Thursday, September 10, 2020

336. THE MAN FROM THE EAST. From my (unpublished) ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE NEW YORK STAGE, 1970-1975


THE MAN FROM THE EAST [Musical/Japan/Japanese Language/Period] M/LY: Stomu Yamash’ta; S: Takeo Adachi; L: Mitzuru Ishi; P: Gordon Crowe b/a/w Looner Enterprises, in Stomu Yamash’ta’s Red Buddha Rock Theatre Production; T: Brooklyn Academy of Music (OB); 10/23/73-10/28/73 (8)

This touring rock operetta, originating in Tokyo, was a loosely assembled, hard-to-follow piece about a hunchbacked program seller, his crippled young female companion, and their odyssey through time from Old Japan to the holocaust of Hiroshima.

Clive Barnes found it “unintelligible” and choreographically “inept,” but with several evocative images. One he pointed to showed a group of townspeople frozen in tableau at the moment of atomic explosion. A piece of “fake” avant-gardism, The Man from the East, lacked anything Barnes could cite as original.