Summer theater is hot

Audiences have their pick this year

BRETT WULFSON photo

In past summers theatrical events have been sparse on Maui, prompting myself and previous Backstage columnists to write profiles on local performers when few, if any, shows were running.

The 2016-17 season has seen more productions than ever before on Maui with no end in sight as eight local musicals, plays and dance performances are scheduled to open over the next two months. With a bevy of options for lovers of music, dance, comedy and keiki shows, a first-ever summer theater guide seemed in order this week.

Though still struggling to find a permanent home since its sudden eviction from the Old Kula Community Center, Upcountry’s Alexander Academy Performing Company will present its annual ballet, “Once Upon A Time: Storybook Dances,” next weekend. This year’s recital will showcase over 150 student dancers ages 3 to adult. The Alexander Academy faculty’s original choreography will recreate storybook tales such as Thumbelina, Peter Pan and Harry Potter.

“This end-of-season production is the highlight of the year for our dancers and we are proud of what we showcase and thankful for the support we receive from our audiences,” said Executive Director Danelle Watson.

* Performances are at 2 and 6 p.m. June 3 and at 2 p.m. June 4 at the ‘A’ali’ikuhonua Creative Arts Center on the Seabury Hall campus in Makawao. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children (ages 2 through 12 years), and VIP seats for $25 adults, $18 for children. Call (800) 838-3006 or visit online at www.storybookdances.brownpapertickets.com. For more information, visit www.alexanderacademy.info.

CHELSEA FINE photo

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Oh Boy Productions, in collaboration with Seabury Hall Performing Arts, is embarking on a bold theatrical venture, presenting a series of classical plays over the next two seasons.

First up is “Medea” by Euripides, directed by Vinnie Linares. This ancient Greek tragedy of unbridled passion clearly illustrates that there is a very thin line between love and hate. The multi-generational cast will include Jennifer Rose in the title role, Todd Van Amburgh, Kalan Birnie, Dale Button, Carol Lem, William Makozak, Danann Mitchell, Jim Oxborrow, Camille Romero, Barbara Sedano and Kalani Whitford.

* Performances are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays beginning June 10 through 18 at the ‘A’ali’ikuhonua Creative Arts Center on the Seabury Hall campus in Makawao. Tickets are $20 at the door only.

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AJJA DESHAYNE photo

The following week ProArts presents its first summer production, “Red, White and Tuna,” by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard, directed by Victoria McGee. William Hubbard and John Williams play the entire population of Tuna, the third smallest town in Texas, in the sequel to “Greater Tuna,” where the Lions Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies.

* Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays opening Friday, June 16, through July 2 (no performance on Sunday, June 18) at the ProArts Playhouse in Kihei. Tickets are $26 and are available by phone at 463-6550 or online at ww.proartsmaui.com.

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In late June, Adaptations Dance Theater presents its second annual dance concert bringing home dancers and choreographers with Hawaiian ties as part of its mission to create a home for professional dance on Maui. “Bring it Home” features guest choreographers and dancers Nathaniel Hunt of Ballet Hispanico and Ali McKeon of Menlowe Ballet, along with ADT resident choreographers and dancers Hallie Hunt and Amelia Couture.

An opening night gala will be held at 6:30 p.m. on June 23. Tickets include drinks, pupus and the opportunity to mingle with the artists before and after their performance.

Tara Pandeya is one of the featured performers in this weekend’s East Meets West Festival at the Historic Iao Theater. Photo courtesy the artist

* Performances are at 7:30 p.m. June 23 and 24 at the ‘A’ali’ikuhonua Creative Arts Center on the Seabury Hall campus. Tickets to the Opening Night Gala are $55 for adults, $25 for age 21 and under. Regular tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for children (age 12 and under). For tickets or more information, visit www.adaptationsdancetheater.com.

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In July Maui OnStage presents the Maui premiere of Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5: The Musical,” directed and choreographed by Kalani Whitford. This 2009 Tony-nominated Broadway musical-comedy is based on the 1980 film which starred Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.

* Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 3 p.m. Sundays July 14 through Aug. 6 at the Historic Iao Theater in Wailuku. Tickets range from $20 to $40. For tickets call 242-6969 or order online at www.mauionstage.com.

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There are several keiki options on Maui in July including “Sesame Street Live: Elmo Makes Music.” When the new music teacher’s instruments go missing, Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Big Bird, and more come to the rescue and discover instruments they never knew existed. Children learn that everyone can make and enjoy beautiful music together.

* 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 Castle Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului. Tickets range from $15 to $75 (plus applicable fees). For tickets visit the box office, call 242-7469 or order online at www.mauiarts. org.

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That same weekend Lahaina’s Theatre Theatre Maui presents “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr.,” directed by Kristi Scott.

* Performances are at 7 p.m. July 20 to 22 and 2 p.m. July 23 at the Westin Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali. Tickets are $12 for adults, $7 for children under 12 and are available at the door or in advance at Lahaina Music. For more information, contact Theatre Theatre Maui at 661-1168 or visit www.ttmwest.org.

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The Maui Academy of Performing Arts presents “Disney’s Mulan Jr.”

* Performances are 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays July 21 through July 30 in the ‘A’ali’ikuhonua Creative Arts Center on the Seabury Hall campus in Makawao. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for children. There are also general admission tickets available at $15 for adults, $12 for children. For tickets or more information, visit www.mauiacademy.org.

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Maui OnStage Youth Theater presents “Willy Wonka Jr.”

* Performances are at 11 a.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m. Sundays, July 22 through July 30 at the Historic Iao Theater. Tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for children. Call 242-6969 or order online at www.mauionstage.com.

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Comedian Rita Rudner is headed back to Maui.

“I just love the McCoy because everyone is right there and I can see their faces and connect with them,” said Rudner in January.

Rudner’s comedy career has led to a 14-year Las Vegas run making her show the longest-running solo comedy show in the history of Las Vegas. Rudner has also been named Las Vegas Comedian of the Year for nine consecutive years.

* Performance at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 28, in the McCoy Studio Theater at the MACC. Tickets range from $40 to $65 (plus applicable fees). For tickets visit the box office, call 242-7469 or order online at www.mauiarts.org.

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In August, MAPA Live! presents its annual Castle Theater musical spectacle “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” with music by Alan Menken (“Beauty and the Beast”), and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (“Wicked”), based on the Victor Hugo novel, directed by David C. Johnston.

* Performances are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays Aug. 25 through Sept. 3 in Castle Theater at the MACC. Tickets range from $15 to $75 (plus applicable fees) and will be available soon online at www.mauiarts.org. For more information, visit www.mauiacademy.org.

This week

Jazz Maui and the Arts Education for Children Group present the East Meets West Festival at the Historic Iao Theater in Wailuku Saturday and Sunday evening featuring professional jazz fusion and dance artists.

Headlining both nights is Ictus, an instrumental jazz fusion ensemble from Spokane, Wash.

The dance programs feature Chinese traditional opera movement performed by dancer and choreographer Billy Chang of Taiwan, and dance from central Asian Silk Road countries performed by dancer and choreographer Tara Pandeya. Chang and Pandeya performed together from 2010 to 2015 in Cirque du Soleil’s “Dralion.”

Hawaii’s Angel Prince and Toni Pasion perform contemporary dances influenced by South America, the Philippines and Hawaii on Saturday evening. Maui dancers Sarala Dandekar and Akari Ueoka perform Odissi from India, and Izanai Yosakoi, a traditional dance from Japan on Sunday evening.

* Performances are at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Historic Iao Theater. Tickets range from $15 to $25 and are available by calling 242-6969 or online at www.mauionstage. com. For more information, visit www.jazzmaui.org.

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