Tokyo's rich cultural history entwines itself with an influx of foreign influences, so Tokyoites get the best of both worlds. An astonishing variety of dance and music, both classical and popular and much of it Western, can be found in Tokyo, alongside the must-see traditional Japanese arts of Kabuki and Noh.
The city is a proving ground for local talent and a magnet for orchestras and concert soloists from all over the world. Tokyo also has modern theater—in somewhat limited choices, to be sure, unless you can follow dialogue in Japanese, but Western repertory companies can always find receptive audiences here for plays in English. And it doesn't take long for a hit show from New York or London to open. Musicals such as Mamma Mia! have found enormous popularity here—although the protagonists speak Japanese.
Among about 10 professional dance troupes in Japan, the best known are the New National Ballet, which usually performs at the New National Theater, and the K-Ballet Company and the Tokyo Ballet, both of which stage performances at the Bunka Kaikan in Ueno and Orchard Hall of the Bunkamura complex in Shibuya. Tokyo has plenty of venues for opera, and few groups to perform in them, so touring companies like the Metropolitan, the Bolshoi, Sadler's Wells, and the Bayerische Staatsoper find Tokyo a very compelling venue—as well they might when even seats at ¥30,000 or more sell out far in advance.
Tokyo movie theaters screen a broad range of films—everything from big Asian hits to American blockbusters and Oscar nominees. The diversity brought by smaller distributors and an increased appetite for Korean, Middle Eastern, South American, and Aussie cinema have helped develop vibrant small theaters that cater to art-house fans. New multiplexes have also brought new screens to the capital, providing a more comfortable film-going experience than some of the older Japanese theaters.
Metropolis, a free English-language weekly magazine, and Weekend Scene, published for free by The Japan Times on Friday, have up-to-date listings of what's going on in the city; they are available at hotels, book and music stores, some restaurants and cafés, and other locations. The Japan News also has entertainment features and listings in the Friday edition.