Backstage

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 ...

Classic Greek tragedy ‘Medea’ still relevant

In his director’s notes in the “Medea” program Vinnie Linares offers, “Euripides skillfully uses the myth of Medea to substantially challenge the notion of harmony and balance — wanting, I believe, to have his audience leave somewhat perplexed, questioning the strong notions of right ...

Texas roots not required

While in college, my drama professor and theater mentor, Donna J. Sparks, instructed me that I would learn more about theater by going to one play a week than I would ever learn in a text book. She also promised her students that if we brought in a ticket stub every Monday morning to prove that ...

Hot times and cool theaters

June will be busting out with classical, artistic activity at Seabury Hall’s ‘A‘ali‘ikuhonua Creative Arts Center in Makawao. Next Saturday Vinnie Linares’ Oh Boy Productions begins a four-show series of classic plays starting with the Greek tragedy “Medea” by Euripides. ...

Summer theater is hot

In past summers theatrical events have been sparse on Maui, prompting myself and previous Backstage columnists to write profiles on local performers when few, if any, shows were running. The 2016-17 season has seen more productions than ever before on Maui with no end in sight as eight local ...

A fresh take on ‘West Side Story’

Just after World War II, choreographer-director Jerome Robbins approached composer Leonard Bernstein and writer Arthur Laurents about collaborating on a contemporary musical based on “Romeo and Juliet.” Robbins suggested changing the classic love tragedy to focus upon an Irish-Catholic ...

Trevor Noah

One of the biggest cliches in stand-up is “timing is everything,” a quote originally attributed to William Shakespeare. In the case of South African-born comedian Trevor Noah, a different type of timing has led to his immense success. Noah has hosted Comedy Central’s Emmy and Peabody ...

Dance blooms this spring

Just as Seabury Hall hosts “Dance Showcase” annually, Maui Academy of Performing Arts showcases more than 400 dancers each May in the Castle Theater at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Kahului with its “Spring Extravaganza.” Three shows to be performed this weekend will star ...