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WEDNESDAY

When famed Japanese Kabuki actor Nakamura Kankuro and his troupe performed at the Lincoln Center earlier this month, they re-created a traditional Japanese theater inside the New York City concert hall—with a few adjustments designed to better accommodate an American audience. The master told Kateigaho International Edition that regulations didn’t allow the construction of a second floor for the set, and that they had decided to let those in attendance keep their shoes on. Temporary seating was also tweaked: Chairs were made 50 percent wider to accommodate American asses. But aside from changes made to satisfy building codes, ample cabooses, and squeamishness about revealing hammer toes in polite company, the troupe hasn’t watered down the 400-year-old dramatic art form that is Kabuki for its summer 2004 U.S. tour. “Kabuki in Washington,” a performance in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Amity between the United States and Japan, features two pieces: Bo-shibari is a comedy about two servants who cleverly scheme to get their hands on their master’s sake; the more serious Renjishi explores father-son relationships through the story of a lion who subjects his cub to tough love in order to strengthen the offspring’s resolve. Kankuro and his son, Shichinosuke, depict the piece’s cat kings in a poignant familial dance, introducing Western audiences to Eastern felines other than Hello Kitty. Kankuro and his troupe will perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 28, at the Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW. $20–$75. (202) 397-7328. (Sarah Godfrey)