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Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Sing, Dance, Act: Kabuki Featuring Toma Ikuta’ on Netflix, An Inside Look At Japan’s Ancient Art Form

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Sing, Dance, Act: Kabuki Featuring Toma Ikuta is a new Netflix documentary that follows the titular Toma as he makes his debut in a Kabuki performance with his best friend Matsuya Onoe. How does the documentary about an ancient Japanese art form fare on the streamer?

The Gist:When they were children, Toma Ikuta and Matsuya Onoe were performers and promised one another that they would one day perform Kabuki together. Toma went on to do theater and became a national heartthrob via a local organization called Johnny’s, while Matsuya learned Kabuki under his father, who was trained in the practice. Matsuya decides to stage a performance of one of his father’s Kabuki plays and asks Toma to play the lead role in it despite him having no experience with it. Sing, Dance, Act: Kabuki Featuring Toma Ikuta counts down the less than two months they had to prepare, and offers a behind-the-scenes look at how detail-oriented and intricate Kabuki is and how difficult it is to perfect.

Sing, Dance, Act: Kabuki featuring Toma Ikuta
Photo: Netflix

What Will It Remind You Of?: At its core, Sing, Dance, Act: Kabuki Featuring Toma Ikuta is a countdown documentary, squeezing out tension from the ticking clock. It’ll remind you of The Beatles: Get Back in its precision, though it’s a fraction of the runtime.

Performance Worth Watching: Toma’s best friend since childhood, Matsuya, is the man behind the entire production, putting it on in honor of his father who was a Kabuki actor. Matsuja’s presence on screen is warm and inviting, and is Toma’s main cheerleader for much of the documentary.

Memorable Dialogue: Much of the tension of the documentary is that Toma was a classically trained theater actor who got his start as a teen idol at a local Japanese program called Johnny’s. There is a lot riding on this Kabuki performance and he reflects accordingly: “I want them to think ‘that guy from Johnny’s is gone.’ No more of that idol stuff.”

Sex and Skin: Zero.

Our Take: Offering an inside look at an artist’s preparation is a reliable documentary subject, and centering it on a less-seen art form (at least in the West) like Kabuki gives audiences an education at the same time. The film hammers home the idea that Kabuki is different and incomparable to mere theater and dance, and that actors who have not spent years training for it will not be able to master it. Enter Toma Ikuta, who is taking on the challenge in less than two months.

Toma and Matsuya are instantly magnetic and their friendship feels wholesome; neither wants to let the other down, and they both want to honor Matsuya’s father with this performance. There is so much detail about the specific craft — how precise gestures and body stature needs to be and how specific a facial expression is — and it’s helped along by a few of Toma’s skeptics who believe his timeline is too short and his skills not up to snuff to pull this off.

But, as it’s likely international audiences’ first introductions to Kabuki theater, the documentary is lacking some background on the craft itself. Many times “Kabuki families” are referenced and Toma is presented as an outsider, but it’s never explained why exactly the dance form is so exclusive and what its meaning to Japanese society at large is. Without that background, it’s a little harder to connect to Toma’s journey, even if the process is fascinating to watch.

Our Call: STREAM IT. It’s a fascinating and educational look into the world of Kabuki and makes you appreciate the art form, even if it’s the first time you’re witnessing it.

Radhika Menon (@menonrad) is a TV-obsessed writer based in New York City. Her work has appeared on Vulture, Teen Vogue, Paste Magazine, and more. At any given moment, she can ruminate at length over Friday Night Lights, the University of Michigan, and the perfect slice of pizza. You may call her Rad.

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What Time Will ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 Be on Netflix?

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The season finale of Riverdale aired in late July on The CW. Notice we said season finale? Thankfully, the beloved series will return for a seventh season, but, unfortunately, Season 7 will be the final installment of Riverdale.

If you already streamed the current season, make sure to read Alex Zalben’s interview with Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa on Decider. If you’re waiting to binge Season 6 on Netflix, well, you better clear your calendar because all 22 episodes are about to drop on the streamer. What time will the sixth season of Riverdale debut on Netflix? What time does Netflix release shows? Here’s everything you need to know.

WHEN IS THE RIVERDALE SEASON 6 NETFLIX RELEASE DATE?

Riverdale Season 6 premieres Sunday, August 7 on Netflix.

HOW MANY EPISODES ARE IN RIVERDALE SEASON 6?

The sixth season of Riverdale consists of 22 episodes.

WHAT TIME DOES NETFLIX RELEASE NEW SHOWS?

Netflix releases new episodes at 3:00 a.m. ET/12:00 a.m. PT.

