Backstage

Season Preview

A new theater season is beginning on Broadway, yet "Hamilton" remains the toast of the town with sold-out houses deep into 2017 and tickets running well over $1,000 apiece.A few of the anticipated new Broadway shows for 2016-17 include revivals of "The Front Page" starring Nathan Lane and John ...

Free Range Comedy

In Chicago in the late 1920s, Viola Spolin developed a new approach to teaching acting to young people based on the idea that they would enjoy learning the craft if it were presented as a series of games.Thirty years later, her son, Paul Sills, built on his mother's work as the driving force in ...

‘12 Angry Jurors’: Fresh approaches used to tackle dicey topics

The early summer shows on Maui delivered unbridled silliness and rampant hilarity. Moving into the dog days of summer, a shift toward weighty theater is now in play.In "12 Angry Jurors," it's late in the afternoon on a swelteringly hot August day in the mid-1950s. The jurors, five women and ...

In ‘Jekyll & Hyde,’ dark themes reign

Two distinct motifs have emerged in musicals on Broadway over the past half century. One genre is the lighter American musical-comedy, mostly attributed to the 1950s and '60s, which re-emerged in the late 1990s, and the other is rooted in European opera, such as the massive 1980s hits like ...

ProArts Inc. presents: ‘12 Angry Jurors’

"Twelve Angry Men" began as a low-budget teleplay written by Reginald Rose for the live anthology series "Westinghouse Studio One" in 1954. Three years later, it became the classic Sidney Lumet film known by many, "12 Angry Men," with its all-star cast of Martin Balsam, John Fiedler, Lee J. ...

MAPA Live! presents ‘Jekyll & Hyde’

Novelist Robert Louis Stevenson was awakened by his wife, Fanny, from a nightmare in September of 1885. He replied angrily, "Why did you wake me? I was dreaming a fine bogey tale." Years later, his stepson chronicled that "Louis came downstairs in a fever, read nearly half the book aloud, and ...

Youths dazzle in Maui shows

The apparent theme of youth theater this summer is raising the bar considerably.With Theatre Theatre Maui's "Shrek: The Musical Jr.," designer and technical director Annabehl Sinclair-Delaney appears to be the catalyst. From set design to scene painting, to costumes and props, "Shrek" is ...

Large-scale production of ‘Spamalot’ brings large-scale laughs

The moment Jerry Eiting as King Arthur pantomimes the classic "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" horse riding, followed by Ally Shore as Patsy mimicking the clopping of hooves with coconut shells, instant applause arose. Eiting and Shore are brilliant in their roles, delivering nonstop laughs ...

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 ...