SEPTEMBER 24 - 27, 2020

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 and James Yaegashi

Provincetown TW Festival
in association with Texas Tech University

Provincetown, MA | Lubbock, TX


This event was presented Sept 29, 2019
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Image courtesy of Yuhua HamasakiYuhua 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.

James Yaegashi (Marvel's Runaways) plays Black Lizard’s worthy opponent, Kogoro Akechi, the Sherlock Holmes of Japan, who 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.


Always purchase tickets in advance.
Tickets are not available for sale at the show venues. Purchase tickets online up to two hours before showtime, or in-person at our box office (368-B Commercial Street) or festival shirt shop (336 Commercial Street).


About Yuhua Hamasaki

Image courtesy of Yuhua HamasakiYuhua Hamasaki was born in Guangzhou, China as Yuhua Ou. She moved to New York when she was seven. There, she did drag on the club kid scene under the name Yuhua, and later added “Hamasaki” to her stage name after Japanese pop star girl-singer Ayumi Hamasaki. She was recently crowned Miss Asia NYC, and has appeared on Big Ang on VH1, The Carrie Diaries on The CW, Blue Bloods on CBS, and with Katy Perry on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Hamasaki is also a costume designer, and has created outfits for many drag performers, including previous contestants from RuPaul's Drag Race.

About James Yaegashi

James Yaegashi was born in Yokohama, Japan. He now works as an actor, director, and writer in Brooklyn, where he has translated contemporary Japanese plays and subtitled major Japanese studio films. Yaegashi is a season regular on Marvel’s The Runaways on Hulu. On and off-Broadway credits include Richard Greenberg’s Take Me OutA Naked Girl on the Appian Way, John Guare’s A Few Stout Individuals, Julia Cho’s Durango, and Sarah Ruhl’s The Oldest Boy. He has appeared in world-premiere stage adaptations of literary classics such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s on Broadway and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle at the Edinburgh International Festival and the Singapore Arts Festival.

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