Not sure where best to post this, but I saw a rakugo performance by Katsura Sunshine last nite and had a blast! I became familiar with the style of performance through the anime Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū years and years ago and remember looking up various performances on YouTube at the time. Sunshine came up a few times, as he has some notoriety for being one of the only (maybe the only?) Western classically trained rakugo performers. Fast forward to now, my partner was showing me a list of local shows she can get discount tickets to through work and his name immediately jumps out to me–I had to see it!
It turns out he has a residency (that’s expected to run for several years) in NYC and London, which was originally supposed to kick off in 2019, but was put on hold due to world events. If anyone isn’t familiar with the format (though I’m sure there are many forum members who know way more about it than I do!), it’s a single person show where the performer introduces and then enacts one or several stories, each of which culminates in some sort of profound and/or comical punch-line. The performance is quite minimalist and is done while kneeling and only using a closed fan and a hand towel as props. He has quite a bit of his work up on youtube–here’s one of the stories he told last nite, in fact:
If anyone finds themselves in or near NYC or London, I highly recommend it! He also invites the audience to come hang out at the bar behind the theater after each performance. We decided to oblige and he plopped down right next to us in his huge denim kimono while we ate dinner and was just a real cool dude.
If we end up organizing any kind of local forumgoer get-together, I can think of worse ways to spend an evening!