SEPTEMBER 26 - 29, 2019

The Black Lizard at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

The Black Lizard

by Yukio Mishima

Mishima’s outrageous camp classic about a glamorous jewel thief and the handsome detective she enthralls.
directed by Jesse Jou

featuring Yuhua Hamasaki

Provincetown TW Festival
in association with Texas Tech University

Provincetown, MA | Lubbock, TX


Sunday Sept 29, 10:30 am – 1:00 pm
*Take 20% off groups of 6+ with code GROUP19*
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Image courtesy of Yuhua Hamasaki

Yuhua Hamasaki, who made a splash on television last year on RuPaul’s Drag Race, steps into the heels of Black Lizard — a most fabulous master of criminal illusions.

The 2019 season culminates in Town Hall on Festival Sunday with a one-time-only staged reading of The Black Lizard, Mishima’s over-the-top criminal caper. We track a battle of wits between a private detective and the glamorous crime boss who has snatched a rich jeweler’s daughter in hopes the jeweler will exchange her for his prized Star of Egypt diamond.

Set in giddy, groovy 1960’s Japan, the action spins from a ritzy hotel room to a millionaire’s kitchen, up to the observation platform of Tokyo Tower, and down onto Black Lizard’s private yacht and the dungeons of her secret island. Black Lizard, as strong-willed as she is well-dressed, decides she’d like to keep, for her own pleasure, the ransomed diamond and the body of the kidnapped heiress.

Black Lizard’s worthy opponent, Kogoro Akechi, the Sherlock Holmes of Japan, first appeared in 1925 in a short story by Edogawa Ranpo, Japan’s premier mystery writer. Akechi is still a fixture in Japanese popular culture, appearing in films, television shows, video games, anime and manga. Mishima’s outrageous stage version of Black Lizard and Akechi’s love/hate relationship made a sensation on the Japanese equivalent of Broadway in 1962. For the 1968 film version of the play, starring cross-dressing male actor Akihiro Miwa as the lovesick lady crime boss, Mishima played one of Black Lizard’s sex slaves.

Translated with wit and panache by Mark Oshima, the staged reading will feature an ensemble of artists from the 2019 Festival directed by Jesse Jou.

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