Ends Jan 04 | 1h 15m | Midtown W

Katsura Sunshine's Rakugo

From 56 member  reviews
Members say: Funny, Entertaining, Clever, Delightful, Hilarious

About the show

The only living non-Japanese Master of the very Japanese art of comic storytelling, brings Rakugo to New York. More…

From the show:

With a minimal set, Katsura Sunshine's Rakugo features a lone storyteller dressed in kimono, kneeling on a cushion, using only a fan and a hand towel for props, entertains the audience with a comic monologue followed by a traditional story.

1h 15m | Ends Jan 04 | New World Stages (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (56)


Funny, Entertaining, Clever, Delightful, Hilarious
Avg Score

Broad humor, Interesting cultural sharing, Great for kids (family fare program), Intimate setting, Sunshine is sincere and animated

See it if you have a kid in tow for Long Name, Miso Bean, Tiger...the stories were kid pleasers. I found them repetitive and only mildly humorous

Don't see it if you expect a full program of entertainment; 11/19 was 50 minutes. KS ardently tried to please; interesting exposure to Japanese comedy.

Also I wish Katsura Sunshine had talked about what drew him to Rakugo and w... 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

Ambitious, Quirky, Funny

See it if You are interested in the Japanese culture and their approach to comedy or want to experience unusual storytelling stand-up comedy.

Don't see it if If you prefer traditional plays and comedy or do not particulary care to experience other cultures’ approach to comedy.

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

Pleasant, Appealing storyteller, Somewhat dull, Unvaried, A bit bland

See it if you like low key humor, a pleasant and appealing story teller and comedy that obvious and not "edgy."

Don't see it if you favor humor that is fast, timely, relevant, political, sexual, satiric or irascible.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Cliched, Confusing, Disappointing

See it if If you know what RAKUGO means

Don't see it if You want a show that is more than a gussied up lecture

Rakugo will be new to most americans, Japanese traditional format, Light entertainment, Low-scale simple solo show, Unusual

See it if you are interested in traditional Japanese cultural performed by a Canadian who traveled to Japan, learnt the language & studied Rakugo

Don't see it if you're expecting American-style stand-up with material reflecting the cultural, political, social customs of today; if you need a big show

Also A native of Canada, Katsura Sunshine is pleasant -- but his material w... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Funny, Quirky

See it if you enjoy one-person comedic shows, with a long tradition behind them...it 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".

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.

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.

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

Funny, Entertaining, Delightful, Clever

See it if you want to see some traditional Japanese influences

Don't see it if you prefer a musical

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.

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

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, 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.

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

October 1st, 2019
"‘Katsura Sunshine’s Rakugo’ Offers Stand-Up Comedy Without the Standing: Mr. Sunshine is one of the rare Westerners to become a master of the centuries-old Japanese comic storytelling form."
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October 5th, 2019
"It's almost impossible to dislike Katsura Sunshine, whose presence is immediately disarming… If you question whether the funny would get lost between different cultures, rest assured because here, humor is quite the universal language and laughter never needs translation."
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November 26th, 2017
"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, singularl...
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November 21st, 2017
“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 yo...
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