On The Scene
‘rent’ superb at saint louis
The core cast came together to greet the audience after the Saint Louis Center for the Arts' production of "Rent: School Edition" opened Saturday at Mamiya Theatre. Drew Tandal (Tom), left, Seth Nicholas Lilley (Mark), Ally Holtz (Mimi), Jonah K.J.F. Ho'okano (Roger), Akea Hi'ikua Kahikina (Benny), Sumi Matsubara (Joanne), Briana Pratt (Maureen) and Dwayne Sakaguchi (Angel) deliver all of the play's drama and searing emotion, although the dialogue has been modified from its adult form. "Rent -- School Edition" continues through July 20. Call 550-8457.
Dwayne Sakaguchi (Angel) got a rose from Allison Chu, a friend from their time together in Kaimuki's spring production of "West Side Story." Sakaguchi had a secondary role at Kaimuki, but he owns several scenes in "Rent" with his exuberant portrayal of a flamboyant, fashion-conscious transvestite. A scene where he dances on a table while wearing platform boots is a show-stopper.
Record producer Milton Lau celebrated with Briana Pratt (Maureen), left, and Sumi Matsubara (Joanne). Pratt has great showcase numbers in "Over the Moon" and "Take Me or Leave Me." Matsubara's strong voice, smooth dancing, expressive acting and scene-stealing stage presence make her one of the brightest stars in a talented cast. She meshes perfectly with Pratt in "Take Me or Leave Me" and with Seth Lilley in "Tango Maureen."
Broadway veteran Walter Oneil, center, visiting from New York, congratulated director Kyle Kakuno, left, and choreographer Ramon Del Barrio on a show he said was "well worth the trip from New York to see." Kakuno had to go outside Saint Louis to find his talented male leads; Lilley is from McKinley, Sakaguchi from Kaimuki, and Ho'okano, Kahikina and Tandal from Kamehameha.
Ally Holtz (Mimi), left, was the first cast member to get a dessert of Banana Mess from assistant stage manager Patrick Fujioka, Debora Tandal and Lori Mukaida. Holtz, who will be a Punahou sophomore in the fall, displays the maturity and acting skills of a veteran in all aspects of her portrayal of a drug-addicted, HIV-positive stripper.