And, yet again, 渡辺 謙 Ken Watanabe has shown up in my life.
I was visiting a friend in her classroom today at lunchtime, and some kids needed instruction and practice on how to do quick-changes for a theatre contest this weekend. (We won’t discuss how they’re only just learning this skill, despite their not being new to theatre and despite their being enrolled in that particular contest [of many contests] over the weekend.) I happen to have a rather strong background in the workings of theatre, and so I took over helping them, while my friend worked with other kids on tying knots (No idea, but maybe it connects with lighting in theatre?)
Anyway, as we were about to do a practice run-through of the quick-change I’d set up, using clothing items I’d found around the classroom, one of the kids with me asked, – and somewhat snarkily (though not rudely) I might add – ‘Are there even any shows that actually need this?’ I responded with an immediate affirmative, to which he queried, ‘Like what??’
Again, immediately, and out of seemingly nowhere in my brain stores, I said, “‘The King and I’… Yes.., Yes! ‘The King and I’!”
Somewhat chastened, though still quite happy, he said an, ‘O-kay…’
I had surprised even myself with my immediate response, and wasn’t entirely sure of how I’d found the video of that memory so quickly. “There’s actually this really great video,” I said, “of a somewhat famous quick-change from it. I’ll pull it up in just a minute, so you can watch it. It’s actually really cool.”
And so, I pulled up the video and played it, admiring the quick-change and the whole concept of Broadway and fabulous singing voices and all that jazz, and explaining to the students what was happening and why. Then, we resumed our practicing. The video, however, continued on to another video, as YouTube’s auto-play feature does. It was the same quick-change again, causing us to look briefly at it once more, but with the scenes before and after it included. I happened to glance up after the quick change finished, and what did I see?
You guessed it: The leading lady dancing in the arms of 渡辺 謙 Ken Watanabe.
And I was blown away doubly. Because, despite the fact that I was remembering this quick-change video from “The King and I” at (I think) the Tony Awards, I had not made the connection from having read 渡辺 謙 Ken Watanabe’s Internet info pages the other night that his being the lead in “The King and I” several years ago was the same production. I’d even told my mom just this weekend about his having been in it, and we talked about it briefly.
But the two pieces of information were stored in such separate cabinets and files that they hadn’t linked up yet in my head. Until, of course, I saw the video with him in it, and it all clicked. And then I was actually jumping up and down, declaring that it was ‘渡辺 謙 Ken Watanabe, it’s 渡辺 謙 Ken Watanabe!’
Boy, I’d really like to interview him.
I wonder how he’ll pop up next into my life. I can hardly wait to find out. 😀