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Shirota Yu, and other lights of Asian musical theater

I'm a fan, mostly of his face and personality. But tell me, DL mavens - can this Queen sing?

He has a new collection of showtunes out, available for 3,000 yen (thanks, Sony!). Cuts include 'The Darkness Spreads' (ELIZABETH, he played Der Tod in the Tokyo Stage); 'Aimer' (ROMEO ET JULIETTE, he played Romeo); 'I am with You' (SWEENEY TODD, he played Pirelli); plus covers of 'My Favorite Things' (THE SOUND OF MUSIC), 'A Whole New World' (ALADDIN) and 'The Greatest Show'/'A Million Dreams (THE GREATEST SHOWMAN). He didn't include anything from those anime musicals he did (hello, PRINCE OF TENNIS?) or West End/Broadway classics which he has been known to sing on variety shows in Japan.

by Anonymousreply 6018 hours ago

In ELIZABETH, the 2016 run:

by Anonymousreply 109/22/2018

Singing the opening number of ROMEO ET JULIETTE (whatever that was called):

by Anonymousreply 209/22/2018

A little Disney - 'Go The Distance' from HERCULES (only half in English, for some reason):

by Anonymousreply 309/22/2018

Rudolf's death in ELIZABETH. Yu got pretty into it...

by Anonymousreply 409/22/2018

Tough crowd. This guy originated Tuxedo Mask on the stage, you know.

Anyway, here's Shirotan's dreamy take on 'The Shadows Grow Longer'. I like the metal cry he adds to the finish, it's sexy. Furukawa Yuta, his duet partner for this number is a pretty dancer (clearly ballet-trained) with a cute voice. Given this take on the song is more sensual than chilling it's easy to tell the director/producers of this run knew who buttered their bread; women make up most of the ticket-sales for popular theatre shows in Japan...

by Anonymousreply 509/22/2018

Hideously garish hetero outfit, stunningly beautiful musical-gay voice.

Anyone?

by Anonymousreply 609/24/2018

Here's his 'Oh, What a Beautiful Morning!' for the One World Broadway: 4Stars concert series, with Lea Salonga.

by Anonymousreply 709/25/2018

Speaking English for a 4Stars interview with Sierra Boggess. His pronunciation is excellent for a Japanese man. Sierra praises him here as "open, positive, funny....his spirit radiates love & peace" (lol).

SIERRA: [about Yu's pre-show rehearsals] He was chill, too, he was fine.

YU: You're talking about two days ago? Not yesterday...

SIERRA: [sound] check? That was fine!

YU: Really?

SIERRA: Yeah!

YU: I wasn't fine.

by Anonymousreply 809/26/2018

Yu's first role as Tuxedo Kamen. Kitsch!

by Anonymousreply 909/30/2018

What is this Elizabeth musical? I've never heard of it...

by Anonymousreply 1009/30/2018

Oh, you poor dear, R10. It's been running for just over 25 years, so you've a lot of exploring ahead.

by Anonymousreply 1109/30/2018

For his more obscure musical turns, see this clunky lurid production of THE LOVE BUGS. Yu was good, though.

by Anonymousreply 1209/30/2018

...and his several appearances as beloved 'Buchou' (Tennis Captain) Tezuka in THE PRINCE OF TENNIS. There are no words to prepare anyone for these shows; you just have to hold your nose and stick your head under.

by Anonymousreply 1309/30/2018

He's no fucking Jimmy Shigeta, that's for fucking sure.

by Anonymousreply 1409/30/2018

so he knows Ramon Karimloo....🤔🤔 knew I recognised this guy from somewhere. I’ll look him up now.

by Anonymousreply 1510/01/2018

Ok so after a quick Google....

His voice/face IS pretty OP; but maybe another reason he gets so many of these big musical roles and projects is because of his connections and his gaijin looks? Per the Internet his father is (or was?) a big shot at NIPPONTv. Plus the man looks about 6ft.2” and pale-skinned as milk with a prominent nose & pair of lips. True that the Japanese have different beauty standards than we, but in their Arts they can’t deny they still sometimes fetishise the imperial European/Regency/classic ‘Disney Prince’ Western look...

by Anonymousreply 1610/01/2018

He’s the epitome of bisexual.

by Anonymousreply 1710/02/2018

Shirota you too, buddy!

by Anonymousreply 1810/02/2018

He did some, uh, interesting photoshoots in his early 20s which I'm sure DL will appraise with keen eye.

Que puto...

by Anonymousreply 1910/02/2018

Something about the Tequila blood in a person’s DNA just improves everything. I’m sure this kid would have been cute anyway, but a few drops of sexy Spanish in the mix bumps him up at least 2 points tbh. I don’t think he’d have been near as good-looking if he were half-German, half-Australian or half-Thai.

by Anonymousreply 2010/05/2018

Yu's Latin side is part of what makes him so interesting & charismatic-looking, yes.

