The King Kekaulike High School Drama Club brought spirit, talent and energy to the final performance of Disney's "High School Musical, Jr." last Sunday. King Kekaulike's "cafetorium," complete with colorful class posters and folding chairs, was the perfect venue for this modern high school love story about an unlikely romance between jock Troy Bolton (Isaac Rauch) and a brainiac Gabriella Montez (Marissa Godinez), who discover that they share a passion for singing. The show sent a positive message about breaking social boundaries and being true to oneself, with plenty of fun, catchy songs along the way.
Rauch was charming and sincere as basketball captain Troy, who falls for shy but brilliant Gabriella. Godinez was great in the lead female role, showing off a rich, powerful voice.
Miranda Ellis played the high-strung diva Sharpay Evans with humor and pizzazz. Shawn Naone-Burger brought a strong voice to the singing, dancing sibling act as Sharpay's brother, Ryan.
Warren Higuchi photo
Providing testimonials for a Darontes Ringtones infomerical in “Lights, Camera, Baldwin” are Cheyanna Simmons (from left), Demi Ann Botuyan, Erica Hirose, Coren Yamauchi and Amanda Galvao.
Katarina Kress was funny as Gabriella's nerdy friend, Taylor McKessie. Mike Minkler played the geeky school news announcer Jack Scott. Veronica Freeman was sweet as the soft-spoken but talented Kelsi Nielsen, pianist and composer of the school musical.
Levi Young showed off another great voice and lots of fun energy as Troy's jock pal, Chad. Joshua Berman was hilarious as Zeke, a basketball player who secretly loves to bake. Angel Fergerstrom broke it down as Martha Cox, a science geek with a passion for hip-hop.
Jaya Bauer played the melodramatic drama teacher Ms. Darbus, while Josh Johnson played her rival, Coach Bolton, Troy's strict father and basketball coach.
The huge supporting cast included jocks Dylan Thomas, Joey Kamalani, Ryan Riley and Kaulana Ka'ili; thespians Patrick Olson, Rachel Simmons, Harley Bynum and Kaylene Naeole; brainiacs Robell Jacob, Cherie Johnson and Zoe Wender; skaters Jazzy Santiago, Dara Reckard, Kyra McMillan, Nicole Gouveia and Marley Flowers; teachers Kealani Puen and Cameron Sparks; and cheerleaders Tatiana Camit, Carli Calender, Nicole Gomes, Malia Kimmel and Feona Rehfuss.
For seniors Robell Jacob, Mike Minkler, Patrick Olsen, Kealani Puen, Isaac Rauch and Cameron Sparks, this was the last moment to shine on the King Kekaulike stage. They ended their high school drama careers on a high note with this lively, fun production.
Hilarious punch lines and touching poetry, upbeat dance numbers and slow-motion fight scenes, acting and dancing, singing and game shows - there is a little bit of everything in "Lights, Camera, Baldwin: A Variety Show Extravaganza." After a whirlwind two-week rehearsal process, including choreographing, play writing, set building, costume designing, practicing, tweaking and cutting, all done by the Baldwin theater students, the bits and pieces coalesce into a fun production that puts the students' talent and creativity in the spotlight.
The dance numbers showcase the work of student choreographers Serena Perry, Jesie Rocetes, Erika Magalhaes, Sienna Minnock, Amanda Galvao, Enjolie Galarita, Cera Souza, Jordyn Clarke, Alex Hutaff-Bautista and Kaitlyn Brunner. Standouts include "Money," a fun piece with an ironic sense of humor, choreographed by Perry; "Forget You," choreographed and sung by Rocetes; and "Stomp Practice," a rhythmic tribute to the international sensation "Stomp," choreographed by Hutaff-Bautista. Hutaff-Bautista also performs an energetic solo number set to "A Little Bit."
Some talented singers perform solos, but problems with the sound system make them difficult to hear. Ashley Ramos still rocks the stage with sassy confidence, singing Lady Gaga's "Born This Way," and Jesie Rocetes charms the audience with a touching rendition of Jon McLaughlin's "So Close." Cheyanna Simmons overcomes the technical difficulties and shows off her powerful, fiery voice singing KT Tunstall's "Other Side of the World."
Student-created comedy sketches are the most entertaining part of the show. A slow-motion fight scene set in a grocery store (choreographed by Kenny Komatsu and Sienna Minnock) has audiences roaring with laughter. Komatsu and Janolan Endrina create and star in a hilarious local comedy about a movie audition gone wrong. Endrina nails her role as a hectoring pregnant lady determined to get her son the part. Rocetes is fabulous in the self-written role of Daronte in an over-the-top infomercial for jacked up ring tones.
Elaine "Pumbaa" Dechoso performs her poem "High School," about the ups and downs of high school and the sadness and excitement of graduation. Jade Arnold performs the self-written monologue "Before," about an injured former dancer reminiscing about her life before the accident.
Seniors Erika Magalhaes, Janolan Endrina, Jesie Rocetes, Elaine "Pumbaa" Dechoso and Serena Perry perform "Got So Far to Go" to celebrate their last moments on the Baldwin stage and the turning point of graduation.
