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Greasers and jocks collide in local staging of ‘The Outsiders’

“New Shanghai Circus” returns for their annual engagement at Maui Arts and Cultural Center. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday in Castle Theater at MACC.

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” explores the loss of youthful innocence amidst socio-economic dichotomy in the 1950s. Its teen author was inspired to write “The Outsiders” after witnessing a “greaser” boy brutally beaten by the “jocks” of her school. In fact, Hinton was so traumatized by the event, she began writing her book that very night. It was published a year later while she was still attending high school in Tulsa, Okla. Banned by many schools in the 1970s and ’80s, the novel is still considered controversial and remains ranked by the American Library Association’s Top 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books.

Francis Ford Coppola directed the 1983 film version which went on to attain cult classic status. This is partially due to a cast of future Hollywood stars that were relatively unknown actors at the time, including C. Thomas Howell, Ralph Macchio, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Matt Dillon, Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze and Diane Lane (plus a small cameo by Hinton herself).

As Hinton’s story begins, Ponyboy (Zachary Bulcao-Moore), a member of the Greaser’s gang, is leaving a movie theater when a group of Socs (pronounced Soh-shiz) jump him. His older brothers Darry (Mark Gudmunson II) and Sodapop (Colt Jones-Simer) save him that evening, but Ponyboy is later attacked by the gang of upper-class male students again, this time with best friend Johnny (Dylan Taasan). In the frenzy of the street fight, a terrified Johnny accidentally stabs and kills one of the Socs. The two teens must now hide out in an abandoned church to avoid arrest, filling their days by reading “Gone With The Wind” and the Robert Frost poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay.” In time, a climatic and inevitable gang war erupts with tragic consequences in the Oklahoma town.

* King Kekaulike High School presents “The Outsiders,” adapted by Christopher Sergel, based on the book by S.E. Hinton. Performances are at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Jan. 17 through 25, 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18 and Sunday, Jan. 26 at the King Kekaulike Performing Arts Center on the King Kekaulike High School campus in Pukalani. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 students and are available at the box office only 30 minutes before show time. “The Outsiders” contains adult content and may not appropriate for children.

ALSO THIS WEEK

“New Shanghai Circus” returns for their annual engagement at Maui Arts and Cultural Center. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19 in Castle Theater at MACC. Tickets range from $12 to $55 (plus applicable fees). To purchase tickets for any MACC event visit MACC box office, call 242-7469 or order online at www.mauiarts.org.

*****

Catch Ari Shaffir for a night of stand-up comedy. Joining Shaffir on the bill is opening guest Chino LaForge. The performance is at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17 in the McCoy Studio Theater at the MACC. Tickets are $41 (plus applicable fees). To purchase tickets for any MACC event visit the MACC box office, call 242-7469 or order online at www.mauiarts.org. This performance contains adult content and is not appropriate for children.

UPCOMING

The Maui Arts and Cultural Center presents the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. The performance is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23 in Castle Theater at MACC. Tickets are $35, $50, $65 with half-price tickets for children age 3 through 12. To purchase tickets for any MACC event visit MACC’s box office, call 242-7469 or order online at www.mauiarts.org.

*****

Maui OnStage and Surf Rents Trucks presents the Maui Fringe Theater Festival 2020. The original 60-minute, one-act plays in performance at the 10th annual Fringe are “Chemo Barbie” by Heather Keller, “Cave Girl the Musical” by Glennis McCarthy, “He Wants To Run” by David Kleinberg, “How Can I Help?” by Victoria McGee, “Maui Belly Dance Company” and “My Name Is Mommy” by April Wish. Tickets are $15 per show with a limited number of $75 VIP passes available by phone only at 242-6969. All-festival passes include early admission to all performances, a catered opening night party and the closing night awards ceremony. For the complete Maui Fringe schedule visit mauionstage.com. The Maui Fringe Theater Festival contains adult content and may not appropriate for children.

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