「Pizzicato 5」 90年代に流行った「ピチカート５」。音楽の小西氏はこのピチカート５の主要メンバー。
Talk Like Singing : An Original Japanese musical
Still waiting for the great Pizzicato 5 musical
2:56 PM, November 16, 2009 ι By Elisabeth Vincentelli
The definitive Pizzicato 5 musical remains to be written, but "Talk Like Singing" (at NYU's Skirball Center until Sunday) gives us a rough idea of what it could be like. Indeed, the score, written by Pizzicato 5 mastermind Yasuharu Konishi , is the single best thing about the show.
Tokyo's P5 was one of the very best bands of the 1990s. I admit to owning something like 25 of their CDs, and I still play many of them on a regular basis. Konishi had a fantastic way of bringing the '60s into the present in incredibly catchy, visually suggestive songs such as "Twiggy Twiggy" (can't you just picture a big Broadway number? I sure can), "Tout Va Bien" and "Triste." The band was the epitome of the so-called Shibuya Sound, which became shorthand for a certain stylish modernity. I've always wondered why Konishi had never written a musical, especially since his music reminds me a lot of Burt Bacharach's at its best and as we all know, Bacharach's "Promises, Promises" is super-fun.
In "Talk Like Singing," Konishi delivers at least ten fab songs, plus another ten that are merely very, very good. Not bad, uh? The six-piece band sounds very Bacharachian in fact, relying on propulsive drumming that sustains brass- and piano-heavy arrangements. My biggest disappointment was that so many of the numbers were cut short abruptly after 90 seconds or so to make more room for the preposterous dialogue (in English and Japanese).
It must be said: "Talk Like Singing" has a ridic book. It doesn't help that its author, Koki Mitani, also staged the show. For starters, another director may have told Mitani that he only had enough material for one hour, not two. Another director may also have prevented the show from looking like a high-school production. (See preview here .)
The premise revolves around Tarlow, a young man (Shingo Katori) who sings instead of talking. Psychiatrist Dr. Dyson (Jay Kabira) and psycholinguist Dr. Nimoy (Keiko Horiuchi) try to help him lead a normal life. Shenanigans ensue and they're wacky, as you can infer from the characters' names. The actors (which also include the awesome Shinya Niiro in various roles) are incredibly hard-working but their efforts can't hide the story's asininity. And so you find yourself waiting more or less patiently for the next song.
With this in mind, the next steps are obvious. First, there should be a cast album for "Talk Like Singing." Second, someone should give Konishi a good book to work from -- like a musical adaptation of "Modesty Blaise," "Blow Up" or "Darling" for instance.