Two kabuki festivals are headed to Las Vegas

Two kabuki festivals are headed to Las Vegas
Famed kabuki star Ichikawa Somegoro will be one of the stars of the Japan Kabuki Festival in Las Vegas. (MGM Resorts International)

Kabuki entertainment is headed to Las Vegas. Japan's Shochiku Co. Ltd. is teaming up with MGM Resorts to bring two Kabuki-inspired events in August 2015 and May 2016.

The Japan Kabuki Festival features a performance inspired by the kabuki masterpiece "Koi-Tsukami," or "Fight with a Carp," with kabuki star Ichikawa Somegoro. The show will be performed with the Fountains at Bellagio as a backdrop Aug. 14-16.

Think of kabuki as a Cirque du Soleil-type performance, complete with dramatic makeup, costumes and performances. Shochiku plans to project a backdrop on the Fountains at Bellagio.

The fountains will provide a "screen" where images will be displayed, while kabuki actor Somegoro performs live out in front of the fountains.

The story itself features two actors, a man who falls in love with a woman who is really a carp. She takes the form of a woman to get revenge on humans, who killed her carp fiancé.

Shochiku operates Kabukiza Theatre in Tokyo, which keeps the 400-year-old tradition on kabuki fresh by adding new, modern features.

The festival also hopes to attract more Japanese tourists to Las Vegas.

Next May, a full-fledged Japan Kabuki Festival will be held at MGM Grand.

Info: Bellagio