Do you fall in love with butai “Guys and Dolls”?
Uchi, whose Sky role in the musical “Guys and Dolls” has gained the popularity, will tell us about the secrets on the backstage. He will continue performing without rest and let’s listen to the story of live performance to show his gratitude to fans.
Since being born in 1950, Broadway Musical “Guys and Dolls” has been performed in pubic in all over the world. This is the love comedy painting the first love between big gamblers of New York and women. Uchi has played the cool hero of this story – Sky. In the suit of 1950s, Uchi was very cool when acting the personality of a genius in gambling. Everyone could see he expressed the feeling romantically such as the tender smile intended for lover Sara, or the pain when Sara misunderstood and ran away. In the scene Sky’s embarking alone in bad gamblers ‘ place to help Sara, the audience was really moved to listen to the song “Lucky to be a lady”, which Uchi sang softly with his sweet singing voice on stage. Besides a lot of feeling when co-acting with Daisempai Nisshikiori – an interesting co-actor, Uchi also showed us the emotions he couldn’t think of in the first time playing the leading role.
Q: Although you didn’t imagine playing the leading role in a butai, you were still cool confidently.
Uchi: Thank you! After the opening day of butai many people told me that “You have been really confident!” and despite I replied to them “Is it true?” I still felt very nervous. Now I can only say that “Everything’s so crazy”. (laugh)
Q: Which scene made you become the most nervous?
Uchi: I can’t choose. From beginning to end, I felt nervous. My role-Sky is always a cool man, and you can’t see something like a smile on his face. I knew that if I expressed myself in it, even in a moment, not only the image of Sky but also the image of “Guys and Dolls” would be broken. Because of it, I braced myself in everything, such as I always kept my voice down, or minded the way to wear a hat, the way to walk etc. However, during the performance, it seemed that Nisshiki-san in the role of Nathan had such a countenance to make me laugh (cry). But thanks to the precise advices from Nisshiki-san, or the speech from the director Koumei-san “Uchi has played the Sky in my mind well”, I think I was able to act Sky in my own style.
Q: The personality of Sky you like?
Uchi: His consistent personality! No matter what happens, he always keeps his promise with the woman he loves. Sara left Sky for a misunderstanding he even didn’t do, Sky didn’t say anything and got away, but he still risked his life to keep the promise he made from the beginning. I think if I were in his shoe, being misunderstood and dumped by the girl I love, I would hang on her, saying with my thick Kansai dialect “No no! It’s not due to me!” (laugh). So, on stage I tried my best to detach my role from “Uchi Hiroki”.
Q: On the first shows, in the passionate love-scene, were you shy?
chi: When I was on stage I became Sky, so all I thought about was that “Which angle of stage should I choose to make the most beautiful love-scene?” Frankly, I didn’t have time to be shy. But in the last part, when Sky saved Sara, cleared up a misunderstanding and they decided to get married, I turned to be very shy in the scene I had to march and played drums in a bright red military uniform with Sara. In the moment I showed up with that appearance on stage, there were laughter from the audience. And I thought that “Eh, is Sky dominated by Sara?” (laugh). But I also think it’s the happy ending in a comedy musical.
Q: Until now, do you have any stories not generally known to us?
Uchi: Because I had to attend drama till March, in the previous day of the first practicing day, I still didn’t have time to memorize all my lines. And after the staff of the butai told me that “You are not allowed to see the script and practice at the same time”, I thought “I won’t be humored here~”. So, I spent a sleepless night to throw al the lines into my head, also reflected upon how my character would be. Then, until now, when attending the practice I never brought along the script but still was able to finish all my performances. Every co-actor, co-actresses and the staffs applauded warmly to cheer me on. I can’t forget that feeling of achievement.
Q: Do you want to attend any musical plays again?
Uchi: I want to have another showing of a play with the same members of “Guys and Dolls”! Not only Tokyo, I want to perform in Osaka. And I also want to try playing the role of Mater Sky in many places on the whole country. To be able to being called “When talking about Sky role, I remember Uchi Hiroki”, I think I need to continue performing!
Q: Right after butai is over, you will have the live performance “Uchi Hiroki with Question?” So you will keep being busy as usual. Can you have time to relax?
Uchi: When we finish our performances, I go out to eat with the co-actors. So it’s also the good relaxation to me. All my free time is spent for working out the plan of live performance. This time, I will take responsibility of everything such as the plan, the organization etc and there’re still a lot of things I haven’t found out yet. Because we will perform in the same stage just on one day after the closing day of butai, we will continue using the sets. Besides, the live performance, Questions? and I will make a parody of “Guys and Dolls”. Nathan role will be played by Akun, and Sara will be played by Yodogawa (laugh). It will be great if we can make a performance to help everyone coming to watch us happy. I will take a pleasure trip somewhere after the live performance is closed well. Please come to watch a “worn-out” Uchi Hiroki!