I wasn't kidding last week when I said it was going to be a busy few months of theater on Maui. Amazingly, almost every production has a reasonably similar theme: social acceptance, with a little humor along the way. You may need to get out a calendar to schedule seeing everything, but it is, in fact, possible as long as you go see a couple of shows every weekend.
King Kekaulike High School's Drama Club presents "The Outsiders" Feb. 3 through 12 in the school's cafetorium. Adapted for the stage by Christopher Sergel, it is based on the 1967 coming-of-age novel by teenage author S. E. Hinton (Hinton was a senior in high school when it was published). The story follows two rival groups in Tulsa, Okla., the Greasers and the Socs, who are divided by their socioeconomic status.
The story was based on a friend of Hinton's who was brutally beaten for being a Greaser. The incident upset her so much, she went home that day and started writing the book.
Pink Ladies Lia Krieg (from left), Jacqui Sherwood and Jonna Ahn share a milkshake high in Maui OnStage’s upcoming “Grease”
JACK GRACE photo
* Directed by Chris Kepler, performances at the Pukalani campus are at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for students, available at the door a half-hour before showtimes.
Seabury Hall Performing Arts presents "The Cherry Orchard" by Anton Chekhov weekends, Feb. 24 through March 4. Set amid the emancipation of the serfs by Tsar Alexander II, Chekhov's 1904 play examines how social change allowed former serfs to gain wealth and status while some aristocrats were becoming impoverished, unable to manage their estates without slave labor. The play follows an aristocratic Russian family and the family's well-known cherry orchard estate just before it is auctioned to pay the mortgage.
The student cast includes Celina Bekins, Gabrielle Bega, Laura Mayron, Gregory Saydah, Zeb Mehring, Ryan Noufer, Carter Umetsu, Allie Moskow, Taka Tsutsui, Brendan Wilson, Wyatt West, Danielle Ferrer and Cassidy Ross.
* Directed by Todd Van Amburgh, performances at the Olinda campus are at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays with one Sunday matinee at 3 p.m. March 4. Tickets are $11 for adults, $9 for seniors and $5 for students. For tickets or more information, call 573-1257.
Kamehameha Schools Maui Drama Club presents a musical review "What Are We Waiting For?" Feb. 24 through March 3. The drama club has put together a show that will feature vignettes from "Voices from the High School," "Making It, and Stuff," "Yearbook" and "Sammy Carducci's Guide to Women and Looking for Corky Johnson" along with songs from "Fame," "Starting Here Starting Now," "Anyone Can Whistle," "CAMP" and "Merrily We Roll Along." Director Alexis Dascoulias teams with choreographer Aly Cardinalli and musical director Tana Larson.
* Performances are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays at the Kamehameha Schools Maui campus in Pukalani. Admission is free and reservations are not required.
Baldwin High School Performing Arts Learning Center and the Baldwin Theatre Guild present the Maui premiere of "Hairspray" at the Baldwin Auditorium March 2 through 11. It features music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman and a book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, based on the 1988 John Waters film. Linda Carnevale directs. "Hairspray" is the tale of Tracy Turnblad and her rise from high school outcast to local celebrity amidst the backdrop of racial tension, civil rights and segregation in Baltimore, circa 1962.
* Performances are 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m., with an additional 2 p.m. matinee on March 10 and a 7 p.m. show on March 11. Tickets are available at the door only, $12 for adults, $9 for seniors and $7 for 17 and younger. The box office will open one hour prior to showtimes and seating begins a half-hour prior to the performance.
ProArts Inc. will present "The Mousetrap," a murder- mystery play by Agatha Christie Feb. 17 through March 4 at the ProArts Playhouse. "The Mousetrap," the longest- running play in history, opened in London's West End in 1952 and has been running continuously since then. The play is also known for its twist ending, which at the end of every performance, the audience and journalists are asked not to reveal. Eight guests are snowed in at a wealthy British manor where they read in the newspaper about the murder of a woman in London. Each character is scrutinized and suspected, until the investigating detective sets a trap for one of the suspects.
* Directed by Kristi Scott, performances are 7:30 p.m.Thursdays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays. Reserved seats for adults are $25, students 18 and younger are $20. Ask about the ProArts $20 Kama'aina Nights with valid Hawaii ID. For reservations or more information, call 463-6550 or visit proartspacific.com.
Martha Graham Dance Company, the oldest dance company in the United States, is coming to Maui at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7. The company performs in Castle Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. A leader in the development of contemporary dance since its founding in 1926, Graham and her company expanded the vocabulary of movement and forever altered the scope of the art form. This production, titled 'Prelude and Revolt," offers a montage of Graham's work with narration, providing a history of this iconic artist. It charts the era when Martha Graham burst onto the scene and brings her company to the present day.
* Tickets are $12, $42 and $55 plus applicable fees, available from the MACC box office, 242-7469 or mauiarts.org.
Trey McIntyre Dance Project performs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, also in Castle Theater at the MACC. One of the most sought-after choreographers working today, Trey McIntyre has created a canon of more than 80 works for companies such as American Ballet Theatre, Stuttgart Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and New York City Ballet.
"Our goal is to use the inherent beauty of ballet vocabulary to create dances that authentically and clearly convey the emotion and grace of life's journey, while meaningfully engaging audiences in the experience, " says McIntyre.
* Tickets are $12, $30 and $40 plus applicable fees, available from the MACC as above.
Maui OnStage, the theater company that produced last season's sold-out productions of "Cats" and "Chicago," will present the timeless American classic "Grease" Feb. 24 through March 11. With book, music and lyrics by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, New York's Brian Swasey will be guest director/choreographer. Swasey's previous credits include performing with Cathy Rigby in "Peter Pan," directing Maui OnStage's "Annie" and choreographing a off-Broadway production of "A Chorus Line." The Maui ensemble cast features Eric Peterson, Jacqui Sherwood, Lia Krieg, Rueben Carrion, Allison Mikes, Aly Cardinalli and Jerry Eiting.
* Performances are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays at the Historic Iao Theater. Tickets are $40, $22 and $15. Dinner packages are available with Cafe' O'Lei and Bistro Casanova. For tickets or more information call the Maui OnStage box office at 242-6969 or visit mauionstage.com
Catch an evening of stand-up comedy with Power Up Comedy tonight at Casanova in Makawao. Tonight's bill includes magician, the Amazing Brenton; Chino La Forge; Corky; Teresa Sickels; Doug Wyckoff; Jose Solorzano and Dr. Titanium.
* The show is 10 p.m. and tickets are $10 at the door only. Audience must be 21 and older with a valid ID.
"One Hot Winter's Night," an evening of sexy, saucy and bawdy song and dance, comes to the Historic Iao Theater at 7:30 p.m. Friday. It features live performances by some of Maui's best entertainers, including Lia Krieg, Casey Murphy, Jonna Ahn, Natalie Raynes, Mark Bolden and the fabulous Kit Kat Club Cabaret; comedy by Chino La Forge and live music by the Iao Orchestra. "One Hot Winter's Night" is an adult-themed nostalgic burlesque show and not appropriated for children younger than 17.
* Tickets are $20 at the door, for more information or to make reservations call 242-6969.
Don't miss the final weekend of "Ruthless! The Musical" at the ProArts Playhouse. Producer Jonathan Lehman and director Aly Cardinalli have given Maui theatergoers something new, something metropolitan. "Ruthless!" might be a bit too wacky and wild for some, but it is insanely funny, original, and polished.
* Performances are at 7:30 tonight through Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. The show includes mild adult content. Reserved seats for adults are $25, students 18 and younger $20 available from ProArts as above with discounted kamaaina prices for the show tonight.