Because of his distinct features he's sometimes used as a catch-all 'Western' actor when it comes to Japanese productions; while he has played many Japanese men & boys he also gets cast as European, English & American people. For example, about 10 years ago he played famous British rockabilly singer Mickey (Mikki) Curtis in the musical-biopic THE HIT PARADE for FujiTv (you can see him as Mickey in the far top-right corner of the linked pic).

by Anonymousreply 2110/07/2018

Shirota played the homosexual warlord Oda Nobunaga in the Asahi drama one-shot NOUHIME II (2013), which regrettably did not feature him in any gay sex/love scenes. What is a Nobunaga without his beloved Ranmaru?

Still, he looked hot af with a sword and in period dress.

by Anonymousreply 2210/09/2018

Pretty guy...

by Anonymousreply 2310/10/2018

One of his earliest and most famous solos, 'Semero, tsuyoku nare!' ('Attack, and go forward!) from PRINCE OF TENNIS.

His voice is so buttery and resonant, and he was just out of College here. He has presence even on a janky stage like this one.

by Anonymousreply 2410/10/2018

Well, he’s in the #1 drama in Japan rn so I guess he’s doing something right.

by Anonymousreply 2510/12/2018

And so talented that he has to teach his castmates to sing...

by Anonymousreply 2610/14/2018

Oh man, R26. It’s lucky for that other guy he’s super cute cuz he sounds like a cat on heat singing....

Btw when will Asian heartthrobs learn that anime-manga hero hair does not look good on real life guys...

by Anonymousreply 2710/15/2018

Shirotan's schmoozin' his way to the top!

But seriously, he's making waves with this Ramin connection. It sounds weird with Yu doing the Rudolf part in 'Die Schetten', but whatever.

by Anonymousreply 2810/15/2018

Just noticed he’s left-handed, in case anyone who manages to pick him up wonders why it looks weird when he grabs the shaft southpaw.

by Anonymousreply 2910/21/2018

My 'Phantom of the Opera'-loving Moms went nuts for that cover R28, and then crossed herself in Catholic guilt for declaring that Yu is "so beautiful" (she's 53 and he's 33, nbd imo but hey, straight ppl right?).

by Anonymousreply 3010/21/2018

This whore’s got a hotter slightly-older brother who’s not nearly as talented or famous, so you know he’d do some freaky shit for the validation/attention.

by Anonymousreply 3110/27/2018

^^^no lie. He soaps up naked and showers off at two minutes.

Yuu-kun would never.

by Anonymousreply 3210/28/2018

Yu x Kazuki, awww. They should date, they would make a nice handsome sweet couple with the bonus of perfect voices.

by Anonymousreply 3310/29/2018

OP minor correction: he played Anthony Hope in ‘Sweeney’.

But yes, he can sing, albeit in a Disney way. He’ll probably end up singing Japanese dubtracks for them, if he hasn’t already.

by Anonymousreply 3410/31/2018

Seems like Shiropon is a Mama’s boy. He looks just like her, and is likely the favorite (sorry, Jun).

Also his old Skyrock profile from a decade ago is still up, and it’s hilariously bad. Just Engrish captioned with grainy photos taken on an ancient Samsung camera, and with no attempt to mask homosexuality.

by Anonymousreply 3511/01/2018

Hilarious how he always towers over everyone in all those 2.5D musicals he does.

At encore it's like twenty-five guys standing at 5"6 and then there's Yu, three heads taller.

by Anonymousreply 3611/01/2018

So is he fucking Karimloo or what?

by Anonymousreply 3711/02/2018

[quote] and other lights of Asian musical theater

You fucking rang?

by Anonymousreply 3811/02/2018

It would probably help his music and stage career if he stopped dragging down his credibility starring in silly romance tv dramas based on comic-books. This new one he’s in, the latest of a dozen on his resume, seems so boring and so very heterosexual, even though he still has those good looks to coast on.

He should do like his gorgeous former costar Takumi Saitoh did, and sashay his gay self over to the U.S. permanently to model for LV and then do gigs and make arty films for prestigious festivals on the side.

by Anonymousreply 3911/02/2018

He’s considered a lesser Fanservice God in theater-otaku circles, I’m told.

by Anonymousreply 4011/04/2018

There isn't a song in Sweeney Todd called "I Am with You."

by Anonymousreply 4111/04/2018

Well, that's the track name on the official CD tracklist, as written on HMV and everywhere else R41. Maybe it's a retitled/mistranslated song, or a new number written in for an Asian audience (surprisingly common).

by Anonymousreply 4211/04/2018

He’s going to be a guest on the music award show ONGAKU NO HI 2018. One of many, but hey, it’s a gig.

by Anonymousreply 4311/08/2018

I bet Jin got Yuu on the line-up for that show R43; they used to be classmates in HS.

