Backstage

Howie Mandel starts off Maui’s New Year’s weekend celebration with a performance at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 30 at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Castle Theater. Tickets range from $39 to $129 (plus applicable fees). To purchase tickets for any MACC event, visit the box office, call 242-7469 or order online at www.mauiarts.org. This performance contains adult content and is not appropriate for children. Photo courtesy the artist

Howie Mandel

“I’m constantly amazed that what I used to get expelled and punished for is what I do for a living,” said Howie Mandel. Mandel will perform at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 30 at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center’s Castle Theater in Kahului. It was never his intention to become a comedian. I asked ...

Kaya Greene (left) and Nicole Fatheree star in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” Performances are at 7 p.m. Fridays and  Saturdays through Dec. 16 with a special 3 p.m. matinee Dec. 17 in the cafetorium at the King Kekaulike High School campus in Pukalani. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students and are available at the door 30 minutes before the show. Jack Grace photo

King Kekaulike Dramaaticans sparkle like perfect diamonds

“In looking for a high school show, you’re looking for a number of things — literary merit, reputation, popularity, range in the number and variety of roles, and a challenging yet entertaining script for teenagers,” says Chris Kepler, King Kekaulike drama instructor and director of ...

Orion Milligan (from left), Jim Oxborrow and Marc Levine charm as   convicts with hearts of gold in ProArts Playhouse’s holiday feature, “My Three Angels.” Jack Grace photo

ProArts Playhouse ‘My Three Angels’ spreads classic Christmas good tidings

Director Francis Tau‘a shares this observation of people in his letter in the program for “My Three Angels,” the holiday show presented by ProArts Playhouse in Kihei. “The premise of convicts with hearts of gold is perhaps an outdated one, but the message of ‘people are not always ...

Ricky Jones (from left), Dakota Welch, Sara Jelley and Kanoa Gorring soar in Maui OnStage’s presentation of Ian Fleming’s “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” Jack Grace photos

A fantasmagorical ride

Stage Review Early into “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” currently at the Historic Iao Theater in Wailuku, Ricky Jones as Caractacus Potts sings, “Teamwork, can make a dream work — can make the greatest dreams come true.” The Maui OnStage production, which opened last weekend, bills itself ...

Mark Levine (from left), Jim Oxborrow and Orion Milligan star in the ProArts Playhouse holiday presentation, “My Three Angels.” Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 1 through 17 at the ProArts Playhouse in Kihei. Tickets are $26. For more information or to purchase tickets for any ProArts event, call 463-6550 or visit www.proartsmaui.com. Jack Grace photo

Unlikely heroes … save the day

The anti-Christmas story did not originate with American films such as “Bad Santa,” “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” or even “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” The idea of a family or individual filled with anxiety and impending doom on Christmas Eve dates back to the ...

Sara Jelley (from left), Kanoa Gorring and Dakota Welch star in the Maui OnStage Hawaii premier of Ian Fleming’s “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” Nov. 24 through Dec. 10 at the Historic Iao Theater in Wailuku. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, with special 2 p.m. matinee performances on Dec. 2 and 9. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 242-6969 or order online at www.mauionstage.com. Brett Wulfson photo

Give thanks for live theater

As a child I used to watch “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” on television every Thanksgiving. Its book and the Dick Van Dyke film were to Generation X what Harry Potter is to millennials. In 1964, at the height of success for Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels and the Sean Connery film ...

Akari Ueoka (from left), Jenny Baker-Zangpo and Malati Carano in Darshan Dance Project and Ueoka performing Japanese dance (second photo) are a few of the scheduled performers in Dance Maui 2017, which begins at 2 p.m. Saturday at Ke‘opuolani Park Amphitheater in Kahului. Open grass seating tickets are $12 and children 10 and younger may attend free of charge. Low-back beach chairs or blankets are recommended. Free parking is available at War Memorial Stadium. For information or to purchase tickets online, visit www.adaptationsdancetheater.com. Trish Barker photos

Dance Maui 2017

“Dance Maui is driven by its mission to recognize the breadth and depth of Maui’s vibrant professional dancers,” says Dance Maui 2017 Director Nicole Humphrey. “This festival is all about our shared experience as performers and audience members. It creates channels for collaboration and ...

Carver Glomb (left) is “The Wanna-Be Gentleman” as Camille Erdman looks away in distaste during Seabury Hall Performing Arts’ adaptation of Moliere’s “The Bourgeois Gentleman.” The show runs Nov. 11 through 19 with performances at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 3 p.m. Sunday at the ‘A‘ali‘ikuhonua Creative Arts Center in Makawao. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for students. For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit www.seaburyhall.org. Peter Swanzy photo

Moliere is modern and cool

“Are you cool, classy, part of the in-crowd?” asks Todd Van Amburgh, director of the upcoming Seabury Hall Performing Arts production of “The Wanna-Be Gentleman.” This modern version of Moliere’s classic comedy, “The Bourgeois Gentleman,” is the farcical tale of a man who has ...

Rob Faust as “Smirk, the thinker” and “Curly” (second photo)  in Faustwork Mask Theatre’s “The Mask Messenger.”  Performance is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, in the McCoy Studio Theater at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Kahului. Tickets are $28 with a 10-percent discount for MACC members and half price for kids under 12 (plus applicable fees). For more information or to purchase tickets for any MACC event, call 242-7469 or visit www.mauiarts.org. Photos courtesy Faustwork Mask Theater

Faustwork Mask Theatre ‘unmasks’

“I turned down Carnegie Hall,” said Rob Faust, director and performer of Faustwork Mask Theatre, when asked what are some of his favorite touring stops over the past 30 years. “It’s better than saying I played Carnegie Hall. That’s my favorite place that I’ve never played.” ...

Jeremiah Webb (from left) as the Cat in the Hat guides Ian Smith, as Horton the elephant, in Maui OnStage Youth Theater’s performance of “Seussical Jr.” Brett Wulfson photo

Youth theater on Maui thrives

Described when it first opened on Broadway as, “A musical perfect for the whole family,” “Seussical” has been transporting audiences into the world of Dr. Seuss for more than a decade. This weekend the 42 children of Maui OnStage Youth Theater between the ages of 7 and 15 will open ...

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 ...