In Toshiki Okada's play Five Days in March, a young couple meets at a concert and go off to a love hotel for the traditional reasons. The one-night stand stretches on for five days, as the couple enters what the young man calls the "time warp." On the other side of the world, the United States prepares to invade Iraq. But here in Japan there is only sex, and the discussion of sex, delivered in Okada's inarticulate loops of disjointed, hyper-realistic slang. While they talk the characters twist and contort dramatically, but the choreography is not that far removed from the sudden flinches and gestures one unconsciously makes when engrossed in conversation, their body language filling the gaps and jumps in their language with meaning. Behind their vacant speech and flailing bodies, Okada's antiwar stance is apparent, as the characters ardently make love instead of war. The Center for International Studies brings Okada's chelfitsch Theater Company to the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus (1 University Drive at Natural Bridge Road; 314-516-4949 or www.touhill.org) for one performance of Five Days in March at 7:30 p.m. this evening. The play is in Japanese with English subtitles, and tickets are $7 to $15.
Tue., Feb. 17, 2009