Backstage

‘Mary Poppins’ swoops in to Iao Theater

Over 20 years ago, Cameron Mackintosh (“Les Miserables,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Miss Saigon,” “Cats”) approached the author of “Mary Poppins,” P.L. Travers, about developing a stage version of the 1964 Walt Disney film. Travers, fiercely loyal to her books, initially ...

One man one legacy

Burt Reynolds once said that when he was a football player at Florida State University, he would have rather had the chance to play the role of football legend Jim Thorpe in the film “Jim Thorpe All-American” than become a famous athlete. Thorpe, a Native American from Carlisle Indian ...

Dance Maui

In its second year, Dance Maui has already seen an increase in participation and support, with 15 professional dance organizations and student groups taking the stage in back-to-back performances. “Maui is a hub for cultural diversity in every aspect of life, and as a professional dance ...

‘Sister Act: A Divine Musical Comedy’

At the 2011 Tony Awards, Whoopi Goldberg made an appearance to introduce “Sister Act: A Divine Musical Comedy.” She joked about musical versions of her other hit films, naming “The Color Purple,” “Sister Act” and “Ghost” — “They’re all coming,” she said. Next season, her ...

“I was looking for a show that had a flexible cast and flexible set requirements. I graduated several seniors last year and was not sure who would come out for the show this year,” said Kamehameha Schools Maui drama instructor Camille Romero. Romero has a knack for finding unknown modern ...

Legally bold

In April, I shared a great deal of history in regards to Clarence Darrow and the trial of John Scopes. Darrow was nicknamed “the attorney of the damned,” and a great adversary of the death penalty. The accounts of his larger-than-life courtroom trials made national front page news and ...

Dark secrets revealed in ‘House of Yes’

A few years ago, a frequent reader of Backstage emailed me. The reader had disagreed with my opinion of a show and asked, “You like dark topics, don’t you?” My answer was, “Yes.” “The House of Yes” is a very dark piece that offers a fly-on-the-wall vantage point of a disturbed and ...

Daringly dark

In the Police song “Born in the ’50s,” Sting sings, “My mother cried when President Kennedy died.” I wasn’t born yet but clearly remember both of my parents sharing how that day changed their lives, and mentality, on the 20th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination in November of ...

Subtlety shines in Lahaina

The September theater lull has certainly subsided as nine productions will now be in performance over the next five weeks. On Sunday, I attended the Hawaii premiere of Rick Scheideman’s “The Old Man and the Sea,” adapted from the Ernest Hemingway novel specifically for him by Alice ...

Farewell to a talented friend of theater on Maui

The first time I met Jonathan Lehman was in the Maui Academy of Performing Arts production of “The Music Man” in 2008. I took notice of his script binder labeled with his name and a “Music Man” graphic that he had obviously printed himself. This was an organized, detail-oriented ...

With its feverish pace and complex choreography, Maui OnStage’s “Boeing Boeing” may be physical comedy at its best. Things definitely get physical in this production of Marc Camoletti’s classic farce about Bernard, an American architect living in 1960s Paris, who has three secret ...

‘Boeing Boeing’ guarantees high-flying comedy

"Drink up, it's going to be a bumpy night." These words, uttered by the long-suffering French housekeeper Berthe, sum up the premise of Marc Camoletti's classic farce, "Boeing Boeing," which lands at the Historic Iao Theater in Wailuku on Friday.Maui OnStage will present the Maui premiere of ...

‘The Old Man and the Sea’

Within the literary world of the 1920s and '30s, Ernest Hemingway was a rock star, and a king amongst the Parisian "Lost Generation" community comprised of Sylvia Beach, Aaron Copland, Isadora Duncan, T. S. Eliot, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, George Gershwin, Aldous Huxley, James ...

Reminder of the past

As a history buff, I can't help seeing political similarities from century to century. From 1861 to 1933 only three Democrats occupied the White House totaling 19 years. One was President Grover Cleveland.Cleveland was one of the few bachelor president in addition to being the only president ...

For the love of theater

Many Maui theatergoers are surprised to discover that nearly everyone in community theater is a volunteer. The follow-up question is always why anyone would donate hundreds of hours of their time annually. The best analogy I can offer is that very few surfers and golfers get paid, yet there are ...

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. ...