Japan’s Kabuki-za theater closes

New theater to open in spring of 2013

TOKYO — The Kabuki-za theater, a landmark in Tokyo’s Ginza district for nearly six decades, closed its doors for the last time on April 30.

Shochiku, which operates the venue and manages the troupe that stages plays there in the centuries-old Kabuki tradition, intends to reopen a new theater on the site in the spring of 2013.

A Kabuki theater first opened on the site in 1889. The one currently standing, which opened in 1951 is the third. The first burned to the ground in 1921 and the second was destroyed by an air raid in May 1945.

To compensate fans for the temporary loss of live perfs on the Kabuki-za stage, Shochiku is releasing a new docu that offers a behind-the-scenes look at the theater, featuring 11 top Kabuki thesps. Helmed by Sokichi Sogawa, the docu will bow in Japan in January 2011.

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