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Friday, Feb. 12, 2010

Tokyo troupe separates mice from men

Special to The Japan Times

The Tokyo International Players, an English-language theater group founded 113 years ago, will perform "Of Mice and Men" this month.

"Of Mice and Men" is originally based on John Steinbeck's novel set on a Californian ranch during the Great Depression in the 1930s. The ironically tragic and comical plot unfolds when a migrant worker, George Milton, and his mentally challenged friend, Lennie Small, moves to the ranch and are faced with social-class conflicts and various forms of oppressive behavior toward minorities that were common in those times.

Rachel Walzer, who is known for her narrations on NHK television broadcasts, will direct the show this month. Major troupe player Ed Gilmartin will take on the role of George Milton in the production, and John Owens will perform the role of Lennie Small. The Tokyo International Players' next performance "Pippin" will be held in May, and is written by Roger Hirson.

"Of Mice and Men" will be performed from Feb. 25-28 at Ebisu Echo Theater in Shibuya Ward. Ebisu Echo Theater sits an audience of 130 and there will be total of 5 shows. Tickets are ¥4,500 at the door (¥4,000 via online purchase); ¥2,500 for students. For more information, visit www.tokyoplayers.org.

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