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Backstage

From Broadway to Maui, online theater keeps us entertained

In times of crisis, Broadway artists have been stepping up to help for more than a century. When the show can’t go on they utilize their specialty skills for the greater good. Founded by seven actresses to aid the World War I effort and the Spanish influenza epidemic, the American Theater ...

Executive directors of community theaters discuss challenges ahead

“Hopefully absence makes the heart grow fonder,” replied Lin McEwan, executive director of ProArts, when asked how the conditions surrounding COVID-19 could evolve into a positive for the performing arts. The phrase has many origins, but I’d like to believe it started with William ...

Youth theater camps look hopefully to the summer

As uncertainty looms due to social distancing surrounding COVID-19, performing arts organizations are on hold until further notice. Maui youth theater camps remain optimistic that their summer musicals will commence as scheduled. Theatre Theatre Maui, Maui Academy of Performing Arts and Maui ...

Registration open for youth theater summer camps

Registration is now open for the Maui OnStage Youth Theater summer camp and youth production of “DreamWorks’ Madagascar: A Musical Adventure JR.,” directed by Dejah Padon, choreographed by Nicole Heinlein and under the musical direction of Kim Vetterli. The Maui OnStage camp is limited ...

Maui Arts & Cultural Center announces pause in programming

In support of current county, state and federal governmental and health agency recommendations, and in light of the worldwide efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus, the Maui Arts & Cultural Center has postponed all public programming until further notice. This decision is guided by ...

Youth theater groups shine

Over the past two weeks, youth theater has staged strong plays and musicals all over Maui. The number of students involved topped 100 with more than 10 different elementary, intermediate and high schools represented in these community productions. Twenty eight cast members, as young as age ...

ProArts’ ‘Out of Order’ works extremely well

British farce dates back to Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” and it has become a distinct genre. A poorly performed farce is the most painful theatrical offering to endure. Astute comic timing, quality accents and precision blocking is required. When it works, audiences gasp for air due ...

Comedy ‘Out of Order’ opens at ProArts Playhouse

No stranger to directing outlandish comedies on Maui, director David Belew calls his latest project, “One of the funniest shows I’ve ever been a part of.” The British farce “Out of Order,” by Ray Cooney, opens this weekend at the ProArts Playhouse in Kihei. Cooney’s award-winning ...

‘Xanadu’ a wild ride of pure silliness

THEATER REVIEW Aside from a skeleton plot, the stage adaptation of “Xanadu” bears little resemblance to the 1980 film. Its libretto is unapologetic brain candy and Kalani Whitford’s and Camille Romero’s collaboratively directed and choreographed production at Historic Iao Theater in ...

Saber Theatre actors have strong performances in ‘As You Like It’

This past weekend, Maui High School Saber Theatre opened William Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.” Though challenged by lighting, sound sets, scene changes and a quality performance space that most Maui theater companies have, Saber Theatre rose above these hindrances by means of strong ...

‘Xanadu’ to take audiences on a nonstop ride

After the box-office and soundtrack successes of “Grease” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Xanadu,” which starred Olivia Newton-John, was supposed to be the summer roller disco, megahit of 1980. It wasn’t. In fact it was uniformly panned and considered by many ...

Craig Gass Roast follows comedian’s 3 shows at ProArts

Prior to moving to Maui, I was a special events coordinator at The Friars Club of Beverly Hills and worked many of their legendary roasts 20 years ago. This weekend, a roast is coming to Maui as ProArts will host the roast of comedian Craig Gass at the ProArts Playhouse in Kihei. In addition, ...

Rarely told stories of paniolo featured in two-man play

Playwright and actor Moses Goods returns to Maui with his latest original play “Paniolo.” A graduate of Maui High School, audiences will remember Goods from his one-person plays “DUKE,” and “My Name is “Opukaha‘ia” presented in the McCoy Studio Theater. “For many years I ...

‘Maui LIVE Comedy Series’ a homecoming for two comedians

“My dad was born on Maui, so I get to perform and see family. It should be a great trip,” said Hawaii native and stand-up comedian Paul Ogata. This weekend is a homecoming not only for Ogata, but also former Maui resident Chino La Forge who opens for Ogata in the “Maui LIVE Comedy ...

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 ...