Monday, January 02, 2006
So how was your New Year's Eve?
One of the traditions Forrest and I have for that evening is our annual viewing of the NHK Red & White Singing Festival, courtesy of KTSF in San Francisco. It's a 56-year old festival that is, apparently, the most watched annual TV event in Japan and it is truly, truly odd.
Teams of male (the white team) performers alternate with female (the red team) to perform everything from hyper-caffeinated J-pop to tear-wrangling ballads....and everything in between. The costuming and set designs are (you must read this with a hugely affected drag queen accent) faaabulous! Dancing cartoon characters. Women in break-away dresses. The Japanese Simon & Garfunkel on acoustic folk, followed by hoards of 13-year old look-alike girls with cheesy Dance Fever choreography.
This year's highlight, though, had to be Gorie, a female impersonator (competing for the women's team) dressed like a cheerleader, surrounded by blinding dozens of other cheerleaders, and go-teaming his/her way through a Japanese version of that epic 70s classic Saturday Night. (Remember the Bay City Rollers?) This version (called Pecori Night) was a veritable feast for the senses and only slightly terrifying. Gorie (that's the famous Gorie, above) was on the losing team, but did bring me nearly to tears with laughter.
Happy new year, everyone. May 2006 be as surreal as a Gorie cheer.