Japanese helmer-scribe to bow musical
Japanese helmer-scribe Koki Mitani’s new musical comedy “Talk Like Singing” will run Nov. 11-22 at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in Gotham. The show stars Shingo Katori, a member of the pop group Smap, who has appeared in six of Mitani’s works, including the hit 2006 screen comedy “Suite Dreams.” A huge star in Japan, Katori is making his international stage debut with the show. Yasuharu Konishi, a former member of the group Pizzicato Five, is supplying the musical numbers.Katori plays a man who can sing but can’t talk, receiving treatment for his rare condition from a wacky speech therapist (Keiko Horiuchi) and shrink (Jay Kabira). The dialogue is in Japanese and English. A playwright before he became a TV scripter and pic helmer, Mitani specializes in witty, fast-paced comedies like those of his idols Billy Wilder and Neil Simon. Hit pics include his 1997 debut “Welcome Back Mr. McDonald” and “The Magic Hour” (2008).