Backstage

Guest director David Kaye is experiencing a bunch of firsts — first visit to Maui and first time directing “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”
• Photo courtesy of director

The many faces of . . . David Kaye

“I could have gone to Maui, instead I went into a battle zone,” said David Kaye, a faculty member of the department of theater and dance at the University of New Hampshire since 1996. In 2011, Kaye was approached by Maui OnStage to direct its spring production of “Taming of the ...

Okareka Dance Company from New Zealand.
• Photos courtesy MACC

A new season of dance begins

Though frequently overshadowed by season openings of theater productions, a new season of dance has also begun on Maui. Last week Maui’s contemporary Adaptations Dance Theater held a master class at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului, led by co-artistic directors, Hallie Hunt and ...

Elwood P. Dowd (Michael Pulliam) straightens the tie of his invisible friend, Harvey, as his sister Veta (at right, Beth Garrow), and niece, Myrtle Mae (Hana Valle), look on in disbelief.
• Jack Grace Photo

‘Harvey’ is a whimsical charmer

“My mother used to say to me: ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be oh-so-smart or oh-so-pleasant.’ Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant.” Those words, uttered by the guileless Elwood P. Dowd, sum up Maui OnStage’s heartwarming production of Mary Chase’s Pulitzer ...

Ricky Jones is John Merrick (left) and Frances Tau‘a is Dr. Frederick Treves in ProArts Playhouse production of “The Elephant Man.” • Jack Grace photo

Moving tale of human dignity guides ‘The Elephant Man’

The newly remodeled ProArts Playhouse in Kihei features a number of splendid amenities ranging from attractive window dressings, an expanded lobby, more diverse concessions and plush seats, but no new offering was more notable on the opening night of their 2017-18 season than the superb “The ...

Master puppeteer Koryu Nishikawa V (first photo) and Tom Lee along with the Yara Arts Group present their collaboration, “Shank’s Mare,” which features a score on hammered dulcimer, shamisen and flute. Performance is 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29 in the Castle Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului. Tickets range from $12 to $55 with 10 percent discounts for MACC members and 1/2 price for kids under 12 (plus applicable fees). For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the MACC box office, call 242-7469 or go to www.mauiarts.org.
• Ayumi Sakamoto photo

Life journeys explored through exquisite puppetry

Last Saturday at the Kahului Public Library, fifth-generation master puppeteer Koryu Nishikawa V presented a free workshop of his family’s Kuruma Ningyo style of puppetry — a 160-year-old form related to the traditional Bunraku three-person style. Joining Nishikawa was puppeteer Tom ...

Hoku Pavao Jones (from left), Ricky Jones and Francis Tau‘a star in Bernard Pomerance’s multi award-winning play, “The Elephant Man,” opening Sept. 22 at the ProArts Playhouse in Kihei. Ricky Jones photo

‘The Elephant Man’ opens at ProArts

Many years ago, my father attended the original Broadway production of “The Elephant Man,” and shortly thereafter, made sure that I witnessed the ABC televised version and the 1980 David Lynch film. Perhaps like Esmeralda in MAPA Live!’s recent “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” my child ...

Maui’s own Cabaret & Cocktails burlesque troupe joins RedBone and Violetta Beretta at “The Maui Sexy Sideshows” burlesque extravaganza. Performance is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Historic Iao Theater in Wailuku. Tickets range from $25 to $45. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 242-6969 or order online at www.mauionstage.com. Brett Wulfson photo

Earthy humor affords creative outlet

From the late 19th century to the mid 20th century burlesque celebrated its golden age. A relic of the past for many decades, an unlikely worldwide rise from the ashes has seen burlesque heating up since the millennium. Violetta Beretta, aka “Hawaii’s Burlesque Sweetheart,” is ...

Danielle Mealani Delaunay as the gypsy girl, Esmeralda, in “Rhythm of the Tambourine.” Jack Grace photo

‘Hunchback’ rings soundly

Stage Review Since the Maui Academy of Performing Arts began presenting annual large-scale dramatic musicals at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Castle Theater in Kahului five years ago with its exemplary production of “Les Miserables,” it has unwittingly inherited the burden to ...

MAPA Live!’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” opens Friday at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului featuring Will Kimball (clockwise standing), David Tuttle and Danielle Mealani Delaunay. Peter Swanzy photo

2017-18 Maui theater

As summer comes to a close, a new season of theater has already begun on Broadway. The first production to make big news is Michael Moore’s current one-man show, “The Terms of My Surrender,” which takes sharp aim at the Trump administration. A few new shows expected to enjoy Broadway ...

David Tuttle (left) is Quasimodo and Danielle Mealani Delaunay is Esmeralda in the MAPA Live! Hawaii premiere of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame A New Musical.” Performances are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, Aug. 25 through Sept. 3 in Castle Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului. Due to mature language and themes, this show is recommended for ages 12 and older. Tickets range from $15 to $75 (plus applicable fees) and are available at the MACC box office, by calling 242-7469 or online at  www.mauiarts.org.
• Peter Swanzy photo

Classic tale of love and acceptance

In classic literature very few works have had as many liberties taken in adaptation as Victor Hugo’s “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.” Since its first recognizable film, the 1923 silent version starring Lon Chaney, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” has been continually watered-down in an ...

