Kabuki actors mark reopening of renovated theater

Dozens of Kabuki actors parade in Tokyo before renovated theater reopens

Associated Press
Kabuki actors mark reopening of renovated theater
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Kabuki actor Ebizo Ichikawa, left, Ennosuke Ichikawa, center, and other actors parade at Ginza shopping district in Tokyo, Wednesday, March 27, 2013. Some 60 actors paraded in the rain Wednesday to newly renovated Tokyo theatre ahead of its official opening. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

TOKYO (AP) -- 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.

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