Broadway: Samurai Saga

A culture transplant poses the same difficulty as a heart transplant. It is socially as well as biologically instinctive to reject what is alien. One slightly condescending form of acceptance is to treat what is foreign as exotic. Culturally speaking, this makes one man's meat another man's persimmon. In many ways, the Grand Kabuki is a Japanese persimmon on a U.S. theatergoer's palate. It is a sweet, sumptuous and strange new taste sensation with which to start the Broadway season.

Dramatically, the Kabuki is most accessible to a Western audience when it mirrors human nature, and most baffling when...

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