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SEE WHAT I WANNA SEE Words and Music by Michael John LaChiusa | Based on short stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa | As adapted by Takashi Kojima SYNOPSIS SEE WHAT I WANNA SEE, a musical about lust, greed, murder, faith and redemption, was named by New York Magazine as one of the Best Musicals of 2005 and nominated for nine Drama Desk Awards, including Best Musical. It is based on three short stories by the Japanese writer Ryunosuke Akutagawa and unfolds like a classical Japanese screen painting. In Kesa and Morito, set in medieval Japan, two lovers sing of the ecstasy and torment of their illicit affair and their determination to end it that night. R Shomon, set in 1951, New York City, follows the investigation of a crime of passion and the witnesses' contradicting versions of the event. An innocent bystander, a cunning thief, a flirtatious wife, a psychic and even the ghost of the murdered man are all caught in a web of deceit. Gloryday, set in present-day New York City, introduces a priest during a crisis of faith after a terrible tragedy strikes the city. Disillusioned and angry, he plays a practical joke and posts an anonymous letter in Central Park, declaring that Christ will appear, rising from the pond. On the day of the miracle, a storm blows through the Park, and only the priest sees his lie become a truth. STORY Act 1 – "Kesa" and "R Shomon" In medieval Japan, Kesa plans to kill her lover, Morito ("Kesa"). Morito arrives, and they make love. Kesa divulges to the audience that "[her] husband knows [their] secret" and draws a knife out of her kimono and raises it to stab Morito at the height of her climax, but a blackout leaves the outcome unknown. The scene shifts to New York City in 1951, where a murder has taken place. The janitor of a movie house is being interrogated by an unseen policeman. He explains that when he left work in the late night/early morning he took a shortcut through Central Park, where he found "the scarf, the body, the blood" ("The Janitor's Statement"). He slips when he refers to the weapon as "his knife", indicating that the killer is a male, but then he claims that the police had mentioned this to him. A thief, Jimmy Mako, is also being interrogated ("The Thief 's Statement"). He boasts about committing the crime, and a flashback begins as he describes how Lily looked at him on the street after leaving the movies with her husband Louie ("She Looked at Me"). The thief follows the couple to the nightclub where she flirts with both Louie and, discreetly, the Thief ("See What I Wanna See"). The Thief decides that the only way to get a chance at Lily is to get the Husband out of the way. He convinces Louie to go with him to the park to dig up "Big Money" that he knows is hidden there. After a few drinks, Louie agrees, and Lily is also persuaded to come along. The Thief knocks out the husband, ties him up and rapes Lily, who tries vainly to defend herself with a knife ("The Park"). The Thief snaps - he's infatuated with Lily and is convinced that she wants him too, vowing "You'll Go Away With Me". Lily orders the Thief to fight her husband for her ("Murder"). He does, killing Louie; but Lily runs off into the night. Back at the police department, the Thief calmly states that he will "take the chair." The Janitor explains to his interrogator his philosophy about witnessing strange situations in New York City: "Best Not To Get Involved", but he admits to remembering Lily - "how could you forget a woman like her?" The Wife enters the interrogation room to explain her version of the story ("The Wife's Statement"). After the Thief raped her, she blacked out and awoke to find her husband, Louie, glaring at her, blaming her for the rape, and feeling they no longer had anything left to live for. She begs him for his love and forgiveness ("Louie"). He indicates that they should kill themselves together. She begins to comply ("Louie guide my hand, I will honor you") but at the last second, as he pushes the knife towards her, she panics and turns it towards him, killing him and running away.