Backstage

Jaw-dropping aerial dance skills

This weekend at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului, an innovative performance space will be explored — one not utilized since the Bandaloop dance troupe performed there in 2014. The newly formed tandem of Maui Aerial Arts and Airmaid Productions premieres its first collaborative ...

Stage Review: Enlightening drama educates its audience

“Vindication, Scenes from the Life of Mary Wollstonecraft” begins with our introduction to Mary as a precocious young lady endearingly portrayed by Dakota Welch. In an outstanding performance, Noel Overbay portrays her mother. Young Mary repeatedly questions why she cannot attend the ...

Performing Arts: Augie T. on ‘Last Stand’ tour

Comedian Augie T is making the island rounds with his “Last Stand” tour, which stops on Maui at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Castle Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului. Accompanied by Jose “Dynamite” Figueras and Daryl Bonilla, Augie has decided after 27 years of the comedy ...

Dance fest grows

“Dance Maui” celebrates our cultural diversity by bringing local and visiting dance troupes together as one for an afternoon each November. The festival continues to expand in size, and this year’s performance will be staged outdoors at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Maui Arts & Cultural ...

Under the spotlight

Each November, Maui’s high school theater programs present their first shows of the season, wedged between homecoming dances and the long Thanksgiving weekend. This weekend, King Kekaulike Drama Club opens its season in the magnificent King Kekaulike Performing Arts Center with “Romeo and ...

Michael Sakamoto’s ‘Soil’

Michael Sakamoto is an artist and teacher active in dance, theater and photography. His works have been presented in 14 countries throughout Asia, Europe and North America. His latest production, “Soil,” is currently on tour and will be presented at 7:30 p.m. tonight in Castle Theater at ...

You’ll laugh, . . . . . . you’ll shriek

When it comes to Halloween, Maui is an island-wide, non-stop special event festival that caters to all ages. There are dozens of nightclub events not included in this guide, but if you’re looking for family-friendly, teen-friendly or PG-13 ghoulish entertainment, chances are there are several ...

Original live theater thriving in Hawaii

In Hollywood, writing a screenplay usually involves a team of producers asking for changes or buying the property outright and re-inventing the story — that is if you are lucky. In theater, the answer from producers is almost always, “Thanks, but no thanks.” If a production company ...

Madcap hijinks abound as ‘Rumors’ fly

A funny thing is happening at the Historic Iao Theater in Wailuku — Neil Simon’s farce “Rumors.” When the play debuted on Broadway, The New York Times said it, “Has nothing on its mind except making the audience laugh,” and that spot-on description mirrors the current Maui OnStage ...

Family tragedies exposed

Stage Review As voracious consumers of American movies and television, we are all subconsciously prone to focus on the person who is talking. In theater, by doing so you are only seeing one fragment of a story. ProArts’ “Other Desert Cities” may be its most captivating production, but ...

The ‘Rumors’ fly

The recent passing of legendary playwright Neil Simon at the age of 91 presented an unanticipated perspective of Maui OnStage’s season opening production, Simon’s 1980’s “Rumors,” as the Historic Iao Theater in Wailuku celebrates 90 years of hosting entertainment events and embarks on ...

Holiday drama ensues

“Anytime you can make an audience laugh, but leave the theater thinking, and even crying a little bit, it is a good thing,” says “Other Desert Cities” Director Mark Collmer. The comedy-drama by Jon Robin Baitz, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2012, makes its Maui premiere ...

Not your child’s usual fairy tale

Stage Review MAPA Live! concludes “Into the Woods” music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by James Lapine, directed by David C. Johnston, under the musical direction of Gary W. Leavitt. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday in Castle Theater at the Maui ...

Be careful what you wish for

Director of MAPA Live’s production of “Into the Woods,” David C. Johnston compares the ethereal Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine musical to Joseph Campbell’s mythology classic, “The Hero with a Thousand Faces.” Sometimes called the “monomyth,” or “hero’s journey,” and ...

Wailuku’s ‘Grand Dame’ theater hails 90 years of entertainment fun

In the summer of 2008, I was asked by former Maui OnStage Executive Director Alexis Dascoulias to assist with the 80th anniversary celebrations of the Historic Iao Theater in Wailuku. Though a decade has now passed, the Grand Dame of Wailuku is not only still going strong, but its beauty and ...

Cursed for eternity

Since Vinnie Linares’ Oh Boy Productions presented last summer’s “Medea,” he and frequent collaborator Jennifer Rose have been motivated to produce additional thought-provoking plays on Maui. “There is an audience for this type of material, but they have been denied because this is ...

Iliza Shlesinger

Comedian and actress Iliza Shlesinger has been quietly establishing herself as one of the best and hardest-working comics in America for the past half-dozen years. Never heard of her? Millennials certainly have, and her latest comedy special “Elder Millennial” debuted last week on ...

Mini Stage Reviews: Youth theater shines

Lahaina’s Theatre Theatre Maui’s current production of “Oliver!” is a bold choice, armed with many standout performances in an unconventional setting, which moves the classical tale by Charles Dickens from Victorian London to an unspecified post-apocalyptic British future. Director ...

Discover the ‘Circle of Life’

While visiting the Maui Academy of Performing Arts summer theater camp last week, I noticed their lessons concluded with the 63-member youth cast gathered in a circle, hands clasped, singing “Goodbye, farewell to you my friend. So long, farewell, until we meet again.” “In one summer a ...