Last weekend, MAPA's Youth Summer Musical Theater Camp Director Kathleen Schulz led a cast of more than 40 youngsters in a lively production of Disney's "Aristocats, Kids." With jazzy tunes led by musical director Vania Jerome, fun choreography created by Barry Brinker Jones, brightly-colored costumes by Schulz and a big dose of budding talent taught by acting coaches Eva Sikes and Francis Tau'a, this feline adventure rocked the Steppingstone Playhouse stage.
Kiana Hyman was the gracious, ladylike aristocat Duchess, a pampered Parisian pet and mother of three aristokittens. Kassidy Star Rambaud strutted her stuff as the adorably prissy Marie. Gabriel Elfman-Hanson and Jayden Bartolome played shy Berlioz and fierce Toulouse.
Alioune Fall was smooth and charming as consummate cool cat Thomas O'Malley, who helps the lovely Duchess and her kittens find their way back home to Paris.
Gabriel Elfman-Hanson (from left), Kassidy Star Rambaud and Jayden Bartolome were part of the young cast making fine, furry fun.
Maui Academy of Performing Arts / DAVID HESSEMER photo
Casey Murphy (left) and Lia Krieg “Battle Over Billy” (Charles Cook) in “Chicago.”
Emma Rich played the wealthy cat-lover, Madame, with grace and poise. Nathan Burke was a standout performer as the greedy, conniving butler, Edgar. His zealous determination to dispose of the obnoxious aristopets and win Madame's fortune for himself was over-the-top and hilarious.
Naia Litman played the aristocats' small but gutsy friend, Roquefort, a mouse who finds the courage to stand up to gang of alley cats to save his friends.
Erin Mosbarger and Hiwa Greig were the giggling goose sisters, Abigail and Amelia Gabble. They had the whole crowd laughing along as they waddled, shook their tail feathers and admonished Thomas O'Malley and the aristocats to "think goose."
Julian Weber and Lucas Engh created lots of laughs as bossy Napoleon and clever Lafayette. These canine police officers sniffed out trouble in the Parisian countryside with the help of a disciplined dog army, played by Gabriel Frampton, Daniel Judge and Vukomir Mirkovic.
Thomas O'Malley's alley cat gang included Charlie Abreu as Break It Down Cat, Maile Alger as Rock Cat, Hana Bossert as Slick Cat, Kai Bossert as Vichy, Chance Brown as Mad Cat, Coral Carhart as Sharpe Cat, Ella Cosma-White as Sassy Cat, Namaka Cosma-White as Cool Cat, Kirra Crawford as Scratch Cat, Mia Daly as Scat Cat, Sarah Fusato as Soul Cat, Natalie Harris as Boogie Woogie Cat, Gabriella Kanoa as Fresh Cat, Kela Kauhaahaa as Wacky Cat, Mila Kehano as Wild Cat, Luna Mayell as Jazzy Cat, Jelena Mirkovic as Live Cat, Darby Mulligan as Crazy Cat, Kamalei Nemoto as Katnap Cat, Jenna Okazaki as Way Out Cat, Kiliohu Robis as Smooth Cat, Sofia Salvatierra as Groovy Cat, Elly Smith as Swing Cat, Erin Smith as Jive Cat, Ilihia Tawney as Jump Cat and Tess Temple as Hep Cat.
The production team included production manager Mark Collmer; set designer Caro Walker; set builder Gregory Cotton; lighting designer Christina Sutrov; camp assistants Mikeila Yamamoto and Katie Iannitello; electricians Kai Johnson, Andrea Finkelstein and Chloe Madriaga; costume assistant Kathy Iannitello; props designer Vicki Sparkman; and follow-spot operators Ryan Foree and Anneka Johnston.
MAPA's Youth Summer Musical Theater Camp production of "Aristocats, Kids" was a blast. Families with kids will not want to miss MAPA's Teen Musical Theater Camp production of "Honk, Jr.," coming up in July.
Jazz Hot Summer
In celebration of its season finale, "Chicago," Maui OnStage presents a sizzling summer of special events. This Friday at the Historic Iao Theater, it offers a "Chicago" free sneak preview night with musical excerpts featuring the Maui OnStage cast at 7:30 p.m., immediately followed by a free screening of 1942's "Roxie Hart." This watered-down version of "Chicago," featuring almost identical lines from the 1975 Bob Fosse production, was the inspiration for Fosse's decade-long attempt to acquire the rights to the classic 1926 tale. It's a light-hearted look at a true crime story that's still relevant and shocking 60 years later.
Disney's "Camp Rock, The Musical": Returning Summer Program Director Kristi Scott leads Theatre Theatre Maui's west-side summer theatre camp with 46 students grades 4 through 12 in this popular teen musical. Based on the Disney Channel original movie written by Dan Berendsen, Karin Gist and Regina Hicks, "Camp Rock" is a musical summer camp experience with lively characters and rocking tunes. "Camp Rock" plays July 15 through 17, 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday, at the Westin Maui Resort & Spa's Haleakala Ballroom in Kaanapali.
* Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children, available in advance at Lahaina Music starting Tuesday, or at the box office at the hotel's Haleakala Ballroom one hour before shows. For more information call 661-1168.
"Chicago": 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."
* "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 pre-show 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.
"Honk, Jr.": 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.
* "Honk, Jr." shows 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, July 15 through 24, at Steppingstone Playhouse. Tickets are $14 for adults and $10 for students. Call 244-8760 or visit mauiacademy.org for tickets.