Summer is musical theater season on Maui. As the weather heats up, Maui Academy of Performing Arts and Maui OnStage gear up for some of the biggest and most memorable shows of the year.
MAPA's kids camps are already under way, preparing Maui's young talent to shine in two musical adventures, Disney's "The Aristocats, Kids" and "Honk, Jr."
Kathleen Schulz directs a cast of 40 youngsters in grades 3 to 8 in "Aristocats," a show packed with jazzy tunes, memorable characters and big laughs. When Madame's jealous butler Edgar cat-naps Duchess and her Aristokittens and abandons them in the Parisian countryside, the upper-crust kitties fear they will never find their way back to Madame and their cushy mansion home. Luckily, Thomas O'Malley and his ragtag bunch of Alley Cats come to their rescue! This feline adventure is sure to get you tapping your feet to Disney favorites like "The Aristocats," "Scales and Arpeggios" and "Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat."
Lia Krieg (left) is Velma and Casey Murphy is Roxie in Maui OnStage’s “Chicago.”
JACK GRACE photo
Meanwhile, Sally Sefton directs MAPA's Teen Musical Theater Camp students, grades 6 to 12, in "Honk, Jr.," an Olivier-winning, contemporary retelling of the Ugly Duckling story. With music by George Stiles and book and lyrics by Anthony Drewe, "Honk" is a fun-filled adventure about overcoming prejudice and discovering the joys of being different.
In August, MAPA takes advantage of summer weather with an outdoor performance of "Damn Yankees" at Maui Tropical Plantation. Faust meets professional baseball in this Broadway classic from the creators of "The Pajama Game."
Middle-aged baseball fanatic Joe Boyd trades his soul to the Devil, the charming but devious Mr. Applegate, for a chance to lead his favorite team to victory in the pennant race against the New York Yankees. As young baseball sensation Joe Hardy, he transforms the hapless Washington Senators into a winning team, only to realize the true worth of the life (and wife) he's left behind.
With the help of a handy escape clause and a guilt-ridden temptress named Lola, Joe outsmarts Applegate, returns to his former self and shepherds the Senators to the World Series. Directed by David C. Johnston, with words and music by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross and book by George Abbott and Douglas Wallop, "Damn Yankees" is a fun and quirky musical for the whole family.
Maui OnStage makes a bang with a raunchy, razzle-dazzling production of the hit 1975 Broadway musical "Chicago." Winner of six Tony Awards and an Academy Award for Best Picture, "Chicago" follows the exploits of Roxy Hart, a murderess with a knack for show biz, as she navigates death row, vies for the spotlight with fellow vaudevillian murderess Velma Kelly, and discovers that fame and fortune may be only a gunshot away. Set in Prohibition-era Chicago, this razor-sharp satire features music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, including unforgettable numbers like "All That Jazz," "Cell Block Tango," "Mr. Cellophane" and "Razzle Dazzle."
MAPA schedule: "Aristocats, Kids" shows June 23 through 26 at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 5 and 7 p.m. Saturday, and 2 and 4 p.m. Sunday at Steppingstone Playhouse in Queen Ka'ahumanu Center. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for students. "Honk, Jr." shows July 15 through 24 at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays also at Steppingstone Playhouse. Tickets are $14 for adults and $10 for students. "Damn Yankees" hits Maui Tropical Plantation at 7:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays August 5 through 21. Tickets for "Aristocats" are now on sale; tickets for "Honk" and "Damn Yankees" go on sale June 13 and July 1, respectively. Call 244-8760 or visit mauiacademy.org for tickets.
"Chicago" comes to the Historic Iao Theater at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, July 8 through 31. Tickets are $15 to $40. Enjoy preshow dinner theater packages with Caf O'Lei in Wailuku or Bistro Casanova in Kahului. Call the Maui OnStage offices at 244-8680 for dinner theater information. For ticket reservations, visit mauionstage.com or call the Maui OnStage box office at 242-6969.
"Greater Tuna": ProArts Inc. presents this world-wide comedy hit as the final production of its spring season. This hysterical two-man comedic tour de force concludes its 10-performance run this weekend at the ProArts Playhouse in Kihei. Playwrights Jaston Williams, Joe Sears, and Ed Howard welcome you to Tuna, Texas-where the population is small, but the personalities are big! Join Thurston and Arles on OKKK Radio as they bring you the daily happenings, complete with UFOs, Smut Snatchers and Puppy Pushers, with laughter filling every 30-second sound bite. Two actors present the cast of quirky characters, navigating hilariously through the small town life of Tuna, the third smallest town in the Lone Star state.
Tom Althouse, recently seen in "The Fantasticks" and "The Worthmores"; and Jonathan Lehman, most recently seen in "The Fantasticks" and "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," play 10 roles apiece in this production from the creative team behind "The Fantasticks" and "Driving Miss Daisy." "Greater Tuna" is directed by Kristi Scott and Doug Kendrick.
"Greater Tuna" plays at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the ProArts Playhouse in Kihei. Reserved seats are $20 for adults and $15 for students 18 and younger. Kama'aina Night is Thursday; Hawaii residents get a discount for this performance. The ProArts box office number recently changed. Call 463-6550 for tickets.