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Haruki Murakami fans can get a sneak peek at the work-in-progress version of SLEEP this weekend at Japan Society

Japan Society
333 East 47th St. at First Ave.
February 26-28, $20

“This is my seventeenth straight day without sleep. I’m not talking about insomnia.” So begins Haruki Murakami’s short story “Sleep,” which can be found in his 1993 collection of short stories, The Elephant Vanishes. The tale of a Japanese housewife who is “both a body on the verge of sleep and a mind determined to stay awake” is being adapted into a stage production by Obie-winning troupes Ripe Time (The World Is Round, And Suddenly a Kiss . . .) and the Play Company (Abyss, The Wildness); a work-in-progress will be shown February 26-28 at Japan Society. Although only two of his novels (Hear the Wind Sing and Norwegian Wood) and one of his short stories (Tony Takitani) have been turned into feature films, two of his books (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Kafka on the Shore) and many of his short stories have been adapted for the stage, including three tales from The Elephant Vanishes that were combined in Simon McBurney’s production for the 2004 Lincoln Center Festival. An investigation into roles and boundaries, Sleep is part of Japan Society’s “Women on the Rise” initiative, highlighting works by women who are making a difference in their field. Sleep is directed and devised by Ripe Time founder Rachel Dickstein, adapted by Naomi Iizuka (Language of Angels, 17 Reasons [Why]), and performed by Akiko Aizawa, Brad Culver, Takemi Kitamura, Paula McGonagle, Jiehae Park, and Saori Tsukada. The original score is composed and played live by Katie Down and NewBorn Trio (Down and Miguel Frasconi on glass objects and Jeffrey Lependorf on shakuhachi), with set design by Mimi Lien, projections by Hannah Wasileski, lighting by Jiyoun Chang, and costumes by Ilona Somogyi. Although the three-show run is sold out, keep checking the box office should tickets become available on February 24; otherwise, you’ll have to wait until 2017 when the final version comes to New York City. The February 26 performance will be followed by a reception with the artists.

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