Yuu is popular and a good choice to host or perform, but he's still not so big that he's gonna eclipse the spotlight on a reunited KAT-TUN and their comeback promo (and Kame will NOT be upstaged).

by Anonymousreply 4411/08/2018

I hate the way he pronounces "beautiful" in "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning."

He's cute enough but yeah, Disney voice. And why are Japanese heroes so... bland these days? Where is the FIERCE WARRIOR?

by Anonymousreply 4511/08/2018

^^he’s not so much a heroic actor, more a boyband-type bubblegum star.

He’s worked with The Backstreet Boys and done Broadway. He’s not in any way ferocious.

by Anonymousreply 4611/11/2018

Right. Yu is too campy by far to ever be warrior-like.

He turns the swish up to 11 in the DD-BOYS reality show he starred in. He also had the habit of shouting all his lines.

by Anonymousreply 4711/11/2018

R26 I still remember the time he said that barely any other stage actors in Japan could sing and that he had to teach his casts (think it was in Moshii magazine, sometimes a few years ago). What a narcissist.

by Anonymousreply 4811/12/2018

[quote] I hate the way he pronounces "beautiful" in "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning."

I think he just fumbled the diphthong ‘-eau’; understandable as it doesn’t appear at all in Japanese, rarely appears in Spanish and is difficult to say for non-fluent French/English speakers. So it came out “byu-oh”.

I want to hear him sing more in English, just better songs. ‘Everlasting Love’ would be a good choice, I feel.

by Anonymousreply 4911/18/2018

Tower Records are promoting his disc. Apparently that company are still big in Japan.

Just me, or is Yu’s voice starting to sound a little like Midge Ure? It has that dreamy romantic intensity.

by Anonymousreply 5011/19/2018

Tower Records?? The one on Sunset?

by Anonymousreply 5111/20/2018

In Tokyo, R51. Didn’t the one on Sunset close down years ago?

by Anonymousreply 5211/22/2018

R41 it’s how the Japanese titled the number, ‘Not While I’m Around’.

by Anonymousreply 5311/25/2018

Yu is close friends with this cutie and my current crush, Zukki Hiroki.

by Anonymousreply 5411/29/2018

I can see Shirota moving into major cast recordings more heavily.

He could do like John Farnham with JCSS. Though perhaps I’d put Yu more easily in the Judas or Simon role.

by Anonymousreply 5511/30/2018

Yu is so boring on SM now, yucking it up with random nobodies and young girls on IG. Used to be he was always hanging out with fairly obvious closet-cases like KIMERU and posting dumb stuff from his drinking binges on Twitter (guess age finally caught up with him and his managers told him to stop outing himself).

Here he is in March, drunkenly cussing with his old pal Konii Yoshikazu (he of ‘Boys’ Love’ movies).

by Anonymousreply 5612/03/2018

[quote] He said that barely any other stage actors in Japan could sing and that he had to teach his casts (think it was in Moshii magazine.

I recall this posted on LJ (used to be a big Asian stage fan) and believe he was misquoted/poorly translated. Stage actors in Japan don’t go through the rigorous training & audition/rehearsal process Broadway actors do; the most prized trait of a performer over there is the willingness to practise all hours of the day and show up early/go home late every day of the run no matter how sick or unprepared you are. People who try very hard and give “their best” are valued over those with talent.

What the very-talented Yu was complaining about iirc was that young actors entering the business via this route ruin their voices & their reputations as well as entire shows by turning up to work with no technique. It’s a very valid concern and he was right to say it. It’s also likely why he’s trying to crack the European stage so zealously now.

by Anonymousreply 57Last Saturday at 11:12 AM

Yet it takes a lifetime to learn kabuki.

by Anonymousreply 58Last Saturday at 11:36 AM

^^well, we can’t blame native Japanese performers if they don’t feel the same sense of duty toward Western plays as historical forms like the Kabuki. For one, the classic ‘musical’ or straight-ahead page-play as we understand it is a much younger mode, and concerns the modern condition which is not wholly applicable in a Far Eastern technocratic society with entrenched feudalism. For another, musical or commercial theater has even less worth in Japan than it does in the English-speaking world.

For professional productions of classic theater in Japan there’s always Takarazuka Revue, who put 150% into their lavish American musicals and 20thC. plays. Maybe there’s no call for anything more or better, and so it’s easy to see how Yu can accomplish more overseas than at home.

by Anonymousreply 59Yesterday at 1:58 AM

Kazuki is all on Yu’s Twitter..again.

Yu never smiles and kids around like this with anyone else these days. These two need to emigrate so they can get hitched and get it over with. I’m TIRED, boys.

by Anonymousreply 6018 hours ago
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