“Nadeshiko,” an operetta consisting of monologues and narratives from actual letters between family members at the end of World War II in Hiroshima, will be performed this weekend in Southern California.
Composed by Yoshio Kodama and produced and directed by Yukari Black of Kuro Productions, the 90-minute play is interwoven with melodic piano accompaniment.
The operetta never passes judgment or points the finger of blame. Instead, by portraying the love shared by a family, it passes along the hope for world peace.
The cast includes:
• Yukari Black as Sakiko. From the age of 3, she has been on stage as an actress, singer and dancer. By the age of 9, she was already writing, directing and choreographing original performances. She received a bachelor’s degree in performing arts from Tamagawa University in Tokyo.
“Growing up in Japan, Hiroshima was too sad a place for me to visit,” said Black. “From my involvement in the production, however, I was able to learn about the Yao family and feel closer to Hiroshima. Finally I felt inspired to visit and pay my respects to the people who lost their lives. It was raining and I was alone with my guide…
“Amazingly, 11 years have passed and we are now at the 70-year memorial. I felt that it was very important to revive this performance at this important time. Especially for the children, we hope to share this historical story and through the love of this Yao family, inspire them to strive for world peace.”
• Hisato Masuyama as Father. He grew up in Tokyo until the age of 17 and studied voice and music education at USC. He is pleased to be able to reprise one of his previous roles in this production.
• Shiori Ideta as Mother. She grew up in Nagano Prefecture and came to the U.S. in 2006 to pursue acting. She earned her bachelor’s degree in theater and performance studies at UC Berkeley.
• Noi Maeshige as Taisuke. She is a 7th-grader at the Musical Theatre Conservatory, Orange County School of Arts. At age 8, she started to study singing under Masuyama.
The schedule is as follows:
• Friday, Aug. 7, at 7 p.m. at Irvine Presbyterian Church, 4445 Alton Parkway, Irvine.
• Sunday, Aug. 9, at 3 p.m. at Zipper Hall, Colburn School, 200 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles.