Creator of soundtracks for Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell franchises working on play set on the Silk Road.

Even in a country with such proud theatrical forms as kabuki and noh, nothing can quite match the bombastic spectacle of the Takarazuka Revue. Formed in 1913, the all-female acting organization’s lavish, one-of-a-kind stage shows have earned them a fervently loyal fanbase that now extends beyond just Japan.

The Takarazuka roster is divided into separate troupes, and this winter the Snow Troupe will be premiering its newest musical, which will serve as the swan song for both its top male-character actress, Futo Nozomi, and top female-character actress, Kiho Maaya. However, the play is also drawing attention for who’s going to be joining the creative team: Yoko Kanno, the talented musician who created the soundtrack to acclaimed anime Cowboy Bebop, will be serving as composer for the upcoming Takarazuka production.

The play, titled Arabesque: Silk Road–The Thief and the Jewel, takes place during the glory day of the East-West trade route, and tells the tale of a thief who steals a blue diamond from a merchant caravan, setting in motion a story that transcends time and space. While that setting may sound like a mismatch to those only familiar with the jazz-infused pieces Kanno created for Cowboy Bebop, the full scope of her professional songsmithing covers a staggering variety of genres, as showcased in the soundtracks she composed for anime in the Ghost in the Shell, Macross, and Escaflowne soundtracks.

▼ If you’re wondering what a Kanno piece with Arabic influences might sound like, here’s an example from the Escaflowne soundtrack.

“We hope you will look forward to the harmony between the creative world of Yoko Kanno’s music and the acting of the Snow Troupe, led by Futo Nozomi,” the troupe says as part of the announcement.

Arabesque opens on January 1 and runs until February 8 at Takarazuka’s main theater in Hyogo Prefecture before coming to the troupe’s Tokyo theater for a February 26-April 11 engagement.

Related: Takarazuka official website
Sources: Livedoor News, Natalie, Takarazuka
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he didn’t know until years after he played it that the NES Nobunaga’s Ambition soundtrack was also created by Yoko Kanno.