What would you think if one early evening, say around 5-ish, I knocked on your door, walked into your living room and said, "Turn off that TV! Get off that computer! Get dressed! We're going to the theater!!"
It's a little fantasy of mine. Don't worry. I realize you'd probably kick me out on my keister, but I really, really want you to get to Baldwin High School and the Historic Iao Theater this weekend to check out two very different, extremely engaging productions: Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" and the rock musical "Godspell."
In "The Crucible," Arthur Miller uses the Salem Witch trials as the basis of his cautionary tale about the dangers of gossip, religious hysteria, repression and ideological persecution. At its center stands John Proctor: respected farmer, family man, adulterer.
LINDA CARNEVALE photo
Chris Komatsu plays John Proctor and Janolan Endrina is Abby Williams in Baldwin High School’s “The Crucible.”
His spurned young paramour Abigail Williams is more than a bit miffed he's no longer her lover. When she and her teenage friends from the staunchly Puritan village cavort in the woods with Tituba, a voodoo-practicing slave from Barbados, charges of witchcraft begin circulating. Innocent heads roll.
Chris Komatsu gives the role of Proctor all he's got and it works. He and Kendra Carter, who plays his stoic, emotionally-wounded wife, Elizabeth, embody their roles completely. When Elizabeth's hand wavers as she reaches out to touch her fallen husband, the audience feels her torment; we witness the long, painful journey which has led to the pregnant moment in Carter's silent, quivering countenance. Chris Komatsu's older brother returns to his alma mater to share the stage with his sibling and their father, the Rev. Michael Komatsu, who plays Judge Hathorn. Talent obviously runs in the family.
Linda Carnevale has assembled a committed, passionate cast and together they've created a riveting, intelligent production of Miller's classic work.
* "The Crucible" plays at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday in Baldwin's atmospheric Loudon Mini-Theater. Refreshments are brought right to your table and proceeds benefit the program. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 seniors, $6 students 17 and younger and are available at the box office 45 minutes before the show.
Maui OnStage's witty, whimsical "Godspell" bursts with life. Director Alexis Descoulias plays with the invisible wall dividing the audience from the action onstage and it's a good thing-the music, the humor and the message of the production make the audience want to be a part of it.
"Godspell" tells the story of the adult life and teachings of Jesus Christ, but it's as much about his disciples and the community they create together. Tommy Labanaris' Jesus exudes goodwill and compassion, but we also see the concern and conflict rippling beneath the surface. What everyone really loves about "Godspell" is its incredible musical score -Stephen Schwartz created it in 1971 and it remains just as catchy and chicken-skin-inducing. Tyler Charbonneau, who wowed us in last year's "Annie," sings the power-hit "Day by Day" sweetly and unaffectedly. Here is our next musical theater powerhouse - she's not even in high school yet!
"It's All for the Best" - Jesus' one and only tap-dancing number - brings the house down. This is an exciting, rollicking roller-coaster of a show. The cliche "I laughed. I cried" really does apply.
* "Godspell" runs through May 16 at the Historic Iao Theater at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays. Ticket prices are $15 and $20 with preferred seating available for $40 (you get the best seats in the house and help the Iao get its new, state-of-the-art sound system!) Call 242-6969 or visit www.mauionstage.com for more ticket information. Maui OnStage ticket outlets include If The Shoe Fits in Wailuku and Lava Java in Kihei.