The Historic Iao Theater in Wailuku dramatically lit at night as it currently looks. Photo courtesy Maui Historical Society

Happy 89th birthday to a ‘Grand Old Dame’

“Three guys went into a bar . . .” That may sound like the setup of a joke, but that is exactly how the Historic Iao Theater in Wailuku, which celebrates its 89th birthday this month, got started. Manuel G. Paschoal, H. B. “Sam” Weller and T. B. Lyons were all members of the Knights ...

Tina Kailiponi (from left), Ally Shore and Karli Rose volunteer their time and skills to make community theater on Maui a treat for audiences. Jack Grace photo

Masters of their trade

Community theater on Maui simply could not exist if not for the army of carpenters, costumers, hair and makeup designers and the jack-of-all-trade artists behind the scenes. Theatergoers might be surprised to learn that nearly all of these individuals are volunteers and may wonder why anyone ...

Jena Mukai as Mulan (front) gets a visit from her ancestors Caitlyn Campbell (from left), Taylor-Ann Takitani, Sophia Preiser, Kealani Warner and Rylee Hubin in Maui Academy of Performing Arts production of “Mulan, Jr.,” 
• Peter Swanzy photo

Maui youth theater shines

Three Maui youth theater camps presented musical productions last weekend and each company enjoyed its own distinct style. The Maui Academy of Performing Arts can pride itself on presenting the most professional and luxurious production with “Disney’s Mulan Jr.” at Seabury Hall ...

Jena Mukai is Mulan in The Maui Academy of Performing Arts presentation of “Disney’s Mulan Jr.” • Peter Swanzy photo

Disney theater popular summer fare

In the early 1960s, a trumpet player named Ron Logan was hired to play for the Dixieland Band at Disneyland. Thirty years later he had risen to become an executive in the Disney organization and founded Walt Disney Theatrical. He had the idea to bring staged adapted musicals of Disney animated ...

Kathryn Holtkamp (from left on floor), Lina Aiko Krueger and Lia Krieg-DeSouza bond with a doobie after a bad day at the office in Maui OnStage’s season finale   production of “9 to 5 The Musical.” 
• Jack Grace photo

‘9 to 5 The Musical’ great ending to season of premieres

Set in the late 1970s, “9 to 5 The Musical” gets off to a scintillating start with its well-known title track and transitions wonderfully into “Around Here.” In this introductory number we meet Violet Newstead, an inspired interpretation by Lina Aiko Krueger, and Judy Bernly (Kathryn ...

Elmo and his “Sesame Street” pals have to help Jenny the Music Teacher when her instruments go missing in “Sesame Street Live! Elmo Makes Music.” Performances are at 6:30 p.m. July 21, 10:30 a.m., 2  and 5:30 p.m. July 22; and 1 and 4:30 p.m. July 23 in the Castle Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului. Tickets range from $15 to $75 (plus applicable fees). For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the box office, www. mauiarts.org or call 242-7469. Photo courtesy Sesame Workshop

‘Sesame Street Live!’

There are well over 7 billion people in the world and I’m guessing that if half of us sang “Sunny day, sweeping the clouds away. On my way to where the air is sweet,” most of the other half could reply, “Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?” The American PBS ...

Lina Aiko Krueger (clockwise from left), Lia Krieg-DeSouza and Katherine Holtkamp teach boss Jerry Eiting how to treat his secretaries in Maui OnStage’s premiere of “9 to 5 The Musical.”  Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays July 14 through August 6 at the Historic Iao Theater. “9 to 5” contains some adult material and may not be appropriate for children. Tickets range from $20 to $40. Call 242-6969 or visit online at www.mauionstage.com. Brett Wulfson photo

What a way to make a living

Nine years ago I began reading about Dolly Parton’s musical adaptation of “9 to 5” in “Variety.” The ongoing stories offered mixed reviews of its tryouts in Los Angeles, praising its stars Stephanie J. Block, Allison Janney and Megan Hilty, but suggesting the show was too long and not ...

Ali McKeon (left) and Nathaniel Hunt display incomparable athleticism in “Wet.” Ajja DeShayne photo

Grace, beauty and style

June has proven to be a cornucopia of the arts on Maui ranging from vanguard films, to Greek drama, Texas comedy, European cabaret and contemporary American dance. On Friday night I attended Adaptations Dance Theater’s “Bring It Home” at Seabury Hall’s exquisite ‘A‘ali‘ikuhonua ...

Nicole Yezzi falls into the arms of fellow Adaptations Dance Theater performers during a rehearsal for “Bring it Home,” which will be presented at the ‘A‘ali‘ikuhonua Creative Arts Center on the Seabury Hall campus in Makawao this weekend. Ajja DeShayne photo

Bringing them home

“I love thinking about beginnings,” said the co-founder of Adaptations Dance Theater, Hallie Hunt, when asked how ADT began in 2012. “If I fall back in memory to the first moments that ADT began formation, I remember wanting to continue my professional dance career as a performing ...