On The Scene
'OZ' OPENS BIG AT DHT
Diamond Head Theatre Artistic Director John Rampage, left, congratulated cast members Paul Mitri (Professor Marvel/Wizard of Oz), Justin Hashimoto (Scarecrow), Kalia Medeiros (Dorothy) and Daniel Lloyd Pias (Tin Woodsman) at the opening-night cast party for "The Wizard of Oz" Friday at Buca di Beppo. Medeiros successfully replicates Judy Garland's wide-eyed innocence as Dorothy, Mitri is consistently entertaining in his dual roles and Hashimoto is superb as the loose-limbed Scarecrow. (Larry Bialock put so much energy into his spot-on performance as the Cowardly Lion that he had to skip the party.)
Dr. Jamil "Jay" Sulieman, left, chatted with DHT board member Dr. John Magauran in the hospitality tent during intermission. Sulieman's wife, Kathleen Sulieman, is playing the Wicked Witch of the West for the second time at DHT, and Jay says she's not sure how to respond when people tell her she's a "natural."
Alexis Hazelwood, left, Diamond Tachera and Marcela Biven play talking apple trees that are tricked by the "brainless" Scarecrow into throwing their fruit at Dorothy. Tachera is the last tree to leave the stage, and she stays just long enough after the others to cap the scene in memorable style with a cute comic giggle.
Cameron Olson (Winkie General), left, partied with Nicole "Coco" Sandry and crew members Kyle Malis (deck crew), Vincent Green (assistant technical director) and Green's niece, Matilda Williams (deck crew). Williams is here on a working vacation doing theater in Honolulu for the summer; she'll return to London in September.
"Oz" director Rob Duval, center, talked with DHT executive producers Mark Wong, left, and Guy Merola at the pre-show sponsors' reception. Duval's approach is more traditionalist than in DHT's 2003 production -- this time the witch is ugly, the scarecrow is male, the lion looks like Bert Lahr -- and his choices work well in meeting the expectations set by the iconic 1939 film. "Oz" continues through Aug. 3. Call 733-0274.