Subtlety shines in Lahaina
Scheideman’s ‘Old Man and the Sea’ a strong show
The September theater lull has certainly subsided as nine productions will now be in performance over the next five weeks. On Sunday, I attended the Hawaii premiere of Rick Scheideman’s “The Old Man and the Sea,” adapted from the Ernest Hemingway novel specifically for him by Alice Longaker. Although reasonably shorter than his previous one-man shows, “The Old Man and the Sea” is twice as compelling.
Equally entertaining is Scheideman’s introduction, greeting the audience as the actor and discussing how he becomes a new character while seated in front of a mirror and applying makeup, a moustache and a goatee. Finally he adopts a Cuban accent, and after a brief lighting shift, the play begins.
The simplicity of the production is its greatest strength. A small stage in the shape of a skiff with a mast comprises the entire set with the only props being a few rags. In his discussion, Scheideman proposed that an audience always wants to believe, but it can take a lifetime for an actor to behave believably without seeming disingenuous.
The subtle choices that Scheideman makes as Santiago, the old fisherman who battles a marlin for two days, are the most captivating moments of his performance — a faraway stare out to the leaping fish, the dismayed expression of approaching sharks and a small sleight of hand trick as a bloody cloth appears to convey a cut palm. At the post-show talkback an audience member even said that she kept turning around to see the fish he was looking at.
Of all Scheideman’s one-man performances on Maui over the years, his portrayal of Santiago is the most captivating to date, and with a running time of just over one hour “The Old Man and the Sea” makes for a perfect early Sunday night outing.
ALSO THIS WEEKEND
ONO!, “one night only,” returns with a performance by the Maui Community Band under the direction of Lisa Owen.
* The performance will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Historic Iao Theater in Wailuku. The free ONO! productions happen every second Monday of the month.
Rose/Oxborrow Productions in conjunction with ProArts Inc. will present the Maui premiere of “The House of Yes” by Wendy MacLeod, directed by Jim Oxborrow. During a stormy Thanksgiving night in 1983, Marty (John Williams), brings Lesly (Patty Sylva), his fiancee, to meet his eccentric family, the Pascals. The engagement is seen as a threat to his sister Jackie-O (Hoku Pavao), who has recently been released from a mental hospital.
* Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and at 3 p.m. Sundays from Oct. 14 to 30 at the ProArts Playhouse in Kihei. Due to the adult nature of this dark comedy, it may not be appropriate for children. Tickets are $25 and available online at www.houseofyes.yapsody.com.
Maui OnStage Youth Theater presents Disney’s “Peter Pan Jr.”
* Performances will be at 11 a.m. Oct. 22 and 29 and at 1 p.m. Oct. 23 and 30 at the Historic Iao Theater. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for youths and are available by calling 242-6969 or online at www.mauionstage.com.