The novel Sayonara tells the story of the star-crossed romance between an American G.I. and a Takarazuka otokoyaku. At the end, the otokoyaku leaves him so that she can continue her career, which provides for her family.
I never saw a Ziegfeld show, but Mrs. Webster said that any Takarazuka scene outdid the best Ziegfeld ever put on. There was music, there was dancing, there were songs. In fact, there was everything. In this one show there were two gorillas, a jeep, two live pigs, a wizard, three different trios singing three different kinds of songs, a ballet, a football game, a live goat, a motion-picture sequence showing the wizard at work, a passage from an opera and a cave whose trees moved about. But most of all there were girls.... But at the same time there was something ridiculous about this excess of beauty, for there were no men actors.
In the movie version, the troupe was called the Matsubayashi Girls' Revue because the Takarazuka wouldn't allow the movie to use their name. The Matsubayashi girls were played by members of the rival Shochiku Revue. The movie is disappointing to Takarazuka fans because while the heroine is specified to be an otokoyaku, she is mostly seen in female costumes. In addition, the movie version has a conventional happy ending, with the troubled pair getting married despite everything.
If she rejected me now she could become only the glorious outline of a woman, imprisoned in little rooms or on mammoth stages - loved only by other women.
A former Shochiku Revue actress, Machiko Kyo, played a geisha in another Marlon Brando movie, The Teahouse of the August Moon. (She also starred in Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon.)