Let the holiday shows begin. We all need to treat ourselves well at Christmastime, especially after a stressful day of Kahului shopping, and there is a little something for everyone over the next month.
Maui Slam Poetry promises to "ring your bells" tonight, with its first ever "Holiday Slam" at Casanova in Makawao. This month you can get in free with a food donation to the Maui Food Bank. Event producer Ellen Peterson encourages all to "dress in your holiday finery or ridiculousness!" Slam poets finally have the opportunity to compose a bad Santa verse; if that strikes a bell, this is the slam for you! Entrants must sign up by 9:30 p.m. to compete for the $100 prize. Poems must be the performer's original work and may not exceed three minutes. If you forget your canned goods, the cover is $5 at the door. Immediately following the slam there is a holiday dance party by the mischievous elf DJ SID and vintage-inspired, bizarre holiday visuals by Douglas Deboer!
“Ruthless! The Musical” features Kristi Scott (from left), Alison Mikes, Rose Roselinsky, Dale Button, Heidi Turner and Lina Krueger
Matthew Wilkins photo
On Friday, catch Seabury Hall's 21st annual Christmas Party/Performing Arts Concert, an evening of festive holiday entertainment featuring a cast of more than 80 student and adult performers from Seabury's dance, drama, and music programs. Before the show, enjoy complimentary cakes, cookies, coffee, teas, juices, hot chocolate, hot cider and Christmas tunes performed by Seabury's live bluegrass student ensemble, The Mill. Student actors, singers, musicians and all four levels of student dancers perform at 7 p.m. in the Performance Studio. The dance ensemble offers "Nani Kamakura," a hula that celebrates the cherry blossom festival in Japan and brings together the cultures of Japan and Hawaii. Guest teacher Amelia Nelson will premiere a dance to the music of Chet Baker, titled "Catching Sleep." Other performances will include student singers accompanied on the piano by choral director Stephen Haines, and a new suite of dances set to Frank Sinatra songs choreographed by Andr Morissette. Tickets for the Friday and Saturday concerts are $17.
On Sunday, Seabury presents its One Benefit Fundraiser for the student dancers' Philadelphia trip at 3 p.m. in the Performance Studio on the Seabury Hall campus in Olinda. Tickets are $10. Next week, Seabury's music department presents two additional performances: the Upper School band and chorus on Thursday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m. and the Middle School band and chorus at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 9. Tickets are $10. For reservations or more information, call the Seabury Performance Studio at 573-1257.
Looking for something different? Catch the much-anticipated ProArts production of "Ruthless! The Musical," opening Friday, Dec. 9, in Kihei. The show's creators Joal Paley and Marvin Laird create a musical spoof inspired by "The Bad Seed," "All About Eve" and "Gypsy." "Ruthless!" is the story of a naive 1950s housewife, Judy, and her adorable but sociopath 8-year-old daughter, Tina. Encouraged by her manager, Sylvia, Tina will do anything to get the lead role in her school play, including doing away with the leading lady. Inevitably, Tina ends up spending time at a reform school for psychopathic ingenues. Judy discovers from her adoptive mother that her birth mother was a famous actress. Judy decides that she should be famous as well and becomes a Broadway diva.
"Ruthless!" is directed and choreographed by Aly Cardinalli, with music direction by Anne Durham and Marti Kluth. The show will run weekend nights Dec. 9 through 18, take a break for Christmas, then return Jan. 6 through 15 at the ProArts Playhouse. It will play at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays. Kamaaina discounts are available on Thursdays, Dec. 15 and Jan. 12, and Saturdays, Dec. 10 and Jan. 7. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for students 18 and younger and $20 on Kamaaina Nights with valid Hawaii ID. For reservations or more information call 463-6550 or visit proartspacific. com.
Kihei Charter High School's Drama Club presents "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas," directed by Josh Franco. The Grinch-inspired original variety show includes dancing and singing performances by the Whos of Whoville. Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, and Saturday Dec. 10, and 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, in the Kihei Charter High School auditorium. A donation of $5 is suggested for adults. For more information, contact Vicki Nelson, the drama club administrator, at 874-3423.
Then there's the shameless self-promoter in me: Maui OnStage continues its monthly free theater series ONO! with "Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some)" by Michael Carlton, Jim FitzGerald and John K. Alvarez. I'll be appearing with friends Steven Dascoulias and Robyn Grahn in a ridiculously silly sendup of everything from Rankin Bass puppetoons to the Grinch, Scrooge and "It's a Wonderful Life" at the Historic Iao Theater on Monday, Dec.12. Doors open at 6 p.m.; the show is at 6:30 p.m. The event is free. For more information about ONO! call 244-8680 or visit mauionstage.com.
Christ the King Youth Ministry presents "Once An Angel," an original Christmas play written by Faye Couch Reeves. Tara Ann Pacubas plays Gracie Brown who pleads for angelic help to her save an old beloved church from closing down. Gracie questions if God really cares. Does he really listen to our prayers? The arrival of a loopy Christmas pageant director played by Paris Sensano and reluctant a teenage Christmas pageant cast test Gracie's teetering faith even more.
"Once An Angel" premieres at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 20, and repeats Wednesday, Dec. 21, at the Historic Iao Theater. Tickets are $10, children 5 and younger are free. For reservations or more information, call Christ the King Church at 877-6098.
Finally there's the slightly belated Kumu Kahua Theatre's "A Jivebomber's Christmas," Jan. 20 and 21 at McCoy Studio Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. "A Jivebomber's Christmas" is set in a World War II relocation camp for Japanese-Americans. Despite its grim setting, the upbeat plot follows a group of young internees as they rehearse a Christmas variety show being held to keep their spirits up amidst the camp's destitution. Written by Saachiko and Dom Magwili, the play was first produced in 1993 at Los Angeles' Japanese American National Museum, where it has become an annual holiday tradition. "A Jivebomber's Christmas" is filled with traditional Christmas carols, popular music from the 1940s, dance, humor and sentiment. It is a warm, nostalgic, lighthearted play. The Friday and Saturday night performances are at 7:30 p.m.; general admission tickets are $22 (plus applicable fees), to purchase visit the MACC box office, call 242-7469 or order online at mauiarts.org.