senga and Miyata led everyone in the Fight All Night vs. All of Me For You performance, sounding fabulous but looking terrible because everyone was wearing clashing colours. Maybe there's a reason JE colour-codes everything so much of the time. Kame and Madame Ran wandered randomly around the corners of the stage before vanishing.

Then Hikaru took a turn, with everyone else as his backdancers, and the pamphlet tells me the song was called Paper Doll. I don't know whose it is, I don't know if it exists anywhere except fanrecordings, but I want it, because wow, awesome. What is is with H!S!J guys? Last time I fell for a song it was with Yabu in 2008, and it turned out to be Ikujinashi. At least I managed to find that.

Everyone left; Kame stumbled wearily in, looking for sanctuary but finding only flashbacks to his lonely childhood with a neglectful mother. Speak of the devil, Madame Ran came in to explain her lack of parenting skills. She needn't have bothered; Kame acted like he'd been hitting the bottle over Tamamori's death and hitting it pretty damned hard. Tearful argument between mother and son before Sakiho's arrival, crowing over the connection because anything that woman can milk for scandal, she will.

The women sang Get It with a little help from Kame, who was mostly dancing with girls in the back, getting thrown around and ever so slightly jazzy. Accusations all over regarding blame, but none of that mattered because the police shot Madame Ran, who was trying to protect Kame, and being willing to lay down your life for your son outweighs all the bad years, happy ever after, the end.

Well, not quite. Kame ran off and the women did the whole "We slept with the same man!" thing. Sakiho's secret child is of course Naoki, who is Kame's half-brother (would it not make more sense for him to get Kame's heart?).

Naoki had left hospital in search of Kame, so of course everyone was looking for Naoki, including the guys who were still looking for Kame to kill him. Naoki was up on one side of the stage (looking for Kame in the roof, maybe?); Kame was up on the other and fell trying to get to him. Kame dangled around upside down in mid-air for a bit, turning around as he approached the stage and Tamamori caught his wrists to pull him up.

I have to say this scene wasn't as much fun without all the ad-libs that used to be there, back in the day, so perhaps it's a good thing that Tamamori's champ was not the kind-of-dead pimp that Koki's so clearly was. The girls were still there, they were just flying around the back with balloons while the guys took it in turns to apologise/compliment Kizuna, talk about the boxing match and what had to be done for Naoki before the time runs out, and sang one of the loveliest songs in the show, And I'll Be There. If anything other than Next Dream can make me cry in this musical, it's this song. When you consider that it's being sung in a world between this one and the next, it's actually very sad.

Back at the Bayside Club, Miyata and Senga didn't know what to do (lost their way, perhaps?), another fight broke out and Hikaru, rather than do Nakamaru's trick of hurling two guys to the ground with the sound of breaking glass, got that sound effect in a more logical way by attacking the jukebox. The crash gets everyone's attention, just in time for Iwamoto's reappearance and confession that the knife was his, Kame didn't stab him etc. Everyone was confessing everything, including Sakiho, and Madame Ran wore the teeniest of bandages over her gunshot wound. Senga was pretty brutal, I might add - he really laid into this one guy while someone else was holding his arms behind his back!

A slightly less distraught Kame came in to break the news about Naoki to the strains of more instrumental Kizuna, lots of talk about the song and friendship. Kame clapped all the band on the shoulder and we had the usual spiel about who you were living for, other people's sake, etc., with Tamamori appearing in the distance after Kame said they were all the best friends.

Standard ending, with everyone in glittery white suits (occasionally dresses, but not for the guys), Kame thanking Madame Ran, the guys asking for the champ to watch over them, and everyone singing Kizuna to the tune of Next Dream. (Try it at home some time, it's fun, like playing 'One Song to the Tune of Another' on 'I'm Sorry, I Haven't a Clue'.) Kame escorted both women down the shiny DB staircase then took off for the skies, with Miyata and Senga following. Rock version of Kizuna played again. Once everyone was back on the ground, Kame took off again, this time with Hikaru and Tamamori, though only Kame really went over the audience. We had a proper version of Next Dream around here, too. ^_^

The giant picture frame completed itself on stage with the main cast inside and everyone else dancing around the outside, then the set that looks rather like the inside of Venus Fort came down and everyone but Kame was hidden away. He remained on the short steps singing Chousenja - again, none of the cute little interjections this year, maybe Matchy complained - and decrepit gym pics in the background, with lyrics if you wanted to sing along. He jumped backwards off the stage and it was into...Showtime!

Oh my god. The Kisumai guys kicked off Showtime with She!Her!Her!, which I didn't care for much as a song, but Senga's dancing was amazing to watch. They had these shiny gold outfits - Tamamori had a giant fluffy white collar, Senga looked like a gameshow host, and Miyata looked vaguely respectable. (Though not as much as the backdancers.) They switched to Everybody Go and then came out again on rollerskates! They had these weird red capes with colour changing lights on the inside that looked pretty cool, and then passed them to the dancers to swish around for a bit. Switch to Never Give Up, and then a fourth song I didn't recognise but I'm guessing is relatively new. I seriously need to go see another Kisumai con.

Next up, Hikaru came out in a sparkly blue suit and started juggling (hey there, Junno!). He was only juggling with two balls at first but one of the dancers (he had acrobats and clowns) tossed him another one, and they traded back and forth a bit. He looked like he was having lots of fun, though I don't know what he was singing. A Hey!Say!JUMP song, presumably, and about the only thing of theirs I can successfully identify is Mayonaka no Shadow Boy! The lyrics involved a "neverending story" if that helps anyone.

And then...1582. This was my twelfth time seeing a version of 1582 live, so by this point I'm a bit like, "Screw the description, let me just watch and admire!" Things I particularly liked: Kame's lovely flourish with a sword at the end, and his talent for baring half his chest while upside down and somehow not losing half his outfit to gravity. He's got the wrong hair for the performance at the moment, to be honest, but it's all about the attitude anyway and he's got that in spades. Kame can wear whatever the hell he wants and pull it off without it being camp, or ridiculous, and it works so well for him.

The ladies took a turn (female backdancers included) with Andalucia ni Akogarete, and then the five main guys, looking beautiful in black, white and gold, came out to sing I Am Always Here. Kame really went for it with the vocals. In the background they displayed photos of the guys from behind the scenes, ending with a very pretty Kame with palms spread in invitation.

Um...cast intros, bowing, inviting us to watch the fireworks which lit up the screen at the back with the name of the show, and that was it, save the standing ovation we gave them when they peeked out again.

And that was my first DB for the year! Going again next Thursday, so I should try to look up those mystery songs in the meantime, I guess. While lack of Koki is still weird to me, it's not a bad cast overall and there are some excellent numbers this year that we only have because of the cast change. Sad about lack of Next Dream, happy about lots of versions of Kizuna, in heaven over pretty much every Kame solo, and appreciating Miyata and Senga a lot more than before. So all in all, a worthwhile experience. If you made it to the end, thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed.
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Mec

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