Long Review of Kouju Tatsuki's Dinner Show: MontageWritten: September 2005
"Montage," was performed in January 2000, while Tartan (Kouju Tatsuki) was with Snow Troupe. Performing with her were three musumeyaku, including Konno Mahiru (later - briefly - top star of Snow).
This was a pretty song-heavy show - and Tartan sounded great. She sang a variety of songs, in a variety of styles, including Latin numbers, a "Hokkaido Medley," and a "Takarazuka Medley." Throughout, she was the usual Tartan - friendly, cheerful, and with that high girly speaking voice when out of character that contrasts so cutely with her otokoyaku persona.
Of the 3 musumeyaku, only Mahiru particularly impressed me - she had a pleasant, relatively lower, singing voice. They all acted exceedingly shy and giggly when being introduced, Mahiru worst of all. But, probably my favorite number in the show was "Besame Mucho" (sp?) which just the musumeyaku sang while Tartan was changing her clothes between numbers - it was a fast version, very different than how it's sung in "Nova Bossa Nova".
Tartan really pushed the Hokkaido angle (she's from Sapporo) and seemed to have a lot of fun putting on a heavy accent and singing enka (Enka is a combination of traditional singing style with modern instrumentals - it tends to sound a little like Easy-Listening, only with old-fashioned "weird" Japanese vocals) in an exaggerated style. Pretty much the whole Hokkaido Medley was sung enka-style, which as an enka fan I found pretty amusing. She was having too much fun to pull off the proper, "I'm so miserable I can't even die," enka attitude, though. Her most "enka" moments were actually during the Takarazuka Medley - the crowd tittered as she started, but then were dead silent until she'd finished.
I got a pleasant surprise during the Hokkaido Medley - as Kouju was walking through the crowd, who should stand up from her seat but my Touko (Aran Kei)! Tartan laughed and Touko slipped a white paper into her (Tartan's) jacket. Another troupe member did the same thing - we could only see her back, but it looked to me a bit like Asami Hikaru (at the time, Aran and Asami were both Tartan's juniors in Snow Troupe)
The show was very short - only an hour - though it looked like at least one number was cut from the video. They showed it with no sound during the credits - let's just say it involved Tartan getting very friendly with her microphone stand. ;) Only an hour though - if I had purchased this retail, at the extravagant Takarazuka prices, I would have felt gypped.
Overall, a pleasant way to spend an hour, and if you're a huge Tartan fan, it'd probably leave you in ecstasies.