The main cast was ABC-Z, but I'm going to use ABC-Z's names through the report, rather than their characters, who were the 4 members of the Johnnys (the first Johnny's group), with the exception of Tottsu, who played a variety of other characters, because they were definitely playing the characters through the lens of their own personalities. XD; As always, the report itself may have a few errors because I'm only human and Japanese isn't my first language, but I hope you can enjoy it anyway!
Maie Hiromi: Tsukada Ryoichi
Ino Osami: Goseki Koichi
Nakadani Ryo: Kawai Fumito
Aoi Teruhiko: Hashimoto Ryosuke
Blind kid with a terminal illness: Kaneda Yousei (2013.10.12 show)
Yousei's older brother: Totsuka Shota
Yousei's other older brother: Totsuka Shota
Bing Crosby: Totsuka Shota
Barry de Vorzon (I think?): Totsuka Shota
Before the show, there was a recorded voiceover from the actual Aoi Teruhiko, talking about how the Johnnys were the first Johnny's group back in the 60s. Then, the show itself begins in a park in Tokyo in 1966, where it's raining. A young boy named Yousei says that he comes to the park to play, but he likes it best when there's no one there, and the rain granted his wish. However, suddenly, someone arrives in the park: a group of four young men singing the popular American hit Kanashiki Amaoto (Rhythm of the Rain is the American title). Yousei recognizes them right away as the popular group The Johnnys, and he rushes over to tell them how much he likes their music. They're flattered that he recognized them, and they sing and dance with him before taking him to his "home," which turns out to be a hospital that Yousei's father runs. They meet Yousei's older brother Issei (Tottsu), and when Tsukada (playing Maie) mentions that his mother is sick, Issei offers to help. Upon talking a little more with Issei, they're shocked discover that Yousei is both blind and sick (the whole time, Yousei hadn't faced anyone he was talking to and was clearly blind, so idk how the Johnnys were stupid enough not to realize this). They're moved by him and think he's a good kid, so they give him a baseball that they used to use when they were a baseball team. Yousei is very happy and asks them to come back and see him again.
Some time later, they come back to check up on Tsukada's mom's condition, and Issei informs them that she's all better... but Yousei had taken a turn for the worst and is currently in the hospital. All the Johnnys are very worried about him, but Issei tells them that he's going to become a doctor and cure Yousei. However, he encourages the Johnnys to do their best, because Yousei's dream is to see them become world-famous and debut in America. The Johnnys also have wanted to go to America to learn more about showbiz and bring a never-before-seen-in-Japan style of entertainment to the Japanese performing world, but they don't have the means to get to America. Issei tells them that he has an older brother living in LA who can put them up, so they decide to go, and hop on a really awesome plane (shown by a light-up plane on a stick that someone moved across the stage) to America.
Issei's older brother Akusei (?? I have no idea why you'd name a kid that, but that's what I heard? Anyway, also played by Tottsu) meets them in New York (and introduces himself as "Yousei's older brother Issei's older brother, so idk if he's not actually related to Yousei, but it doesn't really matter XD) and introduces them to Charles Strauss, who shows them around Broadway. They explore New York (and Okamoto Kauan did some truly painfully bad dancing in the very front, seemingly jut to be a token "white person" in New York. Thanks for being racist and shitty to the people who are actually good at dancing Johnny's. =___=) before heading off to Philadelphia, where they go to the Philadelphia museum of art. They mention how those steps were featured in the movie Rocky (and god I've gone up those goddamn steps so many times, they're so tiring. XD) and Kawai, Hasshi, and Tsukada did an interesting reenactment of Ashita no Joe before doing a strange boxing number to the Rocky theme with Snow Man. After that, they head off to Chicago by car, but on the way, Tsukada crashes the car (and Kawai "injured" himself and grabbed his crotch for the whole scene, idek.) I totally forget what they did in Chicago... XD but then they headed on to Hollywood!
