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The Four Immigrants Manga Gets Stage Musical

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Musical of Japanese immigrants in early 20th-century San Francisco debuts in July

Theater company TheatreWorks announced on Tuesday that it will launch its 2017-2018 season with a stage musical adaptation of Henry Yoshitaka Kiyama's The Four Immigrants Manga. The adaptation, titled The Four Immigrants: An American Musical Manga, will run in TheaterWorks' 48th season at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto, California from July 12 to August 6.

Min Kahng (Story Explorers, Where The Mountain Meets The Moon) created the musical and wrote the book, music, and lyrics for the adaptation. Leslie Martinson (Warrior Class, Superior Donuts) is directing the musical, which TheaterWorks began developing in 2014. Subscriptions will go on sale on January 3, and single tickets will go on sale in April.

Kahng describes the story of the "documentary comic book":

Follow the adventures of Henry, Charlie, Fred and Frank - four Japanese immigrants - as they adapt to life in the West. Experiencing historical events like the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, World War I, Prohibition and waves of anti-Japanese sentiment, the four protagonists each encounter America in a different way as they grow from boys into men.

The adaptation is based on Frederik L. Schodt's translation of Kiyama's manga. Kiyama self-published the manga in San Francisco in 1931, and the California-based publisher Stone Bridge Press released the English version in 1998.

[Via BroadwayWorld.com]


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