WHAT TIME WILL RIVERDALE SEASON 6 BE ON NETFLIX?

Netflix is based out of California, so Riverdale Season 6 will be available to stream at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) beginning Sunday, August 7. If the clock strikes 12:00 (or 3:00 a.m. for folks on the East Coast) and you don’t see the new episodes, give it a moment, hit refresh, and then enjoy the show!

WILL THERE BE A SEASON 7 OF RIVERDALE?

Yes! Decider recently covered that very topic.

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Actress Anne Heche Suffers Severe Burns After Crashing Car Into Los Angeles Home

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Actress Anne Heche, known for her roles in such films as Donnie Brasco, Volcano and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was involved in a fiery car crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles on Friday.

According to TMZ, Heche was driving a blue Mini Cooper and had first crashed into the garage of an apartment complex. Residents of the apartment complex tried to get her out of the vehicle but she backed up and sped off.

Footage of Heche speeding down the streets of her neighborhood had been obtained by TMZ as well as her initial encounter at the apartment complex.

In the first clip, you can hear her car crash towards the end. It has been reported that the actress crashed into someone’s home, causing her vehicle and the house to erupt into flames. Heche suffered severe burns and was resisting being taken away in a stretcher. You can also view footage of this via the TMZ article.

It has not been confirmed whether alcohol has been involved in the incident since her condition prevents doctors from performing any tests to determine if she was driving under the influence. She is currently intubated in the hospital but expected to live.

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These are the vulgar license-plate requests the DMV has rejected

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Stay CL4SSY, New York!

The state Department of Motor Vehicles nixed 3,752 requests for vanity license plates in the last three years because it deemed them too raunchy, radical or simply ridiculous.

New York’s personalized plates go for $60 initially, and then $31.25 annually for renewal. You can get any plate as long as no one else has it and it’s not offensive.

Odds are a request for a plate that marks a wedding anniversary or shows your allegiance to a team — like METS86 — will pass muster with the DMV gatekeepers.

Vulgarity won’t get you to first base.

So plates with the phrase LFGM — the acronym for Pete Alonso’s “Let’s F–king Go Mets” rallying cry — did not make the cut.

And you won’t see anyone driving around with the custom plates MILFDAD, AS5M4N and WLHUNG.

Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
New York DMV
NYC123
New York state Department of Motor Vehicles denied more than 3.5 thousand requests for license plates deemed inappropriate.
New York DMV
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
New York DMV

The DMV also put NICEBUNS, FATFANNY, GOTAPOOP and BENDOVER in the rear-view mirror.

One player unsuccessfully tried to score the plate YESDADDY, to no avail.

The DMV also shot down such dark requests as DEADGIRL, GENOC1DE, S8TAN, DETONATE and MURDERM3.

“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
New York DMV
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
New York DMV
BOOBIE is prohibited.
BOOBIE is prohibited.
New York DMV

Getting political is a dead end too — FJOEBIDN, FDTRUMP and CNNLIES were nixed.

LUDEDUDE, NARCO, GOT METH and BLUNT also went up in smoke.

Staten Island attorney Bill Dertinger said his blue 1995 Jaguar SJS was tagged with ESQLTD after his company and his 2014 Porsche had the plate GHOSTGTS because the sleek sportscar was white.

“The plates can make you stand out — which can be a curse or a blessing,” the 54-year-old Dertinger said. “Make sure you don’t cut anybody off.”

A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
New York DMV
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
New York DMV
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
New York DMV

There must be a New York Jets fan playing referee at the DMV because a request for the seemingly innocent plate GASE was sidelined. Ex-Jets head coach Adam Gase had an offensive 9-23 win-loss record during his forgettable two-year tenure.

The DMV would not reveal who gives the final yea or nay.

“The DMV reviews all custom license plate requests and works hard to ensure that any combinations that may be considered objectionable are rejected,” said agency spokesman Tim O’Brien.

“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
New York DMV
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
New York DMV

He said guidelines on what plate combinations are restricted can be found on the DMV website: https://dmv.ny.gov/learn-about-personalized-plates. Approximately 50,000 personalized and custom plates are sold per year, O’Brien said.

Bagged Tags

The state DMV has rejected 3,752 requests for custom license plates in the last three years because it deemed them potentially offensive. Here are some:

YESDADDY

FJOEBIDN

FDTRUMP

GLOCKS

FLYMOFO

BOOBIE

AS5M4N

BUDLIGHT

DEADGIRL

SUM8ITCH

GENOC1DE

S8TAN

CNNLIES

DETONATE

MURDERM3

MILFDAD

WLHUNG

Source: NYS DMV

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