Once upon a time in the '70s, there were television game shows. People of all ages, classes, cultures and creeds gathered in their living rooms to watch regular folk answer questions, fill in blanks, perform basic math and gamble - often with the help of heavily paroxided starlets and sideburned, ascoted "Love Boat" regulars.
No one got kicked off the island. There were no fake marriage proposals, and once a contestant walked off with an avocado-green appliance package and a year's supply of Jean Nate, you never, ever had to see them again.
Those were some good times, huh?
If you answered, "Yes!" - you better head to Lahaina on Friday night to catch the Gameshow Fanatics' wacky, whimsical, nostalgic "Game Show Nite" at the Club House (You can't miss it. It's right at the entrance to Kaanapali).
Comedian / magician Brenton Keith and his friend Dusty Byrum have always been fanatical about game shows, so, one Thanksgiving, they decided to engage about 50 of their closest friends in a rousing, backyard "Family Feud"-inspired battle between the pilgrims and the Indians, they said. So what if it didn't exactly jibe with the whole heartwarming "let's come together" Thanksgiving story, it was way more fun than sitting around watching football. Thus, that fateful holiday marked the debut of The Board.
"We made this board modeled after the one on 'Family Feud,' Keith recalled. "And once we started making it, putting the effort into it, we wanted it to be really good, really authentic."
Needless to say, The Board - and the game -were a huge hit and, in one Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland moment, the enterprising Gameshow Fanatics decided to take the show on the road.
They began toting the board and Keith's smarmy, eerily realistic TV host persona, "Dick Dawson," to corporate events, holiday and graduation parties - and hosting "Game Show Nite" at restaurants and bars throughout the island. Keith and Byrum noticed that when strangers, acquaintances and co-workers were put on teams and in a real game-show setting, the ice was broken instantly. Awkwardness melted away. Suddenly everyone was screaming, clapping, laughing and remembering. Everyone wanted to play.
"There's a real nostaligia for those old-style '70s shows," Keith said. "It's the ideal team-building concept."
At the Club House on Friday night, several popular west side eateries - Kimo's, Leilani's, Hula Grill, Tiajuana's, Pacific O and Bubba Gump - will compete for the title of Game Show Nite Champion. Categories and questions are customized and belly-laugh inducing. Dick Dawson will be throwing out his best cheezy one-liners. Audience members will have the chance to win prizes supplied by Maui Jim, Hawaiian Tropic and Tiny Bubbles Scuba.
"Every person who pays the $5 admission will be entered in a raffle. We'll draw names to see who gets to come up and compete for the prizes," Keith explained. "We have a game we call Win it in a Minute and another one which involves playing cards (inspired by the old favorite Card Sharks)."
"Come on down" and root for your favorite restaurant. You'll leave with some new friends and maybe even a spanking new pair of Maui Jims.
Gameshow Fanatics' Game Show Nite starts at 9 p.m. Friday at the Club House, 2290 Kaanapali Parkway. Admission and raffle entry is $5. For more information, call 280-0531.
It's your last chance to catch Maui OnStage's rocking flashback to the '80s with "The Wedding Singer." This hilarious, romantic, musical romp through the era that brought us Mr. T., David Hasselhoff and The Brat Pack runs until Sunday at the Historic Iao Theater, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. For tickets and more information call 242-6969.
Kihei Academy of Dance will be holding auditions for the Charter Dance Company on Saturday, Aug. 14. Students ages 10 and older may audition for the Junior Company and 14 and older may audition for the Senior Company. To apply, call 463-7056 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Auditions will be held at the Kihei Charter School middle school campus on Lipoa Street.