“Blues in the Night” musical stars Jero!

Enka singer Jero (29) is tackling his first role in a stage musical this fall. He will star in a Japanese production of the Broadway musical “Blues in the Night,” along with singer Mori Kumiko, former Takarazuka star Kozuki Wataru, and AKB48 members Sato Amina and Katayama Haruka.

“Blues in the Night” takes place in a rundown Chicago hotel in the late 1930s, telling the story of a blues-singing playboy (known as “Man”) and his relationships with three different women – a black former blues singer known as “Lady” (Mori), a beautifully stylish “Woman” of unknown age (Kozuki), and an energetic young “Girl” (Sato and Katayama, double-cast).

The musical was first performed off-Broadway in 1980 and got its first Broadway run in 1982, leading to a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Musical.

Kikkawa Toru is in charge of this new production, which will begin its run at the Tennozu Galaxy Theater on September 30, 2011.

Takarazuka to adapt “Mei-chan no Shitsuji” into a musical

Riko Miyagi’s popular manga series "Mei-chan no Shitsuji" is going to be adapted as a stage musical next year, performed by the all-female Takarazuka Revue. Yuzuru Kurenai, the current otokoyaku of the Star Troupe, will play the lead role.

Akiko Kodama will write the script and direct. The musical’s working title at the moment is "Mei-chan no Shitsuji -Watakushi no Inochi ni Kaete Omamori Itashimasu-." More details about the story and cast will be announced in future issues of Shueisha’s magazine Margaret, in which the manga is serialized.

The original manga tells the story of an ordinary girl who suddenly ends up at an extremely wealthy all-girls school where every student has a personal butler. It was turned into a live-action series on Fuji TV last year, starring Nana Eikura (22) and Hiro Mizushima (26).

The Takarazuka version will be performed from January 29 to February 8 in the city of Takarazuka, Hyogo, then from February 15 to February 21 in Shinjuku, Tokyo.