In the heart of hippie land, the corner of Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco, there is a 1940s swing dance and jazz club, Club DeLuxe. For the past 25 years the place has been packed with hundreds of 20 somethings every weekend pretending it is 1945. They dress from head to toe in vintage clothing down to tie bars and cufflinks for men and bobby sox and saddle shoes for women. When I lived there I remember an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, a reporter asked a young woman why she wanted to dress like her mom. The girl replied "my mom was a hippie; these are my grandma's clothes."
Today a new generation of swing kids are likely the great grandchildren of the WWII generation but that style remains timeless and classic. You can find members of this quiet cult all over America, usually showing up at events such as "Hollywood Swing Canteen," happening on Friday, June 29 at the Maui Tropical Plantation.
I spoke with event promoter, manager and performer Lia Krieg last week who filled me in on this exciting endeavor with the Maui Tropical Plantation. Krieg co-heads the "Sirens of Song" with Casey Murphy and fellow songstresses Jonna Ahn and Nara Boone.
Left to right: Casey Murphy, Jonna Ahn, Nara Boone and Lia Krieg are the “Sirens of Song.”
CJ Evans Photography
"Our goal is to run a regular dinner show at the Plantation called 'Grass Shack Radio.' It will be a history of eras of Hawaiian music, starting with a WWII era tribute for Fourth of July weekend. The Plantation is so centrally located and conducive to hosting big events. It's underused and we're hoping to change that."
The 1940s theme show will feature songs from the four "Sirens" like "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company C," and "Sing, Sing, Sing," plus tributes to jazz divas Billie Holiday and Edith Piaf.
The Kit Kat Club Cabaret will also be performing original burlesque and their first male member, Trevor Arnholt, will perform a tribute to Cab Calloway.
I asked Krieg what changes have been made to accommodate the overflow crowd from their April production. "We're going to open the entire dining room this time," said Krieg. "The staff has been increased and we'll have plenty of food by A Kat Kreations and Catering Company. There's now two full service bars, more cocktail servers and they've just finished building a brand new stage for us, 'the Waikapu Shell.' If it works we hope to have a new production quarterly, a '50s show, the '60s and right up to today's music."
Filling out the evening's bill will be a two production numbers from Maui OnStage's upcoming "The Producers," a Hollywood glamour inspired pinup parade fashion show, period visuals by Doug DeBoer, swinging sounds from maestro Scott Provonsha plus local Lindy Hoppers Jason Wulf and the SwingMaui dancers. Attendees are encouraged to sport their best vintage garb and brush up their swing steps. Based on the huge crowd at the last Tropical Plantation event, you'll want to get tickets in advance for this one. Reserved table seating is also available for groups.
"We love where we live," said Krieg on behalf of her fellow "Sirens." "We want to make a living here on Maui doing what we love and we're going to try to make that happen for ourselves."
* Come enlist at the "Hollywood Swing Canteen," and support Maui's "Sirens of Song," Friday June 29 at the Maui Tropical Plantation. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., cabaret show 7:30 to 9:30 with swing dancing to follow until 11 p.m. Tickets are $15 with limited reserved table seating available for $25 per person. Advance tickets may be purchased online at hollywoodswing.eventbrite.com or at the door.
Maui's own Power Up Comedy will present a live stand up comedy CD recording show at Stella Blues on Saturday June 23. The popular comedy troupe invites you to come and be part of their first comedy recording. Tickets are $10 online or $15 at the door with a start time of 10 p.m., to purchase tickets in advance, visit powerupcomedy.com. The recorded show will feature Power Up comics Jason Strahn, Doc Titanium, Sunny Dennis, Corky Gardner, Teresa Sickels, Doug Wyckoff and Chino LaForge.
Comedian Mike Epps will perform at the Castle Theater 7:30 p.m. Saturday June 30. Known for his quick wit and ability to blend hip hop with comedy, Epps hosted both the 2009 and 2010 BET Hip Hop Awards. He has also appeared in the films "All About the Benjamins," "Roll Bounce," "Guess Who," "The Honeymooners," "Hancock," and as Black Doug in "The Hangover." This performance is intended for mature audiences.
Tickets are $25, $45, $55, and $65, plus applicable fees. To purchase tickets visit the MACC box office, call 242-7469 or order online at mauiarts.org.
Tickets are now available for the Maui Academy of Performing Arts teen summer musical theatre camp production of "Narnia." Step through the wardrobe into the enchanting world of Narnia as 51 young performers from age 12 through 20 bring C.S. Lewis' classic story to life.
"Narnia" opens Friday June 29 and runs through July 8. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Sundays at the Steppingstone Playhouse. Tickets are $14 adults and $10 students 18 and under. For tickets visit mauiacademy.org, call 244-8760 or purchase at the customer service kiosk at Queen Ka'ahumanu Center.