Two upcoming 2018 performances of Blue Moon Over Memphis:

University of Michigan
Friday, October 12, 2018 @ 7pm
Power Center for the Performing Arts
University of Michigan performance information and tickets available here!

Monday, October 15, 2018 @ 7:00pm
Glorya Kaufman Hall, Dance Theater
UCLA performance information and tickets available here!

Blue Moon Over Memphis is a noh about one of the first global celebrity casualties, Elvis Presley.

It is also an indictment of the cult of celebrity.

As Elvis turned the music culture of his youth into a commercial product, the entertainment industry turned him into a product. The Elvis brand became the model for leading promising entertainers to the slaughter. A star’s rise and fall became an essential part of our construction of fame, and we came to believe in the necessity of the star’s self-destruction.

Noh is the pathway that leads us from Elvis the brand to a meditation on the relationship between celebrity and humanity. Space and time expand and collapse to allow us to be in the presence of Elvis ~ not as a costumed impersonation, but as an eloquent, complicated, beautiful soul.

Playwright Deborah Brevoort’s text eschews the easy irony that so often characterizes our encounters with Elvis. The poetic brevity of her script and the gravity of noh, featuring a musical score by composer Richard Emmert, leave us in stunned silence, inviting us to look past the pervasive cynicism of our age to perceive a new, humane way of thinking about one of twentieth-century America’s most unforgettable figures.

BLUE MOON OVER MEMPHIS was developed, in part, with assistance from the Orchard Project, a program of The Exchange, and gracious assistance from Japan Foundation New York. Theatre Nohgaku is grateful for the kind assistance of the University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies.

The UCLA program is presented by UCLA, Waseda University, and Theatre Nohgaku, and was made possible by grants from the UCLA Arts Initiative and the Yanai Initiative. Additional support was provided by the Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies, the UCLA Department of Theater, and the Japan Foundation Los Angeles.

THE PERFORMANCE at UCLA will be accompanied by a symposium concerning noh in the contemporary world. Please join us for any or all of this symposium.


Sunday, Oct 14:
Japan Foundation LA
Public demonstration/discussion on noh mask making, featuring noh mask artisan Hideta Kitazawa

Monday, Oct. 15:
UCLA Royce Hall
4:00 p.m. Keynote address by Takemoto-Mikio-sensei,

UCLA Macgowan Little Theater
5:30 p.m. Mask exhibit, Hideta Kitazawa

UCLA Kaufman Hall Dance Theater
7:00 p.m. Theatre Nohgaku: BLUE MOON OVER MEMPHIS, a noh in English by Deborah Brevoort, with Music by Richard Emmert.

Tuesday, Oct. 16:
UCLA Little Theatre
9:45 a.m. Demonstration of noh practice: Costume, Mask, Dance and Chant.
11:00 a.m. “Han-noh” (short performance, sung in Japanese) of TAKASAGO

TAKASAGO Features:
Akira Matsui, lead actor of the Kita school of noh performance
Kinue Oshima, lead actor of the Kita school of noh performance
Hideta Kitazawa, noh mask artisan
Members of Theatre Nohgaku

UCLA Macgowan Little Theater stage
2:30 p.m. Post-mortem/discussion with participant members of the performance