When they get to Hollywood, they go first to the Hollywood Palace, where they notice someone fixing a car. It turns out that it's actually Bing Crosby (played by Tottsu). Tsukada tries to talk to him in English and is excited to be able to communicate with him. The group excitedly tells him that they're a pop group from Japan and give him a copy of a program from one of their shows. He encourages them, and they take a photo together, and the actual photo of Bing Crosby and the Johnnys from the 60s was projected onto backdrop. Bing Crosby offers to let them perform at the Hollywood Palace, but they're supposed to have a music lesson, and so he tells them they can come back any time, and they head on their way.
At their music lesson, they meet a mysterious man (played by Tottsu) who asks them if they know Kanashiki Amaoto, since they're from Japan. Tsukada starts to say yes, but the others tell him no, they're going to surprise and impress the man by being really good at it on "their first try." When they do their normal routine, the man is really impressed, and gives them his business card, telling them to come to his home the next day. They watch him leave, then ask the music instructor who the man was. The music instructor says in English, "He's a really important person, I think you should listen to him." The others ask Tsukada what he said, and Tsukada "translate" this to mean that "he's that guy with the black ships! Commodore Perry!" The others are confused and ask if he's sure, to which Tsukada says "well... maybe his son." The others ask what the son's name is and Tsukada says, "...Perry...?" XD;; It was pretty funny.
The next day, they head to the address on he card, but it turns out to be a huge mansion. The Johnnys are alarmed, and think maybe they should just leave and that this was all some big joke when Hasshi decides to just ring the bell. He tells them to come in, and after some hilarious cultural mishaps while the Johnnys try to find the genkan and leave their shoes outside the door before the mysterious man tells them that in America it's okay to leave your shoes on inside, the make it inside (there was also some Junior dressed in a dog costume, which was really creepy o__O;; I have no idea who it was, but whoever it was, I didn't need to see him in a unitard). When they finally make it in, they see that the man has six butlers (played by Snow Man), but Tsukada mistakes Sakuma Daisuke for a shelf to put his shoes on when Sakuma bows. |D;; Kawai corrects him, "That's not a shelf, that's a small American!!" |D;;;;
The man introduces himself as Barry de Vorzon, a songwriter. They admit that they did know Kanashiki Amaoto before, and apologize for tricking him. He accepts their apology and says he was very impressed with them and wants them to try singing some songs that he wrote. They sing That's When it Happens, Nothing Sacred, and I remember while Snow Man hold the sheet music for them and backdance (and they even pretend to play instruments for one of the songs; Kawai was on drums, Goseki was on bass, and Hasshi was on guitar, while Tsukada dances, I think.) Then, de Vorzon shows them one more song that he wants to them to try: Never My Love. They're all really taken with the song, especially Hasshi, and they really want to record it, but de Vorzon says they're not ready.
Hasshi looks around and notices that the others are gone, and asks de Vorzon where they went. De Vorzon says that they're all off enjoying Hollywood, and Hasshi should, too, because de Vorzon has an appointment to meet with another musical group, The Association.
Meanwhile, Tsukada is driving to visit Universal Studios, where he wants to get a backstage tour. On the way, he manages to crash his car (again) and is immediately attacked by a group of thugs (played by Snow Man), because of course that would happen in America. One of them even attacks him with a giant American flag, but he does a bunch of acrobatics and beats them all up. Yeah, idk either.
Goseki, on the other hand, is interested in dance, so he goes out looking for the Alvin Ailey dance studios. On the way there, he runs into Iwahashi Genki, to whom he tries to speak in English before Genki informs him that he's actually Japanese and lives in America for his dad's job. Glad to be able to speak to him in Japanese, Goseki asks if he knows how to get to the studios, and Genki, who's actually a dance student himself, offers to take him there. The dance instructor is impressed with Goseki (though in actuality, watching an actual dancer and Goseki dance next to one another was really sad to me...) and the instructor, Goseki, and Genki dance together.
