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Kafka on the Shore

From 3 member  reviews
Members say: Original, Masterful, Ambitious, Intense, Exquisite

About the show

Following critical acclaim here and abroad, Japan's renowned Ninagawa Company comes to Lincoln Center Festival with an adaptation of Haruki Murakami's 'Kafka on the Shore,' a tale of magical realism, suspense, humor, and sensuality. More…

In a tale of two parallel journeys, 15-year-old Kafka and an imaginary friend run away from home in search of his estranged mother and sister and to escape an Oedipal curse. His journey runs side by side that of a fellow searcher—an old man with uncanny abilities seeking a magical stone he believes will offer divine guidance. As their journeys entwine in modern-day Japan, reality, dream, and myth converge in an allegorical tale that resonates viscerally but resists logical explanation. Helmed by acclaimed director Yukio Ninagawa, who turns 80 years old this year, and with an all-star cast including Academy Award winner Rie Miyazawa, this play receives a sweeping cinematic treatment that brings Murakami's bestselling text to visual life.

Member Reviews (3)


Original, Masterful, Ambitious, Intense, Exquisite
Avg Score

Dizzying, Ambitious, Great staging, Intense, Original

See it if You love Murakami; this production totally got the feel! You want to explore interesting staging.

Don't see it if reading subtitles, somewhat contrived intertwining plotlines and Oedipal stories will bother you

Surreal, Masterful, Exquisite, Enchanting, Original

See it if you want to see an internationally acclaimed auteur weave a magical, winding tale with spectacular visuals. love Murakami like I do!

Don't see it if you like straight uncomplicated story lines, you dislike ambiguity, or if you don't have the patience to sit through 3 hours of theatre.

Epic, Offbeat, Masterful, Quirky, Original

See it if you love Murakami, surrealism, romance, deeply romantic yearning pieces, international theatre, Ninagawa, Japanese theatre

Don't see it if you like linear, kitchen-sink dramas that are traditional, realism, short pieces (it's 3 hrs long), supertitles w/your show

July 24th, 2015
"Visually arresting but ponderous three-hour production...Galati does a smooth job of streamlining the book, but as is often the case with stage versions of novels, story tends to take precedence...Even with an extensive running time the production does not allow for the characters to inhabit our...
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July 24th, 2015
"For a good stretch of its three-hour running time it's all quite entertaining, thanks to the sheer audacity of its imagination and welcome doses of surreal humor. But the longer the evening goes on the more frustrating it gets, with the particularly oblique, glacial-paced final section seeming t...
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July 25th, 2015
"At three hours, the show loses magic by cramming in too many details from the novel’s storyline...The sense of enchantment that defines Murakami’s story comes across best in the amazing design work under the masterful helming of the director...Neither light nor sound can fully penetrate the deep...
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July 24th, 2015
"Murakami’s novels often involve flights of fancy that make them hard to adapt...Director Yukio Ninagawa and his cast pull it off — at least for the play’s first act...After intermission, though, things grind to a halt, the magic replaced by cloying affect and confusing mumbo jumbo that will char...
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