The dancers, singers and actors also include Charlin Griffin, Coren Yamauchi, Demi Ann Botuyan, Erica Hirose, Garrett Arnold, Jade Arnold, Jamie Long, Jonathan Sifton, Justyn Haywood, Katie Thompson, Lorena Abreu and Miguel Morales.
"Lights, Camera, Baldwin" is a showcase of Baldwin's best talent with a little bit of something for everyone.
* Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday in the Loudon Mini-Theater on the Baldwin Campus. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $6 for students 17 and under. There are no reservations. The box office opens 45 minutes before showtime.
"The Taming of the Shrew": Imagine a future world that only exists in the pages of graphic novels, anime and sci-fi classics like "Logan's Run" and "Barbarella." Now throw in a dash of Betty Page. Maui OnStage's "Shrew" features bold costume and set design, and multimedia technology. Electric day-glo eye candy placed in an industrial frame. This sci-fi "Shrew" morphs single dad Baptista into single mom (Lauren Burgess). Title character Katherina becomes a dominatrix-inspired super heroine (Genie Calagna). Lucentio is transformed into Lucentia (Lehua Simon), who pines and burns to win the love of the fair Bianca (Lia Krieg). The taming Petruchio is now a formidable superhero foe (Curtis "Chino" LaForge) the likes of whom Katherina has never faced before. Flashy, sexy costumes, future-world industrial set, multimedia technology with creative gender bending this is not your father's Oldsmobile. But then again the original Shakespeare productions would have featured men playing women.
* "The Taming of the Shrew" shows 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, opening this weekend through May 29 at the Historic Iao Theater. Tickets are $15, $20 and $40. Call 242-6969 or visit MauiOnstage.com for tickets.
The Wayans Brothers - Marlon and Shawn: Younger members of comedy's "first family," Marlon and Shawn Wayans got their start on Fox TV's groundbreaking comedy sketch series, "In Living Color," created and produced by their older brothers, Damon and Keenan Ivory Wayans. Marlon and Shawn also starred in the long-running sitcom "The Wayans Bros." These two comedic prodigies have accomplished a lot in their relatively short careers: they hit pay dirt on the silver screen, starring in the comedy blockbusters, "I'm Gonna Get You Sucka," "Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in The Hood," "Scary Movie," "Scary Movie 2," "White Chicks," "Little Man" and "Dance Flick." Now, this duo of comedic gold perform on Maui for the first time. "We're not the Smothers Brothers," Marlon, 38, said. "We bring it, and bring it hard."
* The Wayans Brothers perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 20, at Castle Theater at the MACC. Ticket are $39, $49 and $59, plus applicable fees. Post-show meet-and-greet is $30 extra. Call 242-7469 or visit MauiArts.org for tickets.
Seabury Hall "Side Shows": Seabury Hall Performing Arts ends its season with its 16th annual "Side Shows" - a wild array of short plays -10 plays, 10 minutes or less! They include pieces by professional contemporary playwright David Ives and Seabury student playwrights (and directors) Miles Kelsey and Sydney Roberts. Festival directors Sally Sefton and Todd Van Amburgh are also grateful for the local theater luminaries who volunteered to work with the students. This year, adult directors Vinnie Linares, Kay McLeod, Ryan Walsh and Scott Winham are joined by student directors Morgan Malkovich, Gregory Saydeh, and Chara'e Tongg.
"The one-act festival has proven to be an ideal experience for students and audiences!" says Van Amburgh. "The show is fast and fun - a roller coaster ride for the audience. Students get lead parts and -- because the plays are all about 10 minutes - don't have the taxing rehearsal schedule they get for longer shows. As teachers, we get to include more students (more than 40 in the whole festival). Veterans end their high-school careers with this show while others are discovered here. Students get to work with other directors and directors get to experiment. The one-act festival is great education and great fun!"
* "Side Shows" hits the stage 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 20 and 21, at the Seabury Hall Performance Studio. Tickets are $9 for adults, $8 for seniors and $4 for students. Call 573-1257 for information and reservations.
MAPA's Spring Extravaganza and MOVES: Maui Academy of Performing Arts presents its Spring Extravaganza with a "Jazz, Tap & Hip Hop Revue," featuring dancers of all ages strutting their stuff in jazz, tap, contemporary and hip-hop, and the ballet "Sleeping Beauty," set to Tchaikovsky's stunning score and featuring more than 200 MAPA ballerinas ages 3 to adult. In "MOVES," MAPA's highly trained dance company presents an extraordinary evening of original choreography in the style of MAPA's "Pieces" dance concerts.
* "Jazz, Tap & Hip Hop Revue" hits the stage at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 21, in the MACC's Castle Theater followed by "MOVES" at 7:30 p.m. "Sleeping Beauty" plays at 3 p.m. Sunday, also in Castle Theater. Tickets for "Jazz, Tap and Hip Hop Revue" and "Sleeping Beauty" are $12. Tickets for "MOVES" are $15 for adults and $12 for kids 12 and under. Applicable fees are added to the price of tickets, available from the MACC box office, 242-7469 or www.mauiarts.org.