New York | 1h 15m | Already closed


From 2 critic and 54 member reviews
Members say: Funny, Entertaining, Clever, Delightful, Hilarious

About the show

Celebrated master Katsura Sunshine brings the 400-year-old Japanese art of comic storytelling to NYC, in a presentation that offers different stories according to the day. More…

With a minimal set, Rakugo features a lone storyteller dressed in kimono, kneeling on a cushion, who, using only a fan and a hand towel for props, entertains the audience with a comic monologue followed by a traditional story. In Japan, Rakugo has over 800 professional storytellers. Sunshine is the first Westerner to complete the grueling 3-year apprenticeship under a Rakugo Master and receive a name in the history of the Osaka Rakugo Tradition.

Reservations and inquiries are by email only:
Payment cash only at the door.

Times Square Chronicles

for a previous production “A funny, exciting performance of traditional Japanese stories. Sunshine is a bright and emphatic performer...He is a delightful storyteller...He talks very fast, which makes silent or pantomimed moments more entertaining than you’d expect...If you’re looking for a good way to laugh and forget your troubles, and also learn a few things about Japanese culture, this is the show for you.” Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

for a previous production "The stylized telling involves a great deal of repetition, mobile facial expressions, sound effects and much exaggeration—all delightfully intimate and low-keyed...'Rakugo' may be a bit coy and small-scale in its storytelling for Americans, although it is difficult to judge by this one, singularly unconventional tale. It lacks the colorful staging of other Japanese classical theater forms, but has an intimacy and a feeling of improvisation that makes it easy to love." Full Review

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if love good '"stand-up" (sit-down) comedy; if you love and appreciate Japanese language (most stories were in English) and culture

Don't see it if don't love and appreciate Japanese language and culture. Great show, very entertaining but only for a limited audience.

Also I loved the show; Katsura Sunshine was a wonderful entertainer/storyte... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Funny, Great staging, Must see, Clever

See it if You can understand ENGLISH and JAPANESE or know both American and Japanese culture, then you can enjoy perfectly. I loved the show a lot.

Don't see it if You like gossipy, black joke, stand-up comedy. This comedy is traditional style of comic story telling. It's more sophisticated show.

Funny, Intelligent, Clever

See it if Enjoy good clean fun! Have any knowledge of Japanese culture Enjoy a high energy performer

Don't see it if Looking for serious stuff Don't want to be transported to a different place

Clever, Entertaining, Refreshing, Funny, Delightful

See it if You want to see something funny and a little different. Want to learn a bit about Japanese culture and laugh and be entertained.

Don't see it if You want a serious story or a big production with music

Clever, Delightful, Funny, Great acting, Masterful

See it if If you have any connection to the Japanese language, you will love this, and you'll probably like it anyway = it's very funny and well-done.

Don't see it if You aren't at all curious about other cultures and styles.

Funny, Entertaining, Absorbing, Hilarious

See it if You would like to spend an evening of wholehearted laughter. You are curious about Japan and its culture.

Don't see it if You don't like comedy. You aren't open to other cultures.

Also Katsura Sunshine bridges the language barrier of a traditional Japanes... Read more Read less

Rak is not wack

See it if You enjoy standup comedy, but prefer to skip the two drink minimum. KS has audience in stitches throughout. Such a charming performer.

Don't see it if You need weightier theater with some meat on bones. Stories are very light and breezy. Walking on Sunshine music at close stroke of genius!

Also Rakugo is new to most New Yorkers, but has clearly done something righ... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Funny, Refreshing, Interesting, Different

See it if You want to learn about another culture while having a good time as well

Don't see it if You expect typical "stand-up" comedy. Don't enjoy "family friendly" comedy

Delightful, Funny, Clever

See it if light hearted comic story telling

Don't see it if you want something deep to mull over

Entertaining, Funny, Quirky

See it if you enjoy one-person comedic shows, with a long tradition behind combined traditional Japanese storytelling and biographical bits.

Don't see it if you like a strict structured show with a script, plot, and sets. Also, if you consider your sense of humor overly "sophisticated".

