"Yume Shibai" (Theatre of Dreams) launches with some seriously muscular strings before an electric guitar cuts through like a lightning bolt after which a gentle synth tinkles a few notes before the strings and guitar jump in for one more retort. It sounds like a drama was taking place just in those first several seconds....and that's even before Tomio Umezawa（梅沢富美夫）opens his mouth. Umezawa sings the theme that a lot of enka songs follow....that of the trials and tribulations of love. However, he sets that theme as a metaphor for the stage, something that the singer knows like the back of his very gentle hand.
Y'see...Umezawa is a kabuki onnagata actor, a specialist in female roles. When I first found out about him, I only used to see him in full costume and makeup as his characters moved along the stage and gestured with all feminine grace. It was a shock to find out that this was actually a guy....his training and education were that deeply ingrained. But getting back to the lyrics, Umezawa sings about how love is the stage debut where men and women are pulled about on metaphorical strings while they try to say the script lines without enough time to practice.
Judging from the writeup on J-Wiki and his own website, it seems that singing has been a very occasional sideline compared to his stage activities. However, the original version of "Yume Shibai" was a huge hit for him when it was released late in 1982. Supposedly, the key to its hit status (according to J-Wiki) was Umezawa's onsite appearance on stage on an episode of "The Best 10" back in May of 1983 with the kabuki troupe of his elder brother, Takeo. It doesn't go into any detail after that but I think it probably involved one of the troupe, perhaps even Takeo himself, in full onnagata garb performing while Tomio sang the song, since I've often seen him perform it in this way on television over the years. "Yume Shibai" peaked at No. 8 on Oricon and was the 44th-ranked song of 1983. It also earned him a place on that year's Kohaku Utagassen.
The song was written and composed by Kei Ogura（小椋佳）, a Tokyo singer-songwriter who had, at least initially, also been working at his job as a clerk for the Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank. And when I've seen him appear on shows like NHK's "Kayo Concert", he comes across as that typically mild-mannered and buttoned-down salaryman, but his voice is wonderfully resonant....not like what the usual businessman would sound like in a karaoke box.