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Backstage

Six productions featured in Maui Fringe Theater Festival

Even after serving for 10 years as the Maui Fringe Theater Festival coordinator, I’m still repeatedly asked, “What is a fringe festival?” The easy answer is that it is the same thing as a film festival but with plays. However, it is more. Fringe is a worldwide theater-on-the-edge ...

Greasers and jocks collide in local staging of ‘The Outsiders’

Previously presented by King Kekaulike Drama in 2013, drama instructor and director Chris Kepler revisits “The Outsiders” tomorrow night at King Kekaulike Performing Arts Center in Pukalani. Written in the late 1960s by real-life high school student S.E. Hinton, “The Outsiders” ...

‘Curious Incident’ a stellar production

Once or twice every season a truly great show emerges. A show that mesmerizes and outshines, and a show that makes one ponder, “Who needs to go to the Mainland to experience great theater?” ProArts’ “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” is that show, and my hunch is that ...

Hawaii premier of ‘Curious Incident’ Friday at ProArts

The stage play “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” is a worldwide, artistic anomaly. It’s a non-musical, it’s very wordy, it explores neurological divergence, and it’s received multiple prodigious awards and critical accolades while remaining an international box ...

Onstage Dance Company: ‘By community, for community’

Two years ago, local dancers and choreographers Erin Kowalick and Dejah Padon teamed up to create a new type of Maui dance company. Produced by Maui OnStage, OnStage Dance Company decided to debut at the 2019 Maui Fringe Theater Festival. The second annual revue, this time a full-length ...

The top 10 performing art showstoppers of 2019

Over the past eight years, this annual top-10 list of performing art showstoppers at year’s end has become my favorite backstage column. Yes, these live-on-stage moments are my personal favorites, but palpable audience elation is the deciding factor in what warrants a glimpse back as we say ...

‘The Nutcracker’ will charm both young and old this weekend

We all have a few holiday traditions. Visiting family, hosting parties, shopping trips to Honolulu, the cookies we bake, antique ornaments passed down through the generations, and the films and cartoon specials we love to see every year are all part of holiday checklists. In the world of ...

‘The Reluctant Elf’ returns to ProArts

Not to be confused as a sequel to “Elf,” ProArts opens “The Reluctant Elf,” next weekend at the ProArts Playhouse in Kihei next weekend, with the wink and a nod phrase, “Everybody’s favorite buddy is back!” “Our buddy, Steve, is an elf,” explained co-writer and director Ally ...

‘Matilda’ is a fairy tale that we can believe in

There’s a different style of holiday family fare happening at Historic Iao Theater in Wailuku this season — darker, bolder and more fantastical. Although the novel was written more than 30 years ago, in my opinion, “Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical” is more relevant in the ...

‘Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical’ opens Friday at Iao

In his posthumously published children’s novel “The Minpins,” Roald Dahl wrote, “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” An eternal optimist who believed that kindness is the number one attribute a human can have, the celebrated British writer also said, “Somewhere ...

Eric Gilliom returns to his theater roots with one-man musical

Although many know Eric Gilliom as a singer and musician, with collaborations alongside Barry Flanagan, Mick Fleetwood and Willie K, he returns to his theater roots in the original one-man musical play, “White Hawaiian,” Thanksgiving weekend at Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Wailuku. I ...

Native American dancer and choreographer presents ‘Weave’

Four years ago, I attended Rosy Simas’ “We Wait in the Darkness” at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. The Minneapolis-based Native American dancer and choreographer is Haudenosaunee (Six Nations or Iroquois people) but identifies as Seneca. I was so affected by the jarring beginning of ...

Circus Lolo makes its debut at ProArts Playhouse

“Circus Lolo really is like nothing else ever,” says its creator Glenn Martinez. The locally based, live-action, cartoon circus troupe makes their debut this weekend at the ProArts Playhouse in Kihei. The 90-minute comedy performance will feature more than 50 characters in an array of ...

High schools announce first shows of season

Traditionally, our local high school theater programs present their first shows of the season between Halloween and Thanksgiving. In past years these productions conflicted, but this season Maui’s directors and drama instructors have scheduled them to open consecutively, starting this weekend ...

Maui LIVE Comedy Series resumes with headliner Helen Hong

Next month, the Maui LIVE Comedy Series resumes with headliner Helen Hong at the Historic Iao Theater in Wailuku. Talk radio listeners will recognize Hong’s voice and wit from her National Public Radio appearances on “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me,” as well as the political talk show “The ...

‘Evil Dead: The Musical’ delivers a lot of bloody fun

In Scotland, deep-fried Mars Bars are a must do, as are the deep-fried butter sticks at the Texas State Fair, despite their contributions to your eventual death. Though a little lowbrow and perhaps trashy, if any show is a must do this season, it’s “Evil Dead: The Musical” at the ProArts ...

Teens to take stage in ‘Rock of Ages’ musical

Late fall is one of the busiest times of the year for the performing arts on Maui, and more than a dozen theatrical productions are scheduled over the next six weeks. A significant portion of the crowded early season offerings are the first youth theater plays and musicals of 2019-20. ...

‘Evil Dead’ a very different theatrical experience

A musical for people that don’t love musicals, and perhaps a musical that’s not for people that love Rodgers and Hammerstein, “Evil Dead the Musical” will be opening ProArts Playhouse in Kihei. Its rustic beginnings were on a tiny stage at a bar in Toronto where it quickly became a ...

‘The Graduate’ offers unique interpretations of familiar characters

Terry Johnson’s adaptation of “The Graduate” ventures beyond the well-known 1967 film, allowing the current Maui OnStage production at Iao Theater in Wailuku to be surprisingly rich in nostalgia and supplementary insight on these classic characters. In the lead, Elisha Cullins dominates ...

‘Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson …’

Some stories hang around because, no matter how many years have passed, they still seem real and relevant. On many occasions the original authors of novels like “The Catcher in the Rye” and “To Kill A Mockingbird” based aspects of the stories on their own lives. Maui OnStage opens their ...