Backstage

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 ...

‘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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

‘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 ...

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 ...

‘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 ...

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 ...

Classic tale of love and acceptance

In classic literature very few works have had as many liberties taken in adaptation as Victor Hugo’s “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.” Since its first recognizable film, the 1923 silent version starring Lon Chaney, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” has been continually watered-down in an ...

Happy 89th birthday to a ‘Grand Old Dame’

“Three guys went into a bar . . .” That may sound like the setup of a joke, but that is exactly how the Historic Iao Theater in Wailuku, which celebrates its 89th birthday this month, got started. Manuel G. Paschoal, H. B. “Sam” Weller and T. B. Lyons were all members of the Knights ...

Masters of their trade

Community theater on Maui simply could not exist if not for the army of carpenters, costumers, hair and makeup designers and the jack-of-all-trade artists behind the scenes. Theatergoers might be surprised to learn that nearly all of these individuals are volunteers and may wonder why anyone ...

Maui youth theater shines

Three Maui youth theater camps presented musical productions last weekend and each company enjoyed its own distinct style. The Maui Academy of Performing Arts can pride itself on presenting the most professional and luxurious production with “Disney’s Mulan Jr.” at Seabury Hall ...

Disney theater popular summer fare

In the early 1960s, a trumpet player named Ron Logan was hired to play for the Dixieland Band at Disneyland. Thirty years later he had risen to become an executive in the Disney organization and founded Walt Disney Theatrical. He had the idea to bring staged adapted musicals of Disney animated ...

‘9 to 5 The Musical’ great ending to season of premieres

Set in the late 1970s, “9 to 5 The Musical” gets off to a scintillating start with its well-known title track and transitions wonderfully into “Around Here.” In this introductory number we meet Violet Newstead, an inspired interpretation by Lina Aiko Krueger, and Judy Bernly (Kathryn ...

‘Sesame Street Live!’

There are well over 7 billion people in the world and I’m guessing that if half of us sang “Sunny day, sweeping the clouds away. On my way to where the air is sweet,” most of the other half could reply, “Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?” The American PBS ...

What a way to make a living

Nine years ago I began reading about Dolly Parton’s musical adaptation of “9 to 5” in “Variety.” The ongoing stories offered mixed reviews of its tryouts in Los Angeles, praising its stars Stephanie J. Block, Allison Janney and Megan Hilty, but suggesting the show was too long and not ...

Grace, beauty and style

June has proven to be a cornucopia of the arts on Maui ranging from vanguard films, to Greek drama, Texas comedy, European cabaret and contemporary American dance. On Friday night I attended Adaptations Dance Theater’s “Bring It Home” at Seabury Hall’s exquisite ‘A‘ali‘ikuhonua ...

Bringing them home

“I love thinking about beginnings,” said the co-founder of Adaptations Dance Theater, Hallie Hunt, when asked how ADT began in 2012. “If I fall back in memory to the first moments that ADT began formation, I remember wanting to continue my professional dance career as a performing ...

‘Red, White and Tuna’ has Texas wit, charm

In “Red, White and Tuna” while playing Didi Snavely, the proprietor of Didi’s Used Weapons, John Williams offers these sage words — “If you can’t get shot in a small town in Texas you’re not trying very hard.” The comedy of “Red, White and Tuna” requires great character ...