Backstage

School plays, talent for days

One hundred years ago, glow-in-the-dark wristwatches were all the rage — “Made possible by the magic of radium,” bragged one advertisement. Next weekend, Seabury Hall Performing Arts opens Melanie Marnich’s “These Shining Lives,” based on the real-life catastrophe of the factory ...

‘Mana Wahine’

In July of 2013, I featured the touring performance of “KAHA” presented by Atamira Dance Company in Maui Scene’s Backstage. The New Zealand contemporary dance company shared stories of their whakapapa (defined as “the genealogical descent of all living things from the gods to the ...

‘Wild Birds’ lands at McCoy Studio Theater at the MACC

‘Wild Birds’ is a wonderful example of just how powerful and thought-provoking a piece of theater can be, according to Donna Blanchard, executive director of Kumu Kahua Theatre on Oahu. For 47 seasons, since the outset of the 1970’s Hawaiian cultural renaissance and well before the Maui ...

There’s a bounty of talent in ProArt’s ‘The Trip to Bountiful’

When you crave a specific regional cuisine, you can probably find an adequate version at a chain restaurant or grocery store. Although the meal is enjoyable, it often falls short of satisfaction. Maui theater always offers respectable productions, but once or twice each season ideal ingredients ...

Hop on the bus to … ‘Bountiful’

The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Horton Foote (“The Young Man From Atlanta,” 1995), frequently wrote about small southern towns similar to the one of his birth: Wharton, Texas. Although “The Trip to Bountiful” was a critically acclaimed Broadway hit and a Tony Award-winning ...

Marathon weekend of performing arts

In 1948, theater critic Robert Kemp reviewed several “semi-official” shows that had crashed the arts and cultural festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. Kemp added a page-two supplement in his weekly column with the header “Round the Fringe.” The name stuck and in the coming decades the ...

The curtain rises on Maui’s theater season

In October of 2016, local actor and dramatic coach Robert Angelo presented his solo-show production of “Clarence Darrow” at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului. This weekend he will be reviving that production at the intimate ProArts Playhouse in Kihei. When I last interviewed ...

Theater options overflow

As jam-packed as 2017 was with live theatrical events, 2018 is shaping up to be even busier. The next four weeks will offer more than a dozen local and touring performances, but that’s nothing compared to the eight Maui-produced plays scheduled for March. Five youth theater productions will ...

Bravo!!

Show business traditionally takes a holiday at the end of the year, and a lot of show people holiday on Maui. Because local stages are relatively dark this time of the year, I borrowed an idea of former Backstage columnist Sky Barnhart from 2011. It has become one of my favorite columns to ...

Ringing in New Year

Just as Bill Maher has made it a tradition to perform on Maui every New Year’s Day for the past six years, interviewing him over the holidays has become a personal tradition and a conversation I thoroughly enjoy. I asked him if there was anything his fans would be surprised to find out ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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.” ...

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 ...