I'm sure there's got to be a Shakespearean or Biblical story that's been adapted more frequently than Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," but at the very least "Oz" is a close third or fourth. By my count, which may be slightly off, there are 47 stage, film and made-for-TV versions dating back to 1902. There are currently three new Oz films in production as we speak. A Drew-Barrymore-produced, Dorothy-themed, "Oz" sequel project, a new Disney live-action version directed by Sam Raimi, and an all-new anime feature version as well. If that weren't enough, Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical adaptation (currently running in London) based on the 1939 film, which includes the timeless Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg songs and stars Michael Crawford, will be coming to Broadway this season. In Hawaii "Wicked," the musical prequel to Dorothy's visit, is coming to Honolulu Thanksgiving weekend, Maui OnStage will be presenting a production based on the 1939 film, with adults that exact same weekend and this weekend Theatre Theatre Maui presents a children's production of "The Wizard of Oz." The Westside show includes music and lyrics by Arlen and Harburg, adapted by John Kane for the Royal Shakespeare Company. This version, first presented in London in 1988, was adapted to follow the famous motion picture even more closely than any other previous adaptations.
The Lahaina-based Theatre Theater Maui was founded in 1991 with a primary mission to bring the performing arts to adults and children of the Westside community. Theater loving junkies like Penny Wakida, Anne Wilder and Ann Burkhalter currently serve on their board accommodating after school programs, an annual summer camp and Westside children's productions for the past 20 years. The camp sessions are held at Lahainaluna High School, where 31 students from grades 4 to10 have been in rehearsal since mid June. This year's team of leaders includes director Kristi Scott, tech director Derek Nakagawa (co-founder of TTM), music director Marti Kluth, choreographer Hadley Garcia and costume consultant Sarah Loney. Director Kristi Scott will offer a modern take on "Oz." "We can hope that our updated presentation will touch as many hearts as the film we remember as children." The Westside cast features Lauryn Gillis as Dorothy, Ahtziri Orozco as the Scarecrow, Brandon Barreno as the Tin Man, Kalee Farberow as the Lion, Katya Brody as Glinda, Kyle Killett as the Wicked Witch of the West, and Starla Racine as the Wizard.
* Theatre Theater Maui presents "The Wizard of Oz" Friday through Sunday in Westin Maui Resort & Spa's Haleakala Ballroom. Performances are at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 3 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $10 adults, $5 children 12 and younger and may be purchased at the door one hour prior to the performance or in advance at Lahaina Music. For more information, contact Theatre Theater Maui at 661-1168.
Following the Yellow Brick Road are timeless characters such as the Tin Man (Brandon Barreno), Scarecrow (Ahtziri Orozco), Dorothy (Lauryn Gillis) and Lion (Kalee Farberow), from left.
Photo courtesy of Theatre Theatre Maui
Also this week
The Maui premiere of Mel Brooks' "The Producers" continues through July 29. The Maui OnStage production is directed by Jennifer Rose, choreographed by Camille Romero and under the musical direction of Stephen Haynes. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 3 p.m. Sundays at the Historic Iao Theater. All-new reserved seating tickets are $15 to $28. Dinner packages are available with Bistro Casanova, Wailuku Coffee Company and Cafe O'Lei at the Dunes. For tickets or more details, call 242-6969; or purchase online at mauionstage.com.
Power Up Comedy presents the return of "The He & She Show," a live stand-up comedy date night, Saturday at Stella Blues Cafe in Kihei. "The He & She Show" takes advantage of the funny that exists in all relationships and is co-headlined by Doug Wyckoff and Teresa Sickels, who just returned to Maui from the show's success on the Mainland.
Maui's Sunny Dennis hosts this comedy show. Also performing is King Martin, Jose Solorzano, Corky Gardner and Oahu's Erika Swartzkopf. The family-friendly version starts at 8 p.m. and the adult show is at 10 p.m., The $10 advance tickets are available online at powerupcomedy.com or you may pay $15 at the door.
MAPA presents "Disney's Sleeping Beauty," directed by Kathleen Schulz and featuring MAPA students ages 7 to 12. Performances are July 26 through 29 at the Steppingstone Playhouse, Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets are $12 adults, and $8 students 12 and younger. For reservations or more information, visit mauiacademy.org, call 244-8760 or purchase at the customer service kiosk at Queen Ka'ahumanu Center.
Augie T's "Summer of LOL" comes to the McCoy Theater at the MACC, Saturday, July 28. Augie brings his hilarious local-kine comedy back to Maui for one night only. Special guest Brad Starks, stand-up comic and impressionist, to open. Performance at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $20 general, $35 premium with a special post show meet and greet included. To purchase tickets, visit the MACC box office, call 242-7469 or order online at mauiarts.org.
The Maui Academy of Performing Arts will be holding open auditions for Shakespeare's tragedy "Macbeth," from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 2 and from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, August 4 at the MAPA studios in Wailuku. MAPA Executive and Artistic Director David C. Johnston will direct. Rehearsals begin in late August. The show will be performed at the Steppingstone Playhouse in Queen Ka'ahumanu Center October 26 through November 11, Fridays, Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.. Auditioning is open to performers age 18 and older. Please prepare a short Shakespearean monologue or sonnet two minutes or less. To schedule a 10-minute audition slot, contact MAPA Production Coordinator Tina Kailiponi at mauiacademy.org or call 244-8760.