Mar 26

JQ Magazine: Nippon in New York — ‘SPY x FAMILY’ Movie, The Joy of Sake, World Championship Sumo

By JQ magazine editor Justin Tedaldi (CIR Kobe-shi, 2001-02). Justin has written about Japanese arts and entertainment for JETAA since 2005. For more of his articles, click here.

Spring has sprung in the Big Apple, and that means one thing: a new season of sounds, colors, and spectacular performing arts to match the blossoming sakura trees throughout the city.

This month’s highlights include: 

Russ Rowland

Now through June 2 

The Life and Slimes of Marc Summers

New World Stages, 340 West 50th Street

$39-$149 reserved seats, $299 VIP with meet-and-greet, front seats and gift bag 

On your mark! Get set! Go! to this one-of-a-kind intimate theatrical adventure that will leave you inspired, hopeful and feeling like a kid again. Marc Summers, the host of internationally renowned shows like Nickelodeon’s Double Dare and Food Network’s Unwrapped, tells all about his extraordinary life in this part game show-part memoir-all heart theatrical adventure which the New York Times calls “as satisfying as riding down a spiraling slide into a giant ice-cream sundae.”Written by Alex Brightman and directed by Chad Rabinovitz, the creative team includes original music by Drew Gasparini and co-sound design by David Sheehan and Hidenori Nakajo.

Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc.

Tuesday, April 2, 8:00 p.m.

Queen Bee

Sony Hall, 235 West 46th Street

$35 standing room only, $55 VIP reserved seating

Queen Bee is a band from Japan formed in 2009. With their unique and intense performances and newsworthy activities in various fields, they have created abuzz not only in the music industry but also in various other fields. Their songs rank high on music charts, and their live shows are sold out in in many places, boasting an overwhelming presence in terms of both popularity and ability. Their songs have also been used for popular anime such as “Mephisto,” the ending theme for the anime OSHI NO KO and “01,” the opening theme for the anime UNDEAD UNLUCK and “VIOLENCE,” the ending theme for the anime Chainsaw Man and “Kaen (Fire),” the opening theme for the anime Dororo and “HALF,” the ending theme for the anime Tokyo Ghoul:re. A statement provided by the band exclaims: “Queen Bee’s first performance in New York! I can’t wait to cause a frenzy across languages and borders. You may have heard of us from anime, or maybe from our attitude or world view. I promise you it will be an extraordinary night in New York, that will make you want to celebrate our meeting.”

Courtesy of

Monday, April 8, 8:00 p.m.

Keiko Matsui

Sony Hall, 235 West 46th Street 

$35 GA seating, $75 VIP reserved seating

“This album is about the hope that we all carry inside of us,” shares internationally acclaimed pianist, composer and humanitarian, Keiko Matsui, who has worked with everyone from Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Bob James, and Hugh Masekela. “I have this dream where we can each cherish our own happiness and learn to accept and care for one another.” There is a reason why the stunning, soft-spoken, and petite powerhouse with such a commanding presence at the piano has amassed a devout following through the years. “When I tour around the world and witness how my music cuts through our differences and connects everyone, it makes me feel euphoric!” exclaims Keiko, who harnesses this joy on her 30th recording Euphoria. She enlists an all-star contingency of special guests including vocalist, and daughter of Donny Hathaway, Lalah Hathaway, trumpeter Randy Brecker, guitarist Mike Stern, saxophonist Kirk Whalum, vibist Joel Ross, harmonica player Grégoire Maret and pianist/arranger John Beasley. Keiko concludes, “During the past few years, I have witnessed the loss of life and seen people’s sadness and it has been really painful, but it has helped to remind me of the precious gift of time and the importance of gratitude for what I have now,” confides Keiko.” “Euphoria is my gift to my fans around the world.”

Courtesy of

Thursday, April 11, 6:30 p.m. 

The Joy of Sake

Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street 


Take 578 premium sakes + 16 top restaurants = one amazing evening! Experience the largest and liveliest sake-tasting event in the U.S., with award-winning sakes from the U.S. National Sake Appraisal served in peak condition, plus sake-inspired appetizers to nibble while you sip. This year’s superb restaurant line-up features names like Katsuya, Towa and Sakagura. Good food, good friends, good sake—it all comes together at The Joy of Sake. 

Saturday, April 13, 8:00 p.m.

World Championship Sumo

The Theater at Madiscon Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza


Enter the dohyō for “The Biggest Show on Earth”! Sumo, a larger-than-life global sport spectacle, is already contested in over 84 countries around the world. As Japan’s national sport since ancient times, this special event will feature rikishi (sumo wrestlers) squaring off in fast-paced, action-packed matches, with a minimum of a dozen fighters  competing in up to 42 one-on-one bouts. Giants of the sporting world (they typically weigh from 330 to 450 pounds), Sumo wrestlers continue to be regarded as sacred in Japan today, especially those who win tournaments and acquire the prestigious title of yokozuna, or grand champion. Some of this tournament’s stars include Japan’s Hidemasa “Chiyotairyu” Miegetsuin, USA’s Kamal “Big Kimo” Basira , Egypt’s Oosuna “Sandstorm” Arashi, Russia’s Soslan “Big Bear” Gagloev, and Brazil’s Rui “The Hurricane” Junior!

© 2023 SPY x FAMILY The Movie Project © Tatsuya Endo/Shueisha

Premieres Thursday, April 18


Village East by Angelika, 181-189 2nd Avenue


Tatsuya Endo’s smash manga and anime series comes to the big screen with an all-new story! He’s a spy. She’s an assassin. Together, Loid and Yor keep their double lives to themselves while pretending to be the perfect family. However, their adopted daughter Anya, a telepath, knows both of their exciting secrets unbeknownst to them. While under the guise of taking his family on a weekend winter getaway, Loid’s attempt to make progress on his current mission Operation Strix proves difficult when Anya mistakenly gets involved and triggers events that threaten world peace! 


April 27-May 1

Spirited Away

Various theaters 

Various prices

The inaugural selction of this year’s Studio Ghibli Fest and winner of the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, Hayao Miyazaki’s wondrous fantasy adventure is a dazzling masterpiece from one of the most celebrated filmmakers in the history of animation. Chihiro’s family is moving to a new house, but when they stop on the way to explore an abandoned village, her parents undergo a mysterious transformation and Chihiro is whisked into a world of fantastic spirits ruled over by the sorceress Yubaba. Put to work in a magical bathhouse for spirits and demons, Chihiro must use all her wits to survive in this strange new place, find a way to free her parents and return to the normal world. Overflowing with imaginative creatures and thrilling storytelling, Spirited Away became a worldwide smash hit, and is one of the most critically acclaimed films of all time. Click here for sub and dub dates.

For more JQ articles, click here.

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