2 Acts, Book Musical, Rated PG-13
Original Broadway Version (1976)
Two friends caught in the inevitable winds of change tell of Japan's painful and harrowing Westernization.
Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman (authors of Assassins) mix elements of
Kabuki theatre with the conventions of the Broadway musical in Pacific Overtures, a highly original, inventive, powerful, educational
and surprisingly humorous theatrical experience. Considered by many to be the artistic pinnacle of the legendary Sondheim/Prince
collaborations, this exploration of culture and imperialism pushes the
boundaries of musical theatre farther than ever before.
Commodore Matthew Perry’s 1853 mission to open
trade relations with isolationist Japan through gunboat diplomacy forges an unlikely friendship between the
samurai Kayama and the Americanized fisherman Manjiro. Kayama
and Manjiro – and all of Japanese society – must face the wave of
Its epic scope, ethnic cast and subject matter, and sheer ambition make Pacific Overtures a unique and worthwhile effort for any theatre – large or small – looking for a challenge.
Visit the Pacific Overtures page on MTI ShowSpace to share and view photos, video, costume and prop rentals and more. Click here.
Pacific Overtures was ground-breaking in that it attempted to tell of the meeting between Western and Asian cultures from a totally Asian perspective.