It's time for the second production in ProArts spring season of family-friendly shows. Following triumphant productions of "The Fantasticks" and "Driving Miss Daisy" comes "Rats! The Pied Piper Musical," a fractured fairy tale with plenty of music, laughs, twists and turns to delight kids and adults alike.
The title is a tongue-in-cheek nod to Maui OnStage's recent production of "Cats," which took the Historic Iao Theater by storm last month. ProArts plans to kick up some fur of its own with this whimsical retelling of the Pied Piper story, featuring original book, music and lyrics by Jonathan Lehman and Kim Vetterli. "Rats" tells the tale of Hamelin, a sleepy little town suddenly besieged by singing and dancing rats! Desperate to restore peace and quiet, the Town Council hires Peter, the Pied Piper, to rid the town of the vocalizing vermin. Madcap merriment ensues as Little Miss Muffet and the Town Council battle it out with conjuring, conniving con artists, Madame Marie and The Great Donny. Happy ending? Of course!
"Rats!" features some of the best talent on the Maui scene, with Leif Peterson as Peter the Piper, Chaney Cramer as Little Miss Muffet, Bill Schnitzer as Mayor Muffet, Paul Janes-Brown as Mr. Fiddle, Laura Bloom Farber as Mr. Faddle, Jett Batoon as Madame Marie, Roland K. Harper as The Great Donny and Lisa Teichner, Barbara Sedano, Kristi Scott and Gina Duncan as the Rats.
ProArts ‘Pied Piper Musical’ ready to whistle a happy tune in Kihei
Miles Kelsey and Ariella Brandon dance “Homage to Agnes” in Seabury Hall’s “Homage to Agnes,” choreographed by David Ward.
ERIC ROLPH photo
"Rats!" is directed by Lehman, with musical direction by Marti Kluth, colorful scenery by Caro Walker, delightful costumes by Kathleen Schulz and lighting by Bonnie Prucha. ProArts productions are co-produced by Doug Kendrick and Jonathan Lehman.
Fun for all ages, the show runs one hour without intermission.
n "RATS! The Pied Piper Musical" shows at 7:30 p.m. Fridays, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and 1 and 4 p.m. Sundays, April 22 through May 8, at the ProArts Playhouse in Kihei. There will be no performance Easter Sunday. Reserved chair seating is $15 and floor seating for keiki is $10. For tickets and information, call 463-6520.
Seabury Hall Dance Showcase: Seabury's annual dance concert combines all levels of dance and ballet classes. This year's concert climaxes with a celebration of the American Musical with pieces from each level. Guest artist Julane Stites from Portland, Ore., trains Seabury's top dancers, the Seabury Hall Dance Ensemble, to perform the opening audition segment of "A Chorus Line" and its finale, "One," which will include level C dancers.
Andre Morissette choreographs Seabury's top dancers in "Cinema Italiano" from the movie musical "Nine" and Level C dancers in the gambling number from "Guys and Dolls". David Ward choreographs the younger levels in "The Riviera" from "The Boyfriend" and "Blue Suede Shoes" from the Elvis Presley tribute, "Viva Las Vegas."
Ballet mistress Vanessa Cerrito has choreographed three musical pieces for her three ballet classes: "I Feel Pretty" from "West Side Story," "Popular" from "Wicked" and the Beatles' "Let it Be." The concert also reprises Ward's "Homage to Agnes" a Western suite set to the music of Yo Yo Ma and Edgar Meyer, and an excitingly rhythmic African fusion piece set to the music of Angelique Kidjo.
To balance the frothy glamour of the American Musical segment, Ward has created a segment of the show with a social relevance. Senior Miles Kelsey will perform in Ward's award-winning "Silver Spoon," a solo reminiscent of Gene Kelly that features a suite of songs from Leonard Bernstein's "On the Town." "Silver Spoon" will lead into "America's Shadow," a piece about the homeless, performed by the whole Seabury Hall Dance Ensemble, to the music of Woody Guthrie and Tom Waits.
With more than 75 performers, this is going to be another exciting, dynamic concert of high-energy dances and thoughtful choreography. Remember, "Dance Showcase" often sells out so make your reservations early!
"Dance Showcase" takes the stage 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays April 22 through 30 and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 1, at the Seabury Hall Performance Studio. Tickets are $11 for adults, $9 for seniors and $5 for students. For information and reservations, call 573-1257.
Rhythmic Revolution Easter Tap and Funk: Seattle tap sensation Mark Mendonca will be on Maui teaching four different levels of tap dance. The beginning class is basic, and tap shoes are not required. It's the perfect opportunity to give it a try! Beginning/Intermediate, Intermediate, and Intermediate/Advanced are offered for more experienced tappers. Mark has performed at the White House for the last three presidents, starred on Broadway in "Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk" and opened for Barbara Streisand's last tour. He is the featured dancer in the movie "Polar Express," has toured extensively worldwide, and has been a guest artist in numerous festivals throughout North America.
Mark is joined by Funk artist Sunny Gorg, a Los Angeles native, who has studied music and dance since childhood. Sunny has performed on television, in films, and in more than 50 music videos. Now primarily a Maui resident, she won the Choreographers' Slam at the MACC in 2009. Her popular classes are a sassy fusion of Afro-Caribbean, jazz, hip-hop and Latin dance. Two levels will be presented. A Showcase & Jam follows the classes, and participants are invited to perform. Mark will also teach tap Upcountry on Saturday and Sunday at the Kula Underground. For more information and schedules, visit www.MauiTapExperience.org or call 878-1482.
"High School Musical, Jr.": King Kekaulike Drama Club presents Disney's "High School Musical, Jr." by David Simpatico. The show features all the characters from the movie, Chad, Gabriella, Ryan, Sharpay, Ms. Darbus, Coach Bolton and all the other Wildcats, and such musical favorites as "We're All in This Together," "Getcha Head in the Game," "Bop to the Top," "Stick to the Status Quo"and other toe-tapping melodies.
* "High School Musical, Jr." hits the stage at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, April 29 through May 7, with matinees at 3 p.m. Sundays, May 1 and 8, at the King Kekaulike Auditorium. Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for students 17 and younger. Tickets are available at the door 45 minutes before showtime.