Summer of the stage
From south side to west side and all around the island, it’s going to be an incredibly busy summer of theatrical productions that will appeal to just about every demographic. If there is a common thread, get ready to hear the people sing, Maui.
Starting Independence Day weekend, Maui Academy of Performing Arts will present “Disney’s 101 Dalmatians,” directed by Kathleen Schulz. The production will star children from ages 7 to 12, and runs July 5 through 7 at Steppingstone Playhouse. Performances are at 5 and 7 p.m. on Friday; and 2 and 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $12 for adults; $8 for students 12 and younger. For reservations, call 244-8760 or purchase at the customer service kiosk at the Queen Ka’ahumanu Center. For more information, visit “http://www.mauiacademy.org”>www.mauiacademy.org.
The following weekend, Maui OnStage will present the Tony award-winning “RENT,” by Jonathan Larson, directed by Steven Dascoulias, choreographed by Sarah Loney and under the musical direction of Vania Jerome. Based loosely on Puccini’s “La Boheme,” Larson’s “RENT” follows a year in the life of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York’s Lower East Side. Performances of “RENT” run July 12 through Aug. 4. Showtimes are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 3 p.m. Sundays at the Historic Iao Theater. Reserved seating tickets range from $17 to $28, with a limited number of discounted rush tickets available one-hour prior to each performance. For tickets or more information, call 242-6969 or purchase reserved seats online at www.mauionstage.com.
Maui OnStage continues its free theater series, ONO! on Monday, July 15, with “Sister Ignatius Explains it All To You,” by recent Tony Award winner Christopher Durang. Durang’s irreverent comedies are at times controversial, so this show may not be a good fit for younger audiences. This performance is directed by Vinnie Linares and stars Jennifer Rose in the title role. The free ONO! performances are at the Historic Iao Theater, 6:30 p.m. every second Monday of the month.
From New Zealand, comes the leading creators of Maori contemporary dance theater, Atamira Dance Company, presenting works that embody the essence of their unique landscape and cultural identity. Atamira’s choreographers, dancers and designers reflect a diverse cross-section of voices from both urban and rural backgrounds, telling the stories of Maori people through compelling artistic expression. Atamira’s performance of “KAHA” is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 18, in Castle Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. There will be a free pre-concert talk at 6 p.m. with Atamira’s Artistic Director Moss Patterson. Tickets are $12, $22, $32, with half-price tickets for children available (plus applicable fees). To purchase tickets for any MACC event, visit the MACC box office, call 242-7469 or order online at www.mauiarts.org.
Lahaina’s Theatre Theatre Maui will present “Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr.,” directed by Kristi Scott and starring youths ages 10 through 18. The show will run from July 19 through 21, with performances at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Westin Maui Resort & Spa’s Haleakala Ballroom. For more information, call the Theatre Theatre Maui office at 661-1168 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ProArts, Inc. returns in July with a brand new fractured fairy tale, “The Princess and the Pizza,” showing July 19 through Aug. 4. Adapted from Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Princess and the Pea,” (but with pepperoni instead of a pea), the original musical tale with book and lyrics by Richard Vetterli and music and arrangements by Kim Vetterli plays weekends at the ProArts Playhouse in Kihei. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays; 4 p.m. Saturdays; and 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $10 for limited floor seating or $15 reserved. For tickets or more information, call 463-6550.
Opening on Thursday, July 25, and running through Sunday, July 28, at the Steppingstone Playhouse is the timeless teen tale set at the Fiorello LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts. Never heard of it? Just call it the “Fame” school. “Fame – the Musical” by David De Silva, book by Jose Fernandez, music by Steve Margoshes and lyrics by Jaques Levy, and directed by Sally Sefton, is based on the film “Fame.” This Maui Academy of Performing Arts youth theater production will feature 40 young actors between the ages of 13 and 19. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday; and 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students 18 and younger. “Fame” deals with some mild adult content and may not be appropriate for young children. For tickets, visit www.mauiacademy.org.
That same weekend, Sesame Street Live returns to the MACC with “Can’t Stop Singing.” When Elmo gets his furry fingers on Abby Cadabby’s magic wand, there’s something in the air. Sesame Street becomes a nonstop, all-singing, all-dancing musical montage. Baby Bear and Grover sing their highs and lows, Cookie Monster sings fast and slow, Bert and Ernie converse in song, and there’s even a conga line to join. Performances run weekends July 26 through 28, and showtimes are 7 p.m. Friday; 10:30 a.m., 2 and 5:30 p.m. Saturday; 1 and 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10, $20, $33, $48 and $75 (plus applicable fees), available at the MACC box office, by calling 242-7469 or online at www.mauiarts.org.
“Shower of Stars,” Hawaii’s oldest ongoing talent show, returns to the Historic Iao Theater on Aug. 10. It’s not too late to compete in the preliminary competition, happening at 10 a.m. July 24 at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center. The competition is open to all talents and separated into two categories: younger than 17 and 18 and older. To register to compete for up to $2,000 in cash prizes, or to purchase tickets for the finals, call (808) 482-0073.
“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Dale Wasserman, and based on the novel by Ken Kesey, will be performed on Monday, Aug. 12, in a staged reading format as part of Maui OnStage’s ONO! series at the Historic Iao Theater. A cast of 18 includes Brian Connelly as McMurphy, Andrea Giammattei as Nurse Ratched, and Francis Tau’a as Chief Bromden. The performance is at 6:30 p.m. and admission is free. “Cuckoo’s Nest” may not be appropriate for younger audiences.
Finally, the summer shows conclude and the 2013-14 season begins with the Maui premiere of the epic musical “Les Miserables,” directed by David C. Johnston, choreographed by Andre Morissette and under the musical direction of Robert E. Wills. This multi award-winning musical that has thrilled audiences around the world for nearly three decades features a cast of 85 performers and a 28-piece live orchestra. Produced by Maui Academy of Performing Arts, “Les Miserables” opens on Aug. 16 and runs through August 25. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 2 p.m. Sundays in Castle Theater at the MACC. Tickets range from $15 to $65 (plus applicable fees) through the MACC box office, by calling 242-7469 or online at www.mauiarts.org.
Don’t miss one of America’s most popular comedians, Brian Regan, in concert this Saturday night at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. He will be joined by special guest Kermet Apio from Oahu. The performance is at 8 p.m. Saturday at the MACC’s Castle Theater. Tickets are $45.50 and $55.50 (plus applicable fees), available at the MACC box office, by calling 242-7469 or online at www.mauiarts.org.
Maui Theatre is proud to announce two new ongoing shows opening on Saturday: “You Got It!” – a salute to Roy Orbison, featuring John Stephan; and “Benise – The Spanish Guitar.” “You Got It!” performances are at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays; and 8:30 p.m. Fridays. Tickets range from $39 for general seating to $125 for gold circle seating, which includes VIP entrance, backstage sound check, meet and greet after show, front and center seating, an autographed photo, a special gift, and more.
Benise performs at 8:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets range from $39 for general seating to $125 for the ultimate fan experience, which includes VIP entrance, a dance lesson with professional dance cast member, backstage sound check, front and center seating, meet and greet, photos with Benise and the cast, plus an autographed CD and more.
In addition, Maui Theatre will present “Back To Back,” a special double show matinee of “You Got It!” and “Benise” at 2 p.m. on Mondays. Tickets range from $39 to $125. Maui Theatre is also home to ” ‘Ulalena,” which continues at 6:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. For tickets or more information to any Maui Theatre show, call 856-7900.