“Spirited Away” is not the only Studio Ghibli classic to get the stage play treatment, of course. Last year also saw the premiere of the highly-anticipated (and highly sought after, as virtually every performance sold out as soon as the first curtain rose) Royal Shakespeare Company adaptation of “My Neighbor Totoro” — technically titled “My Neighbour Totoro” for the Brits in the audience.
It is hard to put into words just how magical the “My Neighbor Totoro” stage musical is. Even if you have seen Miyazaki’s film multiple times, it does not prepare you for the sheer, utter joy of seeing the iconic (yes, I said it) titular wood spirit come to life right there on the stage, courtesy of simply fantastic Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. Sadly, the London production has come to an end, but if Chihiro can escape the bathhouse and reach American theaters, maybe too can Satsuki and Mei.
In the meantime, you can expect to experience Miyazaki’s masterpiece in a whole new way when GKIDS releases the filmed version of the “Spirited Away” stage play in theaters in spring 2023.