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A stage musical version of Isao Takahata and Studio Ghibli's Only Yesterday (Omohide Poro Poro) film will run in Tokyo's Ginga Gekijō theater from April 16 to 29, 2011. It is the first stage play adaptation of any Studio Ghibli work.
The 1991 film follows a 27-year-old Tokyo office lady named Taeko as she takes a sabbatical to visit her brother-in-law's hometown in the countryside. The journey invokes nostalgic memories of her childhood and leads her to reconsider her path in life. The film was Takahata's second Ghibli work after Grave of the Fireflies three years earlier, and it featured actresses Miki Imai and Youko Honna in the shared role of Taeko. The film also included "Ai wa Hana, Kimi wa Sono Tane" — Harumi Miyako's Japanese rendition of "The Rose" song made famous by Bette Midler.
Hikaru Asami will play Taeko during the play's Tokyo run, and Keaki Mori will play Taeko's mother. Aoi Mieno will play Toshio, Taeko's new friend in the countryside. Tamiya Kuriyama is directing, and Masato Kai wrote the score.
After it closes its curtains in Tokyo, the play will move to Semboku City in the northern prefecture of Akita, where it will play from May 8, 2011 to January 3, 2012. Starting in April of 2012, the play will go on a national tour. The cast will vary between locale and dates.
The Only Yesterday film was released on DVD in the United Kingdom and Australia in 2006, but it has yet to be released in North America.