Der Tod – Elisabeth (Takarazuka Moon Troupe)
Appearances: Pacific Media Expo 2005, Ani-Magic 2005
Awards: Best in Show (Performance) (PMX)

I went to Japan in Feb of 2005 with my two friends, A.J. and Annie. We were lucky enough to see Takarazuka Moon Troupe’s performance of the musical “Elisabeth”. Takarazuka is an all female revue in Japan. The musical Elisabeth is actually originally sung in German in Vienna, and was adapted for the Japanese Takarazuka version. It’s about Der Tod (a personification of death) falling in love with Empress Sissi of Austria and the drama of her life, basically. The performance we saw was the retirement performance of the top star of the time, Saeko (who plays Der Tod). We really love her and that made the performance all the more special to us.

Elisabeth is one of our very very favorite musicals and we knew from the moment we saw it that we really wanted to make some of the costumes from it. We actually picked up the gold and white lace for the Elisabeth dress in Japan and carted it all the way home. (The lace was very hard to find in the USA!) So these costumes are very dear to us.

Our performance comprised of me (as Der Tod), Annie (as Elisabeth) and Tristen Citrine (as Madame Volf’s mermaid dancer Madeleine ) And at Ani-Magic we gained two more Elisabeth members, Rudolph (A.J.) and Madame Volf (Judy.)

You can hear our skit here. Me as Der Tod singing a modified excerpt “Saigo no Dance”, Annie as Elisabeth singing an excerpt on a slightly different track of “Watashi Dake Ni”, and Tristen as the narrator/Mermaid Madeleine who composed the poem herself. You can read a translation/transcript of our skit here.


My Der Tod costume is a replica of Saeko’s outfit from the Rudolph death scene. (you can see a few more pictures here of the original costume 123) The jacket is a dark blue fully lined velvet with bat-wing lower collar, high upper collar and tails. It was appliqued with silver lame and then hand beaded with silver bugle beads around each silver design. (The appliques are on the collar, the sleeves, and covering the back of the jacket.) The collar and cuffs are trimed with black bugle beads as well. There’s also a flowing second set of tails under neat the first tails on the jacket. The collar is trimmed with black sequins and crystals (as is the sash.) Grey and silver glass beads were strung for the belt at the waist. The wig started with a shoulder-length black and white wig (that was mostly black actually…) I used about 6 packs of silky hair and made them into extensions to make the wig super long in the back. Tristen Citrine helped me curl the bottoms into ringlets and I ventilated the top of the wig to add more white in.

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