Multi talented Maui performer, Rachel Deboer began performing in childhood as Snoopy in "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown." Originally from Philadelphia and Florida she explained, "I was teased and bullied as a child for being out there and weird on the east coast. When I was on stage those same kids now gave me a standing ovation."
Thus began the next 27 years of a life on the stage. When she arrived on Maui, she missed the night life of Los Angeles where she had performed weekly in night clubs with the surrealistic art theater group, The Dream Theater.
"At first I just wanted to act, but I learned how to produce and direct while working with them. If you want something or miss something sometimes you have to do it yourself on Maui. You have to create it and make it happen on your own."
Rachel Deboer appears onstage at a poetry reading.
The Maui News file photo
For the past 17 years, Deboer has been body painting as well. "I was attracted to it because it allowed me to combine my love of theater, dance, magic and art," she said.
Deboer has launched several businesses since arriving in Maui nine years ago including a her popular face painting appearances all over the island with Fabulous Faces and her theater troupe Next Level Theatrical Productions. In 2008 she had her very first professional face and body paint experience at the World Body Painting Festival in Austria. Expecting to only art model she decided to compete as a painter and returned with 3rd place in the Semi-Pro Brush and Sponge category. Deboer will bring her current project, the Ultraviolets, to Austria for this year's festival in July.
Through working with local magician Brenton Keith, Deboer combined puppetry with body painting. Keith introduced her to black light magic.
"I had been interested in black light for years which lead to creating 'Aumakua,' " said Deboer.
"Aumakua" was accepted by Ritz Carlton Kapalua Cultural Advisor, Clifford Nae'ole because of its exceptional Hawaiian cultural themes and the visual magic that black light delivers.
The black light puppet show was intended for children, inspiring Deboer to create something for adults.
"I wanted to create something revolutionary that could truly be a part of the Maui art movement," she said. "Yes, we travel for performances, but the Ultraviolets are not just for touring and tourists, I want to keep it a Maui arts group."
I asked her how she describes the glow in the dark burlesque troupe. "It was created by women for women, and we use our sexuality for comedic theatrical purposes," said Deboer. "I enjoy using the surreal dream-like visual aspects. We get an amazing response and it relaxes people's inhibitions because of the black light."
When asked to talk about her comedy she offered, "It ranges from sixth-grade humor to high-brow satire. The Ultraviolets allows people to loosen up a little; we combine social satire with sexual parody to open people's minds."
* Catch the Ultraviolets in "Masquerade: A Venetian Masquerade Ball," an evening of performance art, tomorrow night, First Friday in Wailuku at the Historic Iao Theater. Doors open at 8:30 p.m., followed by a body art show, the Ultraviolets black light burlesque, two fashion shows and dancing until 1 a.m. with DJ Paul Gotel and DJ Satdeva. Drinks provided by Maui Kombucha and Kona Red, food by Belgium's Chef David and Maui Ice Cream by Coconut Glen. Black light face painting for the audience by Next Level Theater. Guests are encouraged to wear costumes and masks. Tickets are $20 in advance with a limited number of VIP seating tickets with complementary masks for $30. To purchase tickets visit divadiva.eventbrite.com. This is an 18 and over event only.
Congratulations to the Maui Fringe Festival 2012 award winners! First place went to "Reflections" by Joel Agnew. Second place was Anne Hallinan's hysterically funny "Pride and Joy" followed by "Payday At Pukalani" in third place. The Hoku award for best acting performance went to Tom Althouse for his role in "Reflections."
Also this week
ProArts' "and Miss Reardon Drinks a Little" by Paul Zindel, directed by Mark Collmer continues through June 3 at the ProArts Playhouse. The Maui cast includes Kristi Scott, Martha Siefken, Sarah Loney, Andy Howansky, Lisa Teichner, Jett Batoon, and Nathan Galusky. Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. There will be no performance Sunday May 20. Ask about the ProArts Kama'aina discount tonight, May 31. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for students 18 and younger. For reservations or more information call 463-6550 or visit proartspacific.com.
"Chicago" cast mates Casey Murphy and Lia Krieg are teaming up to present a series of regular 1940's style cabaret variety shows at the Maui Tropical Plantation. A second bar has been installed and brand new stage is almost complete. The duo is billing a future production as "Sirens of Song." Keep posted for performance details scheduled for late June.
Don't wait too long Maui because tickets are almost sold out for Broadway's biggest blockbuster "Wicked," by Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman, based on the novel by Gregory Maguire will be in Honolulu for a limited eight week touring engagement November 24 through January 16, 2013.
Long before Dorothy drops in, two other girls meet in the Land of Oz. One born with emerald green skin is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular.
"Wicked" tells the story of their remarkable odyssey and how these two unlikely friends grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch of the North.
Called "a cultural phenomenon" by Variety and named "the defining musical of the decade" by The New York Times, "Wicked" continues to thrill audiences around the world.
"Wicked" features set design by Tony Award winner Eugene Lee ("Ragtime"), costume design by Tony winner Susan Hilferty ("Into the Woods") and lighting design by Tony nominee Kenneth Posner ("Hairspray").
The cast for the forthcoming national tour stop will be announced at a later date.
The national tour will have eight performances per week at the Blaisdell Concert Hall, Tuesdays through Sundays. To purchase tickets for "Wicked" call (808) 593-2468 or visit magicspace.net/wicked.
Kamp Krazy Tales returns for two sessions this summer. The Drama Queen (Kristi Scott) & Miss Marti (Marti Kluth), in association with ProArts Inc., present two great drama/music Kamps at the ProArts Playhouse in Azeka Shopping Center, Kihei May 29 through June 2 and Monday June 4 through June 8. Classes will run from 9 a.m. noon.
Kamp Krazy Tales is intended for keiki ages 5 through 10 plus, tuition $150 per session. Young students will learn fun drama games and music techniques, and the camp will culminate with a short performance for parents.
Pre-registration is required. No previous experience is necessary. Call 276-4847 for more information, or visit mkluth.com.