ProArts of the Pacific's new playhouse in Kihei's Azeka Makai Shopping Center opens its doors Friday night for the encore run of "Cinderella" - the company's original funny, fractured version of the beloved fairy tale.
The company's productions have a reputation for being interactive, spontaneous and surprising. "Cinderella" will be no exception.
"In our show, the Fairy Godmother sings 'Anything can happen if you let it,' and I think that sums up the whole theme of this production," director Doug Kendrick said. "This show is very much about the kids."
ProArts of the Pacific photo
Lehua Simon (left) has the title role and Kristi Scott is Fairy Godmother in ProArts of the Pacific’s “Cinderella.”
The new theater has a wide swath in front of the stage designated for young audience members only, so adults can sit back and relax a little while their keiki enjoy close encounters with a couple of mean (but silly) stepsisters and a rather Type A mouse (played by Tom Althouse), then gawk at the big reveal as Cindy goes from grimy to glam in milliseconds. Seasoned actors like Vinnie Linares and Althouse perform alongside talented newcomers like Caleb Rhodes.
"We have a very strong ensemble cast," Kendrick said. "There's just so much about this show that really works!"
Although ProArts has brought "Cinderella" to Maui audiences in the past, this incarnation promises new twists and a lot of up-to-the-minute pop-culture references that will keep parents as entertained as their enthralled keiki.
After the show, the audience gets a chance to mingle with all the characters, get autographs and take pictures-completing the magical experience.
* Pro-Arts of the Pacific's "Cinderella" at the Pro-Arts Playhouse opens Friday, running weekends through May 30. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Fridays, and 1 and 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at 1280 South Kihei Road (Azeka Makai Shopping Center, next door to Taco Bell). For information and tickets, call 875-4367 or log on to www.proartspacific.com.
MAPA springs into summer
Maui Academy of Performing Arts' two-day, three-show "Spring Extravaganza" is always a much-anticipated overture to Maui's rich summer performing arts season. This year's shows - in the Maui Arts & Cultural Center's Castle Theater on May 22 and 23 - are especially important (if a little bittersweet) as they mark homegrown hero Hiroki Ichinose's final MAPA performance before he heads off to NYU where he will major in (surprise!) dance. There's no doubt that Ichinose will take the Big Apple by storm with his graceful athleticism and major aloha spirit.
Ichinose's parents enrolled him in dance classes at MAPA when he was 3 years old and already dancing around the house.
"I couldn't stop dancing, even then," he recalled, "and I've never quit for 14 years."
Ichinose credits MAPA's teachers and fellow students for helping him grow as an artist and as a person.
"With MAPA, I've learned so much about myself from my friends and teachers. I've grown in confidence and loyalty. It's shaped my whole life and nurtured me to be ready to dance professionally," he said.
For this year's "Moves" production - Sunday's evening show that spotlights the program's premier dancers - Hiroki choreographed an evocative interpretation of "He Lives" from "The Lion King," which blends jazz and African traditions.
In the Sunday afternoon ballet performance, he will partner with each senior girl in a poignant dance from the classic "Giselle" in MAPA's original "Sir Dancalot."
The story revolves around a prince who courts the leading ladies of five ballets - "Le Corsair," "Giselle," "Firebird," "Butterfly Lovers" and "Tarzan." The ballet performance also features Maui's youngest ballerinas. There's nothing more adorable than seeing those 3-year-olds' wobbly pirouettes. Which one will move on to become another MAPA superstar?
Maui Academy of Performing Arts' "Spring Extravaganza" runs May 22 and 23 in Castle Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. At 3 p.m. May 22, the dancers strut their stuff in the "Jazz Tap and Hip Hop Review." The ballet performance, "Sir Dancalot," is at 3 p.m. May 23 and at 7:30 that evening, veteran MAPA students show off their own unique "Moves."
* Tickets for the matinees are $12 (plus applicable fees). Tickets for "Moves" are $15 for adults and $12 for kids 12 and younger (plus applicable fees) and are available at the MACC box office, 242-7469 or www.mauiarts. org.
St. Anthony Drama Club presents its Variety Show at the Bailey House Museum in Wailuku at 6 p.m. Friday. This year, the show is performed under the stars, with our beloved West Maui Mountains for an unbeatable backdrop. Bring your chairs, blankets, family and friends. It promises to be a night filled with aloha. Tickets are $5. Call 249-0234 for more information.
Baldwin High School's acclaimed drama program presents "Movie Music Mish Mash Extravaganza" in the Loudon Mini Theater. The variety show created and directed by students with singing, dancing, and original skits runs at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Monday. The seating is cabaret style and refreshments and pupus will be available. Tickets - $8 for adults and $5 for students (ages 17 and younger) - are available at the box office 45 minutes before showtime. Doors open 30 minutes prior to curtain. No reserved seating.
Maui OnStage's "Godspell" concludes its run at the Historic Iao Theater this weekend at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. 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.
The Maui Arts & Cultural Center presents comedian Jim Gaffigan in Castle Theater at 8 p.m. May 21. Ticket prices are $35 and $45 (plus applicable fees) and are available through the MACC box office, 242-7469 or at www.mauiarts.org.