Kabuki, one of traditional Japanese entertainment, originated in the early 17th century. All female roles in kabuki have been played by male actors. They are called Onna-gata, and the beauty of the Onna-gata became one of the most distinctive features in kabuki performances.
Other interesting features of kabuki plays are the colorful and gorgeous costumes, wigs, and make-up which the actors wear. Also, you might want to pay attention to how the stage is equipped. When shifting scenes in a play, the stage revolves. This is called mawari-butai and is one of the famous characteristics of kabuki stages. The traditional Japanese music that accompanies kabuki performances are also interesting to listen to.
Part of the excitement of watching kabuki comes from the audience. During a play, the audience shouts the names of actors. It's an interesting phenomena. Even though you don't understand the language, audio guide players in English are available for rent at some theaters.
For more kabuki information, including theater information, upcoming plays, and ticket booking, please refer to the Shochiku Kabuki Official Website.