iOS app Android app More

Kabukiza Kabuki Theater Reopens After Renovation

Kabuki Theater

03/27/13 07:52 AM ET EDT  AP

TOKYO — Around 60 Kabuki actors have paraded through downtown Tokyo before the reopening of a historic theater for the classical Japanese drama.

Thousands of fans waited for the stars to walk through the glitzy Ginza shopping district Wednesday.

The actors, including young star Ebizo Ichikawa, wore formal dark kimonos rather than the elaborate makeup and costumes used in performances. They waved to the crowd while carrying umbrellas to guard against the chilly rain.

Sixteen-year-old Chikage Kumaki said, "I'm glad to be able to see the actors. I was touched."

The Kabukiza Theater opened in 1889. It was heavily damaged in a 1923 earthquake and during World War II.

It has 1,800 seats over three floors, and the renovation retained much of the original style and architecture.

The theater reopens April 2.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Shirley MacLaine

    Shirley MacLaine experienced her big Broadway break as an <a href="http://aea100.org/narrative-project/shirley-maclaine-understudy-legend">understudy to actress Carol Haney in 1954 production of "The Pajama Game."</a> Thanks to Haney's sprained ankle, MacLaine was seen by Paramount producer Hal Wallis, and so her silver screen career began. IMAGE: Actress Shirley MacLaine speaks onstage at the Masterpiece Classic 'Downton Abbey, Season 3' panel during day 1 of the PBS portion of the 2012 Summer TCA Tour held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 21, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

  • Anthony Hopkins

    Before he became famous for roles like Hannibal Lecter and Alfred Hitchcock, <a href="when Olivier was struck with appendicitis during a production of August Strindberg's The Dance of Death">Anthony Hopkins was an understudy to the great Sir Laurence Olivier</a>. Hopkins had his break in 1965 when Olivier was struck with appendicitis during a production of August Strindberg's "The Dance of Death." Hopkins stepped in and the rest is history. IMAGE: Sir Anthony Hopkins at the Premiere of Hitchcock at BFI Southbank, London.

  • Bernadette Peters

    At the tender age of 13, famous songstress <a href="http://www.kansas.com/2012/08/16/2452957/bernadette-peters-will-bring-broadway.html">Bernadette Peters was an understudy for "Dainty June" in the second national tour of "Gypsy" (1961).</a> Since then, Peters has been nominated for seven Tony awards. IMAGE: Bernadette Peters attends the 66th Annual Tony Awards at The Beacon Theatre on June 10, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

  • Taye Diggs

    Taye Diggs began his professional career as an <a href="http://www.backstage.com/news/from-standby-to-stardom-9-famous-actors-who-started-on-the-sidelines/">understudy for the role of Jigger Craigin in the 1994 Broadway revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Carousel.”</a> Diggs would go on to star in the Tony-award winning production of "Rent" two years later. IMAGE: Actor Taye Diggs attends The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Presents 'Welcome To ShondaLand: An Evening With Shonda Rhimes & Friends' at the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre on April 2, 2012 in North Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

  • Matthew Morrison

    In 2002, Glee star Matthew Morrison was but a humble <a href="http://www.playbill.com/news/article/69358-Carpinello-Drops-Out-of-Hairspray-Understudy-Morrison-Is-Link">understudy for the character of Chuck in Broadway's "Footloose."</a> Though he never saw the stage for that production, Morrison got his break when James Carpinello dropped out of "Hairspray" for a film role that same year. The role of Link Larkin was all his. IMAGE: US actor Matthew Morrison poses for photographers on the red carpet ahead of the world premiere of 'Les Miserables' in central London on December 5, 2012. (LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Lea Michelle

    Fellow Glee-alum Lea Michelle has similar Broadway origins. In 2005, she <a href="http://www.ibdb.com/person.php?id=70191">understudied the role of Chava in the 2003 production of “Fiddler on the Roof."</a> She ended up playing the character of Shprintze in the same musical and didn't see her big break until the 2006 staging of “Spring Awakening." IMAGE: Actress Lea Michele arrives at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's and In Style's celebration of the 2013 Golden Globes Awards Season at Cecconi's on November 29, 2012 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

  • John C. McGinley

    Famous for playing the resident curmudgeon of the television series "Scrubs," John C. McGinley had his break break while <a href="http://movies.yahoo.com/person/john-c-mcginley/biography.html">serving as understudy to John Turturro in the Circle-in-the-Square production of John Patrick Shanley's "Danny and the Deep Blue Sea."</a> A casting agent for writer-director Oliver Stone happened to see one of McGinley's performances and recruited him in to read for Stone's next film project, "Platoon." IMAGE: Actor John C. McGinley arrives at Paramount Vantage's Los Angeles premiere of 'Revolutionary Road' held at Mann Village Theater on December 15, 2008 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

  • Bebe Neuwirth

    Today, Bebe Neuwirth is a Broadway icon by all accounts. Who could forget her role as the darkly beautiful Morticia Addams in "The Addams Family" musical? But in 1975, she was just an <a href="http://www.playbillvault.com/Person/Detail/38557/Bebe-Neuwirth">understudy for the role of Cassie in "Chorus Line."</a> IMAGE: Actress Bebe Neuwirth attends the Vivienne Tam Spring 2013 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Stage at Lincoln Center on September 12, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week)

  • Sutton Foster

    Broadway starlet Sutton Foster was once cast as the <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jun/17/entertainment/la-et-sutton-foster29-2010apr29">understudy to the lead in "Thoroughly Modern Millie" at the La Jolla Playhouse in 2002.</a> When the primary actress fell ill, Foster stepped up only to win a Tony for her impromptu performance. IMAGE: Actress Sutton Foster attends the 2012 ABC Family Upfront at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on March 19, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

  • Cheyenne Jackson

    Cheyenne Jackson was originally hired as an <a href="http://www.playbill.com/news/article/89301-Cheyenne-Jackson-Dons-Leather-Jacket-to-Star-in-All-Shook-Up-Replacing-Jarrod-Emick">understudy for the role of bad-boy singer Chad in the 2004 staging of "All Shook Up."</a> When contract negotiations fell through with actor Jarrod Emick, Jackson was asked to take up the starring role. He would later showcase his impressive chops on 30 Rock as well. IMAGE: This Nov. 19, 2012 photo released by Starpix shows actor Cheyenne Jackson at the 40th International Emmy Awards in New York. (AP Photo/Starpix, Andrew Toth)

FOLLOW HUFFPOST ARTS

Filed by Priscilla Frank  |