Summer theater programs keep Maui kids entertained

Summer theater options on Maui include “PAW Patrol Live! Race to the Rescue” at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului. Photo courtesy Maui Arts & Cultural Center

Many a summer, the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului has hosted “Sesame Street Live” at the Castle Theater. This year, for parents of young children who may be seeking something new to share as a family, the pups of “PAW Patrol” are coming to Maui.

“PAW Patrol Live!” is based on the popular preschool television series and stars the favorite PAW Patrol pups in an action-packed, high-energy, live musical adventure where “no job is too big, no pup is too small.”

In “Race to the Rescue,” it’s the day of the Great Adventure Bay Race between Adventure Bay’s Mayor Goodway and Foggy Bottom’s Mayor Humdinger — but Mayor Goodway is nowhere to be found. Ten-year-old boy and team leader Ryder summons pups Marshall, Chase, Skye, Rubble, Rocky, Zuma and Everest to rescue Mayor Goodway and to run the race in her place. Sharing lessons for all ages about citizenship, social skills and problem-solving, the production will include two acts (with an intermission) and engage audiences with Bunraku puppetry, an innovative costuming approach that brings the characters to life on stage.

“Using Bunraku puppetry, elements are built into costumes worn by real actors to create a wonderful combination of life-size pups and to make a stronger connection with the audience. The ‘PAW Patrol’ cast sings and dances, which brings a fun, realistic parallel between the animated series and the live show,” says producer Jim Waters.

“Race to the Rescue” will also feature up-tempo music and a brand new “PAW Patrol” story that should be a good introduction to live theater for preschool children, plus special interactive moments that allow the audience to participate and solve clues. Colorful theatrical scenery along with projections will transport families into the “PAW Patrol” locations like Adventure Bay, The Lookout, Seal Island, Farmer Yumi’s farm and Jake’s Mountain.

“Oliver” presented by Theater Theater Maui in Lahaina stars, back row: Kira Newton (from left), Gianna Bauchman, Sydney McCarney, Jonah Basurto, Rory Delaney. Middle row: Reese Berliner (from left), Rocco Dahl, Shelsea Wurts, Tessa Chin. Front row: Cash McCloud (left) and Olive McCloud. Photo courtesy Theater Theater Maui

* Performances are at 6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m., 2 and 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday in Castle Theater at the MACC. Tickets range from $20 to $125 (plus applicable fees). Children age 1 and older must have tickets for this production. The $125 “Paw Patrol” VIP tickets include first four rows of seating and admission to the “Paw Patrol” post-show party, which includes a meet and greet with two costumed characters, a gift bag, photo opportunities and children’s activities. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the box office, call 242-7469 or go online to


Next week, parents will have two additional options to expose young people to live theater. On July 19, Lahaina’s Theatre Theatre Maui opens “Oliver!,” the full-length musical version of Charles Dickens’ classic novel “Oliver Twist.” Although there are mature themes in the story that deal with abuse, the novel is generally taught to middle school students, and could be a good fit for preteens and their families.

In the musical, Oliver Twist (Shelsea Wurts), an orphan, attempts to stay upright in a society where he’s treated terribly and fed very little while few offer to help.

At age nine, Oliver is sent to a workhouse where he and the other orphans are practically starved. In time, Oliver runs away to London where he encounters a bevy of nefarious 19th-century Dickensian street characters such as the Artful Dodger (Gianna Bauchman), Fagin (Sydney McCarney), Nancy (Rory Delaney) and Bill Sykes (Jonah Basurto).

“Beauty & the Beast Jr.” with Jaysen Giroux (left) and Stefani Peterson at the Historic Iao Theater in Wailuku. Jack Grace photo

The Tony and Academy Award-winning musical by Lionel Bart is known for its beloved hit-filled score with songs such as “Where is Love?,” “Consider Yourself,” “You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two,” “I’d Do Anything,” “Oom-Pah-Pah,” and “As Long as He Needs Me.”