Meanwhile, Kawai is in a club when randomly, Iwamoto Hikaru and Fukasawa Tatsuya start teaching him English, saying for them to repeat what they say. Fukka says "This is a pen," and Kawai repeats him, but apparently, it's not good enough, because Fukka suddenly hits him with a slipper saying, "NO!!!" Then Iwamoto says "I like play soccer," (sob) and Kawai repeats again, but Iwamoto also hits him with slipper while yelling, "NO!!" Then, they have him say "Negative" a bunch of times before hitting him with slippers again. Idgi but it was pretty hilarious, especially as an English teacher. |D;;; But then suddenly, the Monkees (played by the rest of Snow Man) show up at the bar, and Kawai performs a truly endearing rendition of Daydream Believer with them. Then, one of de Vorzon's butleres shows up at the bar, and he receives a message from their management in Japan. When the butler introduces himself as "de Vorzon no shitsuji" (de Vorzon's butler), Kawai asked "Mei-chan no shitsuji?" XD;;;
Last, Hasshi seems to be drinking at a bar... he sings Mr. Lonely with some interesting glow in the dark cardboard cutouts of women before going back to the studio the next day to record Never My Love. I'm not sure why they're recording it when de Vorzon said they weren't ready, but apparently this happened in real life, also. xD;
The Johnnys are all set to have their record debut in America, but then Kawai tells them about the contents of the message: They have to go home immediately to perform on an NHK special. The others are upset and angry; they're about to achieve their goal, and realize Yousei's dream! They don't want to go back to Japan, but Kawai says they can't break their obligations, and that they can come back to America later. Finally, the rest reluctantly agree, and so they take their record recording back to Japan.
When they arrive back in Japan, reporters excitedly meet them in the airport, wanting to know what they did and learned in America. The Johnnys play their record of Never My Love over the airport intercom, and for some reason, this really offends the reporters and they don't believe that the Johnnys actually learned to speak English. Hasshi then apologizes and sings for them live. The reporters all leave, but Issei shows up and is excited to see them. They ask after Yousei, and Issei tells them that he's still in the hospital with his illness (and is still blind, because that's how being blind works... but for some reason everyone is obsessed with curing his blindness despite the fact that he's been blind from birth...). The Johnnys promise to achieve Yousei's dream somehow, and give Issei a copy of the record to give to Yousei.
They perform at the NHK Western Carnival TV broadcast the next day, along with another popular 60s group played by Snow man (I forget the name of the group, oops). ABC-Z performed in the center aisle in the theatre, and Kawai came right past me, since I had an aisle seat! Sadly, I didn't really see him, but... he was really close to me! After the performance, they talk to the group played by Snow Man in the dressing room, and play their record for them. Snow Man are also shocked that they learned to speak English and made such an amazing record, and the Johnnys are happy... until they hear the radio (which is somehow playing an American channel despite the fact that they're in Japan...) and hear another group singing Never My Love. I turns out that The Association recorded Never My Love while the Johnnys were back in Japan, frustrating and infuriating the Johnnys. They had been planning to go back to America in three months, but now they want to go back immediately. Still, Kawai says, they can't break their engagements and be irresponsible and run away to America now, but the others can't seem to agree. Eventually, they decide that they only way they can be happy is to disband.
They do one more play with Johnny's before they disband, called "Itsuka Dokoka de ~ Four Leaves Monogatari." Issei and Yousei watch the show on TV (I think? Though, er, I guess Yousei can't watch...), and Yousei is sad that the Johnnys are breaking up... but then he says he's tired and lays down, mumbling how he has a dream of his older brother dancing and singing with the Johnnys. Yousei then dies while laying on his brother's lap, the Johnnys' baseball still clutched in his hands. Issei is devastated that he couldn't save Yousei, and they sing a duet together while Yousei goes to heaven (or something) with Miyachika Kaito doing an, um, interesting interpretive dance in the background.
