Backstage

Maui OnStage serving up ‘Spamalot’

In 2004, Eric Idle announced in a press release that Monty Python was coming to Broadway in the form of a new musical, stating, "Lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail,' 'Spamalot' retells the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, ...

Wayne Brady is BIG on Improv

"It's what I have always done," said three-time Emmy Award winner Wayne Brady when asked why he had a passion for musical theater. Brady just completed a run as Lola in the Tony Award-winning "Kinky Boots" in March."A plumber doesn't have a passion for being a plumber; it's what they do well. I ...

ProArts offers finest farce to date in ‘Don’t Dress for Dinner’

Stage farce is a cousin of sorts to the sitcom. Despite well-known casts and clever premises, most sitcoms fail. The ones that do succeed seem to have accidently tapped into a perfect combination of character actors that display an instant, easy chemistry, usually with one previously unknown ...

The power of Suggestion

In 1953, sexologist Alfred Kinsey released his study "Sexual Behavior in the Human Female," and Hugh Hefner launched Playboy magazine. Hefner had liquidated everything he owned and borrowed $1,000 from his mother to fund the inaugural issue.It featured 1949 nude calendar shots of Marilyn Monroe ...

Evolution of a dance company

Since their debut almost four years ago at the opening of Seabury Hall's 'A'ali'ikuhonua Creative Arts Center, to their seminal piece, "Adaptations," presented at the Maui Fringe Theater Festival, Adaptations Dance Theater has always impressed me as the equal of a contemporary dance company ...

Masterful moments

Four years ago, I began honoring Maui actors at Tony time with what a colleague of mine has dubbed "my imaginary Tonys." On Sunday, the American Theatre Wing will honor Broadway's best at the 70th annual Tony Awards, however, a considerable amount of suspense will not be present this year in ...

Alexander Academy takes dancers through ‘Adventures in Wonderland’

Just as each local theater company has its own unique personality and style, so do the many local dance companies. The Alexander Academy of Performing Arts has been flying under the radar for decades with a priority to serve the lower economic community.Amelia Couture, artistic director for ...

Making Maui Shine

For the past few weeks, I've shared ongoing conversations with artistic creators on their craft and contribution to Maui's burgeoning performing arts scene. Long revered institutions are essential in making live entertainment significant on Maui, but it is the constant influx of talent that ...

‘Side Shows’ a chance to shine

"It's a farce that is way over the top," said "Breaking the Chain" director Vinnie Linares of one of the many short one-act plays to be performed this weekend at Seabury Hall Performing Arts' annual "Side Shows.""Even though this is the 21st year of doing this one-act festival, we still have ...

Acting theoretics

In island life, we like to believe that our art and music scene, the culinary world and our theater is an adjunct of metropolitan art or Broadway. It isn't, but Broadway shows such as the multi-Tony Award-nominated phenomenon "Hamilton" evolve from off-Broadway venues before achieving ...

SEASON TO MOVE

With theater productions considerably sparse over the next two months, dance now grabs the spotlight with several upcoming weekends of performances ranging from contemporary to classical and starring Maui's most aspiring and most experienced.Over the past two weekends, I have witnessed the ...

Still Smokin’

"It's a part of our DNA," Cheech Marin replied. I had asked why the great comedy teams like Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, and Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis never reunited, but he and partner Tommy Chong did. "We were apart for so long, but when we decided to work together again, 20 years felt like 20 ...

Top-notch actors wow in ‘Inherit the Wind’ drama

On several occasions, I have mentioned that any performing arts company that would choose to present my preferred style of theater on a regular basis would eventually go out of business. There will be no long lines to witness the courtroom drama "Inherit the Wind," yet it is beyond a doubt the ...

‘Inherit the Wind’ blows into Iao

On July 10, 1925, the trial of John Thomas Scopes began. The football coach and substitute science teacher had confessed to teaching Charles Darwin's theory of evolution at a Dayton, Tenn., public high school, a violation of the Butler Act. Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee's play "Inherit ...

ProArts’ ‘The Nerd’ delivers superb pace, sustained laughs

One's sense of humor, like politics, is individualistic. On Oahu, Trey Parker and Matt Stone are offering one sense of humor with "The Book of Mormon" that could be considered offensive, while on Maui, ProArts Inc. is presenting Larry Shue's considerably more genial "The Nerd."Written more than ...

KKHS brings nostalgia to Maui

At King Kekaulike High School's "Bye Bye Birdie" performances last spring, baby boomers must have felt some nostalgia. Much of the original success of their upcoming production, "The Music Man," was a result of nostalgia. Meredith Willson's musical is set in fictional River City, Iowa, during ...

An unstoppable farce

In 1985, 39-year-old up-and-coming playwright and actor Larry Shue was on the verge of superstardom. His latest farce, "The Nerd," was a hit on London's West End while "The Foreigner" ran on Broadway.In addition to penning the scripts, Shue frequently performed in his plays, sometimes ...

No hold barred: ‘The Book of Mormon’ coming to Oahu

At the beginning of the 21st century, Broadway was stagnant. A handful of popular revivals like "Chicago" and "Cabaret" kept several theaters full, but original mega-hits like "Rent" were rare and reasonably out-of-date by 2000. Mel Brooks changed all that in 2001 with "The Producers," ...

Bolstered by Broadway

Between a stellar performance by the cast of "Jersey Boys" at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center last Friday, "Wicked" star Megan Hilty in concert this weekend, sold-out houses for "Guys and Dolls," and the upcoming gala benefits of the Maui Academy of Performing Arts and Maui OnStage, ...

‘Master of a throwaway line’ … Wendy Liebman

"I've been doing stand-up for 30 years," shared Wendy Liebman by phone last week. Like frequent Maui visitor Brian Regan, she may not be a household name, but is certainly a familiar face from her numerous appearances alongside Johnny Carson, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy ...