Star-Bulletin Features

Monday, August 30, 1999

Chicks Rule

1999-2000 Honolulu Theater Season



A whole bunch of powerful women will take the stage as Oahu's theater groups present their 1999-2000 seasons beginning with the appearance of the willful Maria in Army Community Theatre's production of "The Sound of Music," opening Sept. 2.

ACT will also stage the story of Fanny Brice in "Funny Girl," while Diamond Head Theater delivers "Cinderella," Kumu Kahua presents "The Joy Luck Club," about two generations of Chinese women, and Manoa Valley Theatre kicks in with "The Century Club," in which three widows meet over tea before visiting their husbands' graves.

Diamond Head Theatre
Former Miss Hawaii Melissa Short plays Cinderella in
Diamond Head Theatre's production opening Sept. 17.

A woman is also the central character in the long-awaited Hawaii debut of "Miss Saigon," the tragic story about the love between a Vietnamese girl and an American soldier in 1975.

For comparison's sake, Hawaii Opera Theatre will stage "Madama Butterfly," the tragic story about the love between a Japanese woman and an American naval officer.

Following another theme, the University of Hawai'i's Kennedy Theatre and Ernst Lab Theatre serves up a season of "Myth and Legend, Dreams and Visions," offering stories populated with such fanciful and magical creatures as fairies and dragons, appropriately enough in the Year 2000, the Year of the Dragon.

Kumu Kahua continues its commitment to plays for and about Hawaii, with three premiere works by local playwrights, including the latest by Lee Cataluna, a musical about a fisherman.

Army Community Theatre

Performances at Richardson Theatre, Fort Shafter, 438-4480 or 438-5230, or go online at Tickets: $12 and $15 for adults, keiki $6 and $8

Bullet "The Sound of Music" -- The final collaboration between Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II became one of the world's most beloved musicals in which a spirited governess thaws the heart of a widower with seven children against the backdrop of World War II Austria. Contains such song classics as "My Favorite Things," "Do-Re-Mi" and "Climb Every Mountain." Stars Katie Doyle as Maria and Peter Bunn as Capt. George von Trapp. Directed by Brad Powell with musical directors Lorna and John Mount.

Performances: 7:30 p.m. Sept.2-4, 9-11, 16-18.

Bullet "Valley Song" -- "Buks" Jonkers is a poor yet dignified WWII veteran devoted to shielding his restless 16-year-old granddaughter from temptations beyond the valley where he grows vegetables. Athol Fugard's drama with music was originally produced in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1995. Tara Hunt and Jo Pruden star with newcomer Russell Goode as the grandfather. Adapted and directed by Vanita Rae Smith.

Performances: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 5, 12, 19.

Bullet "Amahl and the Night Visitors" -- On the first Christmas Eve, shepherd boy Amahl sees an enormous star. His mother doesn't believe him until three kings bearing gold and gifts knock on their door in search of a newborn. Directed by Cecilia Fordham.

Performances: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18-20, 24, 26, 27, Dec. 2-4.

Bullet "Big River" -- Mark Twain's classic sweeps us down the Mississippi as the irrepressible Huck Finn helps his friend Jim, a black slave, escape to freedom. Winner of seven Tony Awards and seven Drama Desk Awards, musical highlights include "Muddy Water" and "Do Ya Wanna go to Heaven."

Performances: Feb. 24-26, March 2-4, 9-11.

Bullet "Funny Girl" -- Fanny Brice lacked all the obvious ingredients to become a Ziegfeld Follies girl. She was ugly, skinny, flat-chested and awkward, but had an obsessive ambition to make the big time, as demonstrated by Barbra Streisand on stage in 1964, and on film in 1968. Highlights: "People," "Don't Rain on my Parade," "Second Hand Rose" and "Sadie Sadie."

Performances: 7:30 p.m. May 11-13, 18-20, 25-27.

By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
The prince implores his mother the queen (played by Lisa Matsumoto)
to allow him to marry the princess of his choosing in the Diamond
"The Princess and the Iso Peanut."

Diamond Head Theatre

Performances at 520 Makapuu Ave.; call 734-0274 or log onto Season tickets for six-show season are $45, $90, $135, $180. Unless otherwise noted, performances run 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 4 p.m. Sundays.

Bullet "Cinderella" -- The music of Rodgers and Hammerstein sets the backdrop for the magical fairy tale about a poor girl who meets her prince. Former Miss Hawaii Melissa Short plays Cinderella. Single tickets $10-$40.

Performances: Sept. 17-Oct. 3.

Bullet "The Miracle on 34th Street: Here's Love" -- Kris Kringle wanders into Macy's in time to get a job in a Thanksgiving Day parade. What ensues is a battle between Christmas believers and non-believers, with songs by Meredith Willson.

Performances: Dec. 3-19.

Bullet "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" -- A spoof of corporate wiles was one of the hottest tickets on Broadway during its three-and-a-half-year run and won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It's the story of an ambitious young window washer with an instinct for buttering up bosses. With music by Frank Loesser ("Guys and Dolls").

Performances: Feb. 18-March 5.

Bullet "Jackie: An American Life" -- Satirical play portrays Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' life's journey as that of the ideal American woman. The message is serious, the medium comic.

Performances: March 31-April 16.

Bullet "Phantom" -- This thoughtful, provoking piece goes beyond special effects to explore the love story of the Phantom of the Opera and his obsession with Christine. With music by Maury Yeston.

Performances: May 19-June 4.

Bullet "The Princess and the Iso Peanut" -- Encore performance of Lisa Matsumoto's pidgin fairy tale about a traditional princess who falls in love with a local Japanese prince.

Performances: July 7-23

Eagle Eye Entertainment

The Toronto-based company brought "The Phantom of the Opera," "Les Miserables" and "CATS" to Honolulu. Ticket packages for its "Best of Broadway" subscription series run $65.75 to $181.75, plus service fees. Single tickets prices will be announced later. Call 526-4400 or log onto

Bullet "Miss Saigon" -- Tony Award-winning musical tells of love and sacrifice between a young Vietnamese girl and an American soldier during the fall of Saigon in 1975. Single tickets $29-$88.

Performances: At Blaisdell Concert Hall, Oct. 7-Nov. 14, with option to extend the run an additional two weeks to Nov. 28.

Bullet "2 Pianos, 4 Hands" -- Embellishing freely on their own musical backgrounds, Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt create a universe of situations familiar to musicians -- the frustrated could-have-been parent angry with the bored child, the macho teacher impressing the pubescent youth, the quarreling piano duo, one of whom becomes terrified to play.

Performances: At Hawai'i Theatre, Jan. 18-30.

Bullet "Fame: The Musical" -- Follow star-struck pupils in New York City's High School for the Performing Arts in their quest for success. The play is inspired by the Academy Award-winning film and TV series "Fame."

Performances: At Blaisdell Concert Hall, March 28-April 9.

Hawaii Opera Theatre

Performances at the Neal Blaisdell Concert hall; call HOT at 596-7858 or log onto Tickets: Subscription orders ranging from $69 to $231 will be accepted through Jan. 22. Tickets to individual operas available beginning Dec. 1.

Bullet "Tristan und Isolde" -- Irish princess Isolde is betrothed to King Mark of Cornwell, but her heart belongs to his nephew, the troubled knight Tristan. Sounds like a tragedy. Directed by Henry G. Akina. Conducted by Ivan Törz. In German with English HOT text.

Performances: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 28; 4 p.m. Jan. 30; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1.

Bullet "The Barber of Seville" -- Gioachino Rossini's comic opera has Doctor Bartolo trying his best to ward off his niece Rosina's suitors. But he's no match for Count Almaviva, who enlists barber Figaro to help him. Directed by Matthew Lata; conducted by Mark Flint. In Italian with English HOT text.

Performances: 8 p.m. Feb. 11; 4 p.m. Feb. 13; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15.

Bullet "Madama Butterfly" -- In Giacomo Puccini's tragic opera, an American naval officer purchases a young Japanese bride who dutifully waits for him, only to see him return with his American wife. Directed by Paula Williams. Sung in Italian with English HOT text.

Performances: 8 p.m. Feb. 25; 4 p.m. Feb. 27; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 29, March 2.

Hawaii Pacific University Theatre

At 45-045 Kamehameha Highway, Kaneohe, 254-0853. Tickets: $12 general, $8 senior citizens, military and students. Show times 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 4 p.m. Sundays.

Bullet "The Little Foxes" -- The Hubbard family is the centerpiece for this powerful drama of greed and corruption in a small Southern town in the year 1900, by Lillian Hellman.

Performances: Nov. 5-Dec. 5.

Bullet "Tintypes" -- As we move into a new era, this epic musical review sums up the end of another, capturing the last turn of the century, when slow-paced living was giving way to a world of automobiles, electricity and telephones.

Performances: Jan. 21-Feb. 13

Bullet "The Importance of Being Earnest" -- This witty farce and attack on the Victorian establishment by Oscar Wilde revolves around a case of "manufactured" mistaken identity.

Performances: April 7-May 7.

Honolulu Theatre for Youth

Call 839-9885. Tickets: $10 adults; $7.50 for students with ID; $5 for ages 3-12 and seniors 60 and up; under 3 free, but ticket is needed.

Bullet "Lily's Purple Plastic Purse" -- Young mouse Lily goes on a fast-paced "pinball adventure" as she learns the art of apologizing, live with her new baby brother and develops respect for others. Based on the books by Kevin Henkes. For ages 3 and up.

Performances: At Richardson Theatre, 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. Oct. 9, 16; 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. Oct. 23.

Bullet "Theatrefest '99" -- Annual presentation of short plays written and performed by young people working with professional directors and designers.

Performances: At Tenney Theatre, St. Andrew's Cathedral, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19, 20.

Bullet "HTY's Holiday Wrappings" -- Stories and songs from childhood celebrate the many ways we observe the festive season.

Performances: At Tenney Theatre, 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. Nov. 27, Dec. 4, Dec. 11; 6:30 p.m. Nov. 27, Dec. 11.

Bullet "The Travelling Jekyll & Hyde Show" -- A troupe of actors tries to put on a production of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" but are foiled by forces of good and evil.

Performances: At Richardson Theatre, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Jan. 22, 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. Jan. 29.

Bullet "Cyrano" -- The long-nosed Cyrano woos his love Roxanne with words, while she believes they come from another man.

Performances: Tenney Theatre, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19, 26.

Bullet "Mixed Plate Special: Stories That Feed Us" -- HTY playwrights draw from a rich treasure trove of Pacific and Asian folklore to show how stories have shaped modern Hawaii.

Performances: At Leeward Community College Theatre, at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. March 11; 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. March 18.

Bullet "Little Monster" -- Parents and kids will see bits of themselves in this story about a father and son sleeping and waking.

Performances: At McCoy Pavilion, Ala Moana Park, 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. April 29; 10:30 a.m. May 6, 13.

Bullet "The Short Tree and the Bird That Could Not Sing" -- This story tells of a baby tree and a wacky bird who grow to love one another.

Performances: At McCoy Pavilion, Ala Moana Park, 1:30, 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. May 6, 13.

Kennedy Theatre

At University of Hawai'i, 1770 East-West Road, 956-7655 or Booklet of six coupons redeemable in any combination for KT mainstage productions (including dance concerts), $48 through Sept. 20.

"A Midsummer Night's Dream" -- Jealous fairies, foolish mortals and a dog -- the required elements for successful Elizabethan comedy are here in William Shakespeare's work about the twists, turns, trials and tribulations of love on one midsummer's night. Directed by Terence Knapp.

Performances: 8 p.m. Oct. 8, 9, 14-16 and 2 p.m. Oct. 17, with pre-show chats on the Elizabethan era 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturdays. Tickets $12 regular; $9 seniors, military, UH faculty and staff; $7 non-UHM students; $3 UHM students with valid fall ID. Tickets on sale Sept. 27.

Bullet "The Snow Queen" -- Based on a story by Hans Christian Anderson, this is a spectacle for the entire family, with masks, costumes, giant puppets and stilt-walking as inspired by Broadway's "Lion King." The moving story tells us "all that glitters" is less valuable than love and compassion. Directed by Peggy Hunt.

Performances: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4, 9-11; 2 p.m. Dec. 12. Tickets $10 regular; $8 seniors, military, UH faculty and staff; $6 non-UHM students; $3 UHM students with valid fall ID. Tickets on sale Nov. 22.

Bullet "The Summer Festival: A Mirror of Osaka" -- After two years of preparation, the play that has thrilled audiences for 250 years in Japan comes to Hawaii. Translated into English, it focuses on the exploits of a fishmonger whose father's greed presents a murderous conflict during the heat of summer, against a backdrop of lantern parades, music and dancing.

Performances: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4, 9-11; 2 p.m. Dec. 12. Tickets $10 regular; $8 seniors, military, UH faculty and staff; $6 non-UHM students; $3 UHM students with valid spring ID. Tickets on sale March 20.

Leeward Community College

At 96-045 Ala Ike St. Call 455-0385

Bullet "Waiora" -- Combines Western drama with a powerful display of maori dance (haka) and song (waiata). Tickets $20 for adults; $15 for students.

Performances: 8 p.m. Sept. 16-18.

Bullet "Uncle Gunjiro's Girlfriend" -- Original drama tells the true story of California's first mixed marriage.

Performances: April 29.

Prime Time in
Ernst Lab Theatre

University of Hawai'i, 956-7655. Prime time ticket prices: $8 regular; $6 students, seniors, military, UH faculty and staff; $3 UHM students with valid ID.

Bullet "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" -- Hamlet's friends cross paths with a know-it-all actor who helps shape their future in this work by British playwright Tom Stoppard, co-writer of the 1998 Academy Award-winnner "Shakespeare in Love."

Performances: 8 p.m. Sept. 8-11; 2 p.m. Sept. 12.

Bullet "Crow and Weasel" -- This coming-of-age Native American tale tells of two young animal people who travel to the Land Where Dreaming Begins to a place where dreams and reality collide.

Performances: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 29, 30, 4:30 p.m. Oct. 30, 2 p.m. Oct. 31.

Bullet "The Ghost Sonata" -- Drama by August Strindberg is presented in repertory with "Easter," allowing audiences to glimpse the double nature of its tormented creator. Vision of disintegration mirrors Strindberg's infatuation with Danish actress Harriet Bosse.

Performances: 8 p.m. Jan. 27, 29, Feb. 5 and 6 p.m. Jan. 30, Feb. 6. Get $1 off regular or discount price if you buy tickets for "Easter" at the same time.

Bullet "Easter" -- This is Strindberg's more optimistic piece, offering a redemptive picture of love and devotion.

Performances: 8 p.m. Jan. 28, Feb. 3; 4 p.m. Jan. 29, Feb. 5; 2 p.m. Jan. 30, Feb. 6.

Bullet "A Flight of Dragons" -- An exercise in determining whether dragons really did exist. Features human and puppet actors and pyrotechnics, to celebrate the Year of the Dragon.

Performances: 8 p.m. March 9-11, 16-18; 2 p.m. March 12, 19.

Late Night in the
Ernst Lab Theatre

University of Hawai'i, 956-7655. Late night ticket prices: $6 regular; $5 students, seniors, military, UH faculty and staff; $3 UHM students with valid ID.

"The Universal Wolf" -- Satire of the Little Red Riding Hood fable discovers what happens when the characters in a story decide they don't like the way it's written.

Performances: 11 p.m. Oct. 9, 15, 16; 9 p.m. Oct. 10.

Bullet "Private Eyes" -- Multi-level story within a story explores sex and betrayal set against the background of a theater production.

Performances: 10:30 p.m. Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11.

Kumu Kahua Theatre
Roselani Pelanyan, right, as Waverly, introduces her boyfriend,
played by Steven Jones, to her parents, played by Elissa Duke
and Stu Hirayama in Kumu Kahua's production of
"The Joy Luck Club."

Kumu Kahua Theatre

Performances at 46 Merchant St., except where noted. Call 536-4441. Tickets: $15 general; $12 for seniors and groups of 10; $10 for students and children Fridays through Sundays. On Thursdays $12 general; $10 seniors and unemployed; $5 students.

Bullet "The Joy Luck Club" -- The tales of two generations of Chinese women, their husbands and lovers are interwoven lyrically in a continuum of place and time in Susan Kim's stage adaptation of Amy Tan's best-selling novel.

Performances: 8 p.m. Sept. 2-4, 9, 11, 16-18, 23-25, 30, Oct. 1, 2; 2 p.m. Sept. 5, 12, 19, 26, Oct. 3.

Bullet "Ulua: The Musical" -- Lee Cataluna delivers a tale of love and fishing as Kayden Asiu leaves his girlfriend on Oahu to "find himself" on Maui. Songs include "Opihi Girl" (She's going to cling on to your life.") and "Ballad of an Ulua Fisherman." Presented with the McKinley Theatre Group II.

Performances: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 4-6,18-20, Dec. 2-4; 2 p.m. Nov. 21. Note: Performances will be at McKinley High School's Auditorium, 1039 S. King St.

Bullet "The Season of Yellow Ginger" -- In this world premiere, former Kumu Kahua board member Margaret Jones tells the parallel stories of Daniel, a 21-year-old part Hawaiian who returns to Hawaii from college on the mainland, and his grandfather, who is losing his grip on reality due to the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

Performances: 8 p.m. Jan. 6-8, 13-15, 20-22, 27-29, Feb. 3-5; 2 p.m. Jan. 9, 16, 23, Feb. 6.

Bullet "Spur" -- World premiere of a contemporary play noir by former Kumu Kahua artistic director Dennis Carroll is the story of a third-generation kamaaina professor of literature who is drummed out of the UH after going public with a statement that no local could ever write great literature.

Performances: 8 p.m. March 9-11, 16, 18, 23-25, 30, 31, April 1, 6-8; 2 p.m. March 12, 19, 26, April 2, 9.

Bullet "Leilani's Hibiscus" -- This Hawaii premiere play by Jon Shirota is a bittersweet love story of a Maui plantation contract worker who falls in love with a Hawaiian girl, but before marrying her returns to Okinawa at a most inopportune time -- just prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. His brother's son also ends up as an American soldier in Okinawa.

Performances: 8 p.m. May 11-13, 18-20, 25-27, June 1-3, 8-10; 2 p.m. May 14, 21, 28, June 4, 11.

Manoa Valley Theatre

2833 East Manoa Road, 988-6131. Tickets: $25 for musicals; $20 for dramas, with $3 discounts for students and senior citizens. Season ticket price of $99 covers all shows. Show times are: 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 4 p.m. Sundays.

Bullet "The 1940s Radio Hour" -- In 1942 the world was at war, "The Chattanooga Choo-Choo" and "Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy" was on the radio, and you have the opportunity to be in the audience for a "live" broadcast from the Hotel Astor's Algonquin Room.

Performances: Sept. 8-26.

Bullet "Of Mice and Men" -- In John Steinbeck's classic tale, two hired hands -- one with the mental capacity of a child -- wander through rural California during the Great Depression, trying to find their place in the world.

Performances: Nov. 17-Dec. 5.

Bullet "The Cemetery Club" -- Sweet Ida, feisty Lucille and priggish Doris are three Jewish widows who meet for tea before going to the cemetery to visit their husbands' graves, sharing wisecracks about relationships, living and dying.

Performances Jan. 12-30.

Bullet "The Green Heart" -- Camp comedy thriller of greed and romance is a musical about an Ivy League playboy who plots with his girlfriend to marry rich and murder richer.

Performances: March 8-26.

Bullet "Deathtrap" -- The Broadway hit popularized in a 1982 film presents a complicated game of murderous musical chairs involving bodies in a garden, a medieval crossbow and a psychic.

Performances: May 17-June 4.

Bullet "As Bees in Honey Drown" -- A young New York writer is savoring the success of his debut novel when a mysterious woman enters his life and transforms him into a player, before vanishing again.

Performances: July 12-30.

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