The setting is Christmas time, in a small French restaurant. “Mon restaurant ideal” is an entertainment-focused production for adults that binds together the lives of each restaurant visitor in short stories and features stylish scenes with live jazz that works like a film score. The restaurant owner is Takahashi, a popular character from “A la carte,” a long-running play staged for 26 years from 1989 at the Aoyama round theater (located in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo and which closed in 2015). Since 2018 the performance venue has been a real restaurant where the audience can also enjoy a meal, and the production continues to receive rave reviews. From 2020 the show has also been streamed online: in 2022, six of the eight performances were hybrid ones combining audiences and an online stream (for which archived streams are available), garnering views across Japan.
As well as Atsuko Takaizumi, Koyo Yamamoto, and Yuichiro Nakayama, a stellar lineup of Shunputeishota, Kikunojo Onoe, Yukai Diamond, Les Romanesques TOBI, Eisuke Sasai, and ROLLY make guest appearances on a “daily special” basis. The musicians are a quartet comprising Toshihiro Nakanishi on violin, Shunji Takenaka on guitar, Yoshiaki Sato on accordion, and Brent Nussey on double bass.
Atsuko Takaizumi conceived, wrote, directed and starred in the work, with Toshihiro Nakanishi as music director.
【The theatrical company YU-KIKAI OFFICE】
The theatrical company YU-KIKAI OFFICE is a theater and music planning and production office led by Atsuko Takaizumi. Takaizumi belonged to the Waseda university theatre club while a student at Waseda University, forming the theater company Yukikai-Zenjidotheatre in 1983 with Akira Shirai and Koichi Yoshizawa, friends from her Waseda days.
A lead actor in stage plays who also has a hand in scriptwriting, she attracts attention as a performer who has a transformative way of playing a range of characters from young boys to old people. After the company disbanded in 2003, her appearance in “Elephant Vanishes,” a stage adaptation by London-based director Simon McBurney of a short story collection by Haruki Murakami, was highly acclaimed in its London, Paris and New York runs. Takaizumi is working on the “Profound fable” trilogy themed around time, memory and family, commissioning stage design from illustrator Akira Uno. In addition, many of her theatrical works incorporate jazz, and she regularly holds jazz live performances to actively appeal to the music world as well.
The theatrical company YU-KIKAI OFFICE
Louis Chatelet #704, 2-2-17, Jiyugaoka, Meguro-ku, Tokyo
eplus LIVING ROOM CAFE & DINING, Shibuya City, Tokyo