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Local theater is golden ticket

Sheer volume of upcoming quality productions rivals big-city stages

Elisha Cullins (left) and Marsi Smith star in Maui OnStage’s “The Graduate” Brett Wulfson photo

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 week ProArts opens its season with “Strangers on a Train.” Guy Haines and Charles Bruno meet on a train. Bruno suggests he could kill Guy’s unfaithful wife while Guy could eliminate his hated father. Guy does not take him seriously, but Bruno is deadly serious. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays from Sept. 13 through 29 at the ProArts Playhouse in Kihei.

Later this month, Maui OnStage presents “The Graduate.” Set in swinging-sixties Southern California, Benjamin is adrift in the plastic world of his parents. Seduced into a mindless affair by Mrs. Robinson, his outlook is renewed when he falls for her optimistic daughter. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, Sept. 27 through Oct. 13, at the Historic Iao Theater in Wailuku.

Just in time for Halloween Roseox Productions and ProArts present “Evil Dead the Musical.” This campy musical comedy takes on the “Evil Dead” cult horror films. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, Oct. 18 through Nov. 3, at the ProArts Playhouse.

Also in October, Maui OnStage Youth Theater presents “Rock of Ages.” This boy-meets-girl teen musical is set to a 1980’s rock soundtrack on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, Oct. 25 through 27, at the Historic Iao Theater.

Moses Goods lassos Hawaii’s cowboy history in “Paniolo” at the MACC Courtesy Moses Goods/MACC

The Baldwin Theatre Guild begins its season with “Play On!” In this show within a show comedy, a theater group desperately attempts to put on a play in spite of interference from its arrogant author’s constant script revisions. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 8 through 16, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, in the Loudon Mini-Theatre at Baldwin High School.

The following week, Seabury Hall Performing Arts presents “Catch Me If You Can.” In this musical adaptation, teenager Frank Abignale, Jr. runs away from home and successfully poses as a pilot, a doctor and a lawyer until his lies catch the attention of the FBI. Performances are at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, Nov. 15 through 24, at the A’ali’ikuhonua Creative Arts Center.

The Maui Arts & Cultural Center presents the return of Rosy Simas Danse with “WEAVE.”

Performance is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, in Castle Theater.

Also in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the MACC, catch two free performances by Australia’s Strange Fruit. Perched atop 14-foot high flexible poles, the troupe fuses theater, dance, and circus as audiences look up in wonder. Performances begin at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24, at the A&B Amphitheater.

Jefferson Davis (left) and Geromimo Sun plot bad things in ProArts’ “Strangers on a Train.” PETER SWANZY photo

Opening Thanksgiving weekend, Maui OnStage presents “Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical.”

This magical musical revels in the power of imagination in an inspiring story of a little girl with psychokinetic powers. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Fridays

and Saturdays, Nov. 29 through Dec. 14; 2 p.m. Saturdays, Dec. 7 and 14; 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8 and 3 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 1 and 15 at the Historic Iao Theater.

At Christmastime, the Maui Academy of Performing Arts will present their annual production of “The Nutcracker.” The treasured holiday classic features hundreds of dancers, stunning costumes and beautiful choreography set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless music. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21, in Castle Theater at the MACC.

In 2020, ProArts presents “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” Accused of killing a neighbor’s dog, an exceptionally intelligent but mentally challenged teenager’s detective work takes him on a life-changing journey. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, Jan. 10 through 26, at the ProArts Playhouse.

Also in January, King Kekaulike High School presents S.E. Hinton’s teen drama “The Outsiders.” Performances are at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Jan. 17 through 25, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, at the King Kekaulike Performing Arts Center.

Returning to the MACC with his new one-person show is Moses Goods in “Paniolo.” Goods brings the Hawaiian history of the paniolo to the stage. Performance at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, in the McCoy Studio Theater.

Maui OnStage presents Michael Bennett’s “A Chorus Line.” This classic concept musical captures the spirit and tension of a Broadway chorus audition. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and3 p.m. Sundays, Feb. 28 through March 15, at the Historic Iao Theater.

Seabury Hall Performing Arts Spring drama will be “A Piece of My Heart.” This powerful, true story tells the tale of six women who served in Vietnam. Performances are at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Feb. 28 through March 7, and 3 p.m. Sunday, March 8, at the A’ali’ikuhonua Creative Arts Center.

Indian Ink Theatre returns to the MACC with their latest production “Mrs. Krishnan’s Party.” This disarming stage comedy seats the audience around the dining table in the back room of an Indian-run convenience store, and magically transforms strangers into friends through laughter, tears, good music, and great food. Performance at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 6, in Castle Theater.

ProArts presents the British farce “Out of Order.” When government minister Richard Willey spends an evening with typist Jane Worthington things go disastrously wrong. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, March 6 through 22, at the ProArts Playhouse.

Although dates are TBA, Oh Boy! Productions has a season in development with a production of “The Dresser” planned for March at the A’ali’ikuhonua Creative Arts Center. In addition,a 20th anniversary staging of “Damien” is in the works for April at St Rita’s Church in Haiku, as well as a production of “Equus” in August at the MACC.

In April, ProArts presents the Tony Award-winning “Fun Home.” An artist dives deep into her past to tell the secrets of her life, reliving her unique childhood and understanding her sexuality. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, April 17 through May 3, at the ProArts Playhouse.

Also at King Kekaulike High School this season is “Footloose.” Performances are at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, April 17 through 25, and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 26, at the King Kekaulike Performing Arts Center.

Maui OnStage presents Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” In this Pulitzer Prize-winning play a wealthy, Southern, dysfunctional family battles alcoholism and unearths secrets at the birthday party of their dying patriarch. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, April 24 through May 10, at the Historic Iao Theater.

To conclude their season, Maui OnStage presents “Priscilla Queen of the Desert the musical.” Three friends agree to take their drag queen show to the middle of the Australia. Dance floor favorites include “It’s Raining Men,” “I Will Survive,” and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, July 10 through Aug. 2, at the Historic Iao Theater.