Clever, Enchanting, Entertaining, Funny, Delightful

See it if you have children to take to the family show. The families loved it, especially the Japanese families.

Don't see it if don't see the afternoon performance for families - if you want to see an adult show. See the evening performance for adults

Also I made the mistake of seeing the afternoon play. It was cute and I was... Read more Read less

Clever, Quirky, Intelligent

See it if You are interested in learning about Japan and Japanese culture. Enjoy story telling.

Don't see it if You don’t like solo shows or shows without a storyline or plot.

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting

See it if You want to learn about Japanese jokes culture and language with humor

Don't see it if You want a large musical production and dont like one man shows

Entertaining, Funny

See it if if you want an entertaining evening with a story teller trained in the Japanese tradition told with mastery and skill

Don't see it if you aren't interested in Japanese culture, solar actor

Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Clever, Insightful

See it if You're familiar with Japanese culture. Or not; Sunshine is tremendously engaging, a skilled raconteur and the stories are universal.

Don't see it if You're looking for a play rather than experiencing a 400 year old yet totally modern Japanese entertainment and art form told by a Canadian.

Also Katsura Sunshine is blonde, Canadian, about six feet tall and the firs... Read more Read less

Funny, Intelligent

See it if You like Japanese culture and comic monologues and storytelling with clear punchlines. Interested in a different theater experience.

Don't see it if You are not a fan of solo performances, funny voices or classically structured jokes. Are uninterested by Japan.

Clever, Funny, Intelligent, Entertaining, Educational

See it if you are interested in Japanese culture.

Don't see it if you don't like seeing someone perform something from another culture outside their own.

Entertaining, Clever, Fluffy, Quirky

See it if you like storytelling and standup, you are okay with a short show (ours was only 50 minutes)

Don't see it if you don't like stories. I wish he told more stories and spent less time talking to the audience about other stuff! Altogether, enjoyable.

Entertaining, Refreshing

See it if You're interested in this Japanese comedic storytelling art. Light hearted, amusing, enjoyable.

Don't see it if If you aren't interested in a solo show with minimal staging.

Affable performer, Diverting but doesn't always land, Unique cross cultural comedy

See it if you're interested in Japanese culture, and how a Canadian adapts to its subtleties and performance traditions; you like comic storytelling

Don't see it if you're not into solo performance; you don't like being asked to mimic Japanese phrases and gestures; you prefer edgier comedy

Also Sunshine varies the selection of stories at each performance; my react... Read more Read less

Clever, Good natured with a slight edge, Warm fuzzies, Light-hearted

See it if you want a slice of Japanese culture and helpful travel tips. Blend of folk tale humor & colorful travel anecdotes.

Don't see it if you want something heavier that sticks to your bones.

Also I’d never heard of rakugo before and saw the Traditional Stories. Expe... Read more Read less

Funny, Delightful, Entertaining, Refreshing, Ambitious

See it if you like standup comedies or are interested in another form to make you laugh.

Don't see it if you want to see something serious.

Funny, Overrated, Refreshing, Disappointing

See it if you wish to see one of the more lightweight Japanese art forms with simplistic stories drawn out almost ad nauseam with little ay off.

Don't see it if if ur tastes run to serious Japanese theater traditions like Butoh, you are not a Japanese child, you know something about Japanese culture

Entertaining, Funny, Quirky, Ambitious

See it if U want to experience an old traditional Japenese art from a master story teller. He not only tells the old stories but also his experience

Don't see it if You do not like comedy, one man show, Japanese culture, tales. Traditional art is not your thing.

Mildly entertaining, Quirky, Energetic, Ambitious, Genuine

See it if you'd enjoy a uniquely different experience. It's like stand-up (but kneeling). Well-meaning, genuine, culturally respectful, high-energy.

Don't see it if you want to see a str8 play. We mistakenly saw a Saturday "family" matinee, w/contents for more of a kids-filled audience. Mildly humorous.

Also Kudos to Katsura Sunshine.... Read more Read less

Cast & Creatives (2)