When I caught up with Kathleen Schulz last week, she was doing the laundry from Maui Academy of Performing Arts' recent production of "The Grapes of Wrath."
That's in between rehearsals for ProArts' upcoming production of "Cinderella," MAPA's Sum'R Musical Theatre Camp's production of "Mulan," and of course - MAPA's Spring Extravaganza, which opens next weekend with four shows.
"I don't know what I was thinking!" Schulz laughs about her full calendar. MAPA's director of dance and costumer extraordinaire is a busy woman, but she takes it all in stride. After all, "we are a performing arts academy, not just a dance school," she says. "We have to give these kids an opportunity to perform; that's what they love."
Photo courtesy of Maui Academy of Performing Arts
Maui Academy of Performing Arts ballet students will present the enchanting ballet “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the MACC’s Castle Theater on Sunday, May 24, as part of the group’s two-day Spring Extravaganza.
Every one of MAPA's 35 dance classes will perform in the two-day Extravaganza at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center's Castle Theater: hundreds of Maui dancers, from 3-year-olds to adults. Regular attendees of the annual event know that Saturday is usually the Jazz, Tap & Hip-Hop Revue; Sunday is the ballet (this year, "A Midsummer Night's Dream"). But this year, MAPA has thrown in something new: "Moves," a dance concert on both evenings, featuring the academy's top dancers and performance groups.
The new show fills in where "Pieces XXV" left off in 2007. MAPA discontinued the popular annual dance concert when the newly shortened school summer led to smaller participant and audience numbers, and staging the Extravaganza and "Pieces" so close together every spring began to feel like "we were competing with ourselves," Schulz says.
"This year, the kids just missed 'Pieces' so muchwe said, 'Why don't we work on a concert at the same time as we're working on the Extravaganza - we'll pull the costumes together, the teachers, the choreography at the same time?' Doing it on the same weekend (at the MACC) makes it cost-effective."
As for the dancers, "we picked the best of the best; the kids with the most experience and at the highest level for their age group to do a special dance concert very, very much like 'Pieces,' " Schulz says. "We felt there was a need for this high-level concert type of dance."
That makes a very demanding schedule for some of these kids, with back-to-back rehearsals day after day. Fortunately, they've got the stamina - and there's nothing they'd rather be doing. And for some of the graduating seniors, it's their last chance to really shine. This year's outstanding seniors include twins Moani and Leilani Ichinose, who play Helena and Hermia in "A Midsummer Night's Dream"; and MAPA teacher Katie Talbot, who plays Titania.
The ballet promises to be enchanting, especially with Schulz's dreamy costumes. (Picture lots of fairies and butterflies, wearing soft and flowy things in pastels like peach, lavender, tangerine and aqua )
With four amazing dance shows on one weekend, where to begin?
"If you really enjoy watching the babies and beginners, come to the revue," Schulz says. "If you want to see the best MAPA has to offer, the cream of the crop, then that would be 'Moves.' Many people just want to see the ballet, and some people want to see it all So there are options for everyone!"
* MAPA's Spring Extravaganza is Saturday and Sunday, May 23 and 24 at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center's Castle Theater. The Jazz, Tap & Hip Hop Revue is at 3 p.m. Saturday; and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is at 3 p.m. Sunday. MAPA's new "Moves" dance concert is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets for the matinees are $12; tickets for "Moves" are $15 for adults, $12 for kids 12 and younger.
As the school year winds down, St. Anthony Junior Senior High School will celebrate its graduating seniors at the "Second Annual Blue and Gold Variety Show" at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Virginia Sandell directs this "old school" event, featuring dancers, singers, music and comedy acts from faculty and staff, held outdoors in the school's science quad. Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and students. For more information, contact Sandell at email@example.com.
"Death by Dessert" wraps up this weekend at the Baldwin High School Loudon Mini-Theatre. The comedic mystery play starts with a dead man - the landlord of the building where two fueding families, the Donnaducces and Duccedonnis, have competing Italian restaurants in New York's Little Italy. Everyone is a murder suspect: the waiters, the chefs, the mafia don grandfather, even the old-world Italian grandmother. As restaurant customers, audience members must cast their vote for "whodunnit." The show is a fundraiser for the Thespians' Broadway trip this June. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens, $6 for students (17 and younger); available at the door 45 minutes before showtime or through any cast member.
Last weekend to catch the six amazing women of "Steel Magnolias" at the Historic Iao Theater. Annelle (Sharleen Lagattuta), Truvy (Kristi Scott), Ouiser (Marianne Vasquez), Miss Clairee (Jeanette Rucci), M'Lynn (Kelly Schroeder) and Shelby (Arielle Lehua Simon) share laughter, tears and Southern charm at Truvy's beauty salon. Based on a real-life story of a family's struggle with diabetes, "Steel Magnolias" shares the reality and the dangers of Type 1 diabetes in a compassionate - and very funny - way. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for students and seniors, $15 for Sunday matinee; available at If the Shoe Fits in Wailuku and Lava Java in Kihei, and online at www.mauionstage.com. Maui OnStage offers a Dinner Theater Package on Friday and Saturday at Caf O'Lei, featuring a three-course dinner plus admission for $40 per person. Reservations must be made in advance by calling 244-8680.
More than 80 chanters will add their voices to "Art of the Chanter" at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, at the MACC's Castle Theater. Keali'i Reichel directs this historic program, which shares oli by kumu hula and Hawaiian practitioners, including chants recently rediscovered in Hawaiian language newspapers. One of the evening's highlights will be students in grades 3 through 5 in Paia School's Hawaiian Language Immersion program performing the first section of the Kumulipo creation chant. Tickets are $12 to $40, half-price for kids 12 and younger, plus applicable fees, available at the MACC box office, 242-7469 or online at www.mauiarts.org.
Tap artist Chloe Arnold, an internationally recognized teacher, performer and choreographer and co-director of the Los Angeles Tap Festival, will teach tap dance classes for all levels on Saturday at Kula Underground, and on Sunday at the MACC's Omori Studio A. For more information, call 878-1482 or visit www.MauiTapExperience.org.
Visiting world-class tango artists Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo will lead a Grand Milonga from 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday at the Studio Maui in Haiku. Many other tango workshops and events continue throughout the weekend with La Practica Tango Argentino. For more information, visit lapracti catango.blogspot.com.