Act One closes out with ABC-Z singing along with the original 1967 recording of the Johnny's singing Never My Love in America.
Act Two then begins with the voiceover of Aoi introducing Four Leaves. Four Leaves were some of the first Johnny's Juniors, who performed with the Johnnys in "Itsuka Dokoka de ~ Four Leaves Monogatari." Four Leaves meant "four people going their own separate ways" in the context of the play, but it also had the meaning of a clover, and it became the name of the popular Johnny's group in the 1970s. ABC-Z minus Tottsu performed Season of the Sun in really awful 70s outfits that left us all staring at Hasshi's junk, which was painfully obvious. Then, for some reason, Okamoto Kauan had a solo, which was really god awful.
Next, they moved on to Shounentai, saying that the Johnnys planted the seed of Johnny's, Four Leaves cultivated it, and Shounentai was the flower that bloomed. XD; Idek. Hasshi, Kawai, and Tottsu performed the same songs Shounentai had performed on an American TV show a long time ago while playing the TV footage on the screen behind them, but luckily, they didn't wear the short shorts that Shounentai wore, because I really didn't need to see Hasshi's junk AGAIN.
Then, they moved on to ABC-Z, skipping over the 90s and 00s for some reason. XD; Each member of ABC-Z talked about their feelings when they joined Johnny's-- Goseki liked dance, Tsukada liked sports and acrobatics, I totally forget what Tottsu and Kawai said, and Hasshi liked singing. They then did a skit of how Hasshi got chosen to join ABC-Z; they were planning for Summary 2008, and said Kisumai had seven members but they only had four, so they needed a new member to be able to compete with Kisumai. Tsukada said he knew just who to ask, and randomly asked for Sakuma Daisuke's phone number before they auditioned Watanabe Shota. However, Kawai didn't like his face, and insulted him, so they didn't take him XD;; Then they auditioned Iwahashi Genki (who wasn't even in Johnny's yet XD) and they said he was too fresh, and it would be cruel to him to make him stay in a band with a bunch of old guys. XD;; They finally decided they needed a new face like fifteen-year-old Hasshi… then Hasshi came down like an angel from heaven singing to them, idek. XD;;; It was pretty great.
However, they did have some problems... Tsukada scolded Hasshi for goofing off and not being serious in rehearsals, and Kawai, who used to be the youngest, was jealous that Hasshi came in and was the more featured member immediately. However, Goseki encouraged Hasshi, telling him he knew how it felt, because he hadn't been an original member of ABC, either, and finally, Tottsu helped Hasshi prepare to perform, and there was a ton of fanservicey sexual tension. XD;
Then ABC-Z performed a bunch of ABC-Z songs together, showing that they had come together as a group, including all of their previous DVD A-side songs and the new B-side Like a Blow, which has a K-pop feel. The juniors had a medley, including a Snow Man number, the other Juniors doing Batman, of all songs, and then Genki and Miyachika doing Kamen Budokai (that one really famous Shounentai song). ABC-Z came back and did more songs, including one where they walked in giant hamster wheels XD;; It was pretty cool, but Goseki's wheel was so tiny, which was cute. XD;; Finally, they came out to give little speeches, and Tsukada kept tripping over his words and finally said he would work on his talking. XD; Hasshi apologized for being a "good for nothing center" and then also made a mistake, and all the audience giggled, to which he was like, "What, did I mess up? D:" XD; It was really adorable.
And then, finally, they all came out to do their cover of Never My Love, which is a little more upbeat than the original 1967 version. They did a really good job, and the show was really interesting, so I'm glad that I got a chance to go!
And... that's the last Johnny's thing that I have tickets to right now. >__< I have to figure out the dates and ballot for Johnny's World, and I'm praying for a Junior concert, but that's all that there is... dammit. Come on Johnny's, announce SOME sort of concert. Stage plays are all fine and well, but I really want to see a concert again.
Also, if you're interested in any of my other concert reports, check out my Johnny's concert, stageplay, and event history!