Backstage

‘Strangers on a Train’

Well-known for their murder mystery and thriller productions such as “The Mousetrap,” “Ten Little Soldiers,” “Dial M for Murder” and June’s “Sleuth,” ProArts explores this noir genre again when they open their 2019-20 season tomorrow night with “Strangers on a Train” at ...

Local theater is golden ticket

Previous years in the Backstage preview guide, I have included what Broadway had in store. This year, because Maui will have so many performing arts events in 2019-20, we didn’t have room to include Broadway and could only mention half of 40-plus productions scheduled for the season. Next ...

‘EVIL DEAD THE MUSICAL’

The founders of Roseox Productions, Jennifer Rose and Jim Oxborrow, have a peculiar explanation on how they met. “Jen cast me in ‘The Producers’ in 2012,” said Oxborrow. “Jim’s audition was hilarious,” countered Rose. “He was singing and ripped of his shirt to reveal he ...

Lanai Academy of Performing Arts needs shades, the future is so bright

Even the casual theater fan on Maui has been exposed to Music Theatre International, one of the most prestigious theatrical licensing agencies providing the rights to youth, community and professional theaters around the world. Their titles have been performed by more than 70,000 theatrical ...

Lin McEwan from first impressions to theater succession

T’he first time I met Lin McEwan was in August of 2014. She walked into the Historic Iao Theater and inquired about an audition. Leaving her headshot and resume, I was immediately impressed by her preparedness, professionalism and theatrical experience. A few weeks later, she was cast as the ...

Inaugural comedy series launches at Historic Iao Theater this weekend

While working at The Friar’s Club of Beverly Hills 20 years ago, I frequently met and watched many Second City improv performers and up-and-coming comedians. Since writing this column, I occasionally have the chance to interview touring comics that I had once worked with at the Friar’s ...

Visceral, thought provoking drama

Over the past two seasons, Vinnie Linares’ Oh Boy Productions has expanded the number of theatrical productions presented seasonally. Some of its finest offerings have included 2017’s “Medea” and last August’s exemplary “Albatross” by Matthew Spangler. Tonight Oh Boy ...

Maui’s summer theater camps deliver the goods

Stage Reviews A busy weekend of summer camp youth theater productions provided something for audiences of all ages last week. The lavish production of “Disney’s Frozen JR.” is a feast for the eyes featuring 61 youth performers, an impressive rotating set by Jamie Tait, superb costumes ...

Like smilin’?

Stage Review “Mamma Mia!” is not John Steinbeck nor Stephen Sondheim, but it is the most fun you will have this summer. Special effects and multiple stage surprises certainly contribute to the wow factor of “Mamma Mia!,” but it is the quality vocals, rich harmonies, breakout ...

Summer sizzles

As is always the case with theater on Maui, it’s either feast or famine. Following a quiet June, three youth theater productions — “Legally Blonde JR.,” “Disney’s Frozen JR.” and “Disney’s My Son Pinocchio, JR.” — featuring more than 120 students are set open next week in ...

‘Mamma Mia!’ ‘My, my, how can I resist you?’

To divulge a little honesty, when “Mamma Mia!” began its American warmup at San Francisco’s Orpheum Theater in 2000 before opening on Broadway, I happened to be in San Francisco for Thanksgiving. I saw the massive marquee and dismissively said to my cousin while walking down Market ...

Laughs let loose

Live comedy has had a series of ups and downs over the years on Maui. In the 1980s, resorts and nightclubs would occasionally host comedy tours, and since the opening of the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Kahului, dozens of A-list comics have performed at both the Castle Theater and McCoy ...

Meet Caro Walker

Whenever live theater has a brief lull, it means that the designers and volunteer craftspersons are hard at work creating theater dreams — sets, costumes, lighting, props and all the unheralded components necessary for the next big show. Few have been more active in theater design on Maui ...

Face off

STAGE REVIEW Suspense classics are tricky to stage live. A clever script can only take you so far. Audiences must be transported to a place of believability, they must be surprised, but most importantly they must be captivated. “Sleuth,” which opened last weekend at the ProArts ...

Murder, mayhem and mystery

Previewing and reviewing mystery plays with their precisely crafted puzzle, dependence on twists and turns and reversals of fortune is a conundrum for theater writers. To share even a vague outline of plot development with the reader is a major risk in spoiling an audience’s experience. ...

Original ballet ‘The Jungle Book’ more than typical youth ballet

Alexander Academy of Performing Arts’ original ballet, “The Jungle Book,” presented last weekend at Seabury Hall’s ‘A‘ali‘ikuhonua Creative Arts Center in Makawao, was remarkably entertaining. The ballet opened on Friday night with exciting and athletic choreography by Hallie ...

Winners all around

The Tony Awards, telecast Sunday, June 9 on CBS, is likely to be a night of surprises. The 2018-19 theater season featured no clear-cut hit show, a mere two musical revivals and a great many nominations for Broadway newcomers. The musical categories are toss ups this year with ...

Take a walk on the wild side

“I had so much fun on ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ and ‘The Little Mermaid’ in building a ballet from the ground up,” said Amelia Couture, artistic director of Alexander Academy Performing Company’s original ballet, “The Jungle Book,” which opens next weekend at ...

Producing our next generation of performers

Every summer, Maui youth theater camps go all-out with large-scale musicals featuring upwards of 50 students. Theatre Theatre Maui in Lahaina, and Maui OnStage and Maui Academy of Performing Arts, both in Wailuku, have all begun open enrollments that will culminate with performances of ...