* Theater Theatre Maui presents “Oliver!,” music and lyrics by Lionel Bart, directed by Kristi Scott, choreographed by Felicia Chernicki-Wulf and under the musical direction of Aida Moala. Performances are at 7 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, July 19 through 29 at the Lahaina Gateway Center Suite 601 (Next to Island Ice Cream Company). Tickets are $12 for ages 13 and older, $7 for ages 3 to 12 and are available in advance at Lahaina Music. Children ages 2 and younger get in for free. “Oliver!” contains mature themes that may not be suitable for all audiences. For more information, contact Theatre Theatre Maui at 661-1168 or visit


Elementary school students might prefer “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr.,” an abbreviated version which opens July 21 at the Historic Iao Theater in Wailuku. In this Disney stage adaptation, an enchantress disguised as a beggar offers a coldhearted prince a rose in exchange for one night’s shelter. When he refuses, she transforms him into a beast and his servants, Cogsworth (Makai Neustein), Lumiere (Sachiko Pierner), Mrs. Potts (Heather Robinson) and Chip (Lucia Romero), into household objects.

Years later, Belle (Stefani Peterson) is living an unexciting life with her eccentric father, Maurice (Max Huston), in a little provincial town where she is courted by her unwanted suitor, the self-promoting brute Gaston (Ethan Baysa).

When Belle’s father becomes lost in the woods on the way to the fair, he stumbles upon the castle inhabited by the angry Beast (Jaysen Giroux), who takes Maurice captive. Upon looking for her father, Belle confronts the Beast, who proposes a deal. If she agrees to remain with him in the castle forever, he will let her father go.

One of the most successful Disney productions in its history, the popular score features such recognizable songs as “Belle,” “Gaston,” “Be Our Guest” and the title track.

* Maui OnStage Youth Theater presents “Disney Beauty and the Beast Jr.” with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, book by Linda Woolverton, and directed and choreographed by Dejah Padon. Performances are at 11 a.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m. Sundays, July 21 through 29 at the Historic Iao Theater. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for children. To purchase tickets for any Iao Theater event, call 242-6969 or order online at

Also this week

Maui OnStage presents the Maui premiere of “Singin’ in the Rain,” book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, songs by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed, directed by Alexis Dascoulias, choreographed by Erin Kowalick and under the musical direction of Steven Dascoulias.

Adapted from the MGM movie musical of the same name and set in Hollywood at the advent of talking pictures, “Singin’ in the Rain” features all the familiar songs from the film including “Fit As A Fiddle,” “All I Do Is Dream of You,” “You Are My Lucky Star,” “Good Morning” and the title track.

In the three roles made famous by Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds, Chris Kepler takes on Don Lockwood, John Galvin is Cosmo Brown and Lia De Souza plays Kathy Selden.

* Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, opening Friday and running through Aug. 5 at the Historic Iao Theater. Tickets range from $20 to $40. To purchase tickets for any Iao Theater event, call 242-6969 or order online at


ONO! returns with a farewell and aloha concert starring Steven Dascoulias with guests Laura Cole, Alexis Dascoulias, Leighanna Locke, Lisa Paulson and Robert E. Wills. Musical accompaniment will be Sal Godinez, Marcus Johnson and Kim and Dick Vetterli.

* Performance is 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Historic Iao Theater. The free ONO! performances are every second Monday of the month. For more information visit


Comedian Marlon Wayans is coming to the MACC. The actor, producer, writer, film director and standup comedian recently filmed his first-ever stand-up comedy special for Netflix and currently stars in the NBC sitcom, “Marlon.”

Wayans is commonly recognized for his film and TV roles in “White Chicks,” “Scary Movie, “ “Scary Movie 2,” “In Living Color” and “The Wayans Bros.”

* Performance is at 7:30 p.m. July 22 in Castle Theater at the MACC. Tickets range from $45.50 to $59.50 (plus applicable fees). This show contains adult themes and is recommended for mature audiences. To purchase tickets for any MACC event, visit the box office, call 242-7469 or order online at