Backstage

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 ...

The many faces of . . . David Kaye

“I could have gone to Maui, instead I went into a battle zone,” said David Kaye, a faculty member of the department of theater and dance at the University of New Hampshire since 1996. In 2011, Kaye was approached by Maui OnStage to direct its spring production of “Taming of the ...

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 ...