'Broadway babies' dress up


POSTED: Thursday, May 28, 2009

Most friendly sing-alongs involve a karaoke room or a campfire gathering, but when Kristian Lei hosts a few of her friends, you can expect a Broadway-style spectacle.





        Presented by Kristian Lei and Honolulu Broadway Babies:

» Place: Leeward Community College Theatre


» When: 7:30 p.m. June 4, 5 and 6


» Tickets: $26, $36, $46 and $56 general; $15 for 12 and younger


» Call: 953-5788, or visit www.honolulubroadwaybabies.com




This is the fourth year the singer is presenting the Honolulu Broadway Babies' annual concert, titled “;A Broadway Fashion Rock Revue.”; The show, opening next Thursday at Leeward Community College, will feature Broadway and musical headliners from New York, L.A., Europe and Hawaii—all friends Lei has made in her own musical journey, which started in Waianae and led to stages in the Philippines, where she was born, and Europe, where she starred for three years as Kim in “;Miss Saigon.”;

Her motivation for starting the musical showcase was twofold, first coming from her desire to help raise funds for programs that help the developmentally challenged, and second, to simply invite people in on the fun of a night of music with her friends from abroad.

“;After 'Miss Saigon,' I was traveling, meeting people. I enjoyed similar performances in LA, and I thought it would be a good idea to gather friends who are here, and fly others in for a show,”; she said.

“;They're not paid to perform, but we raise funds and sponsorships so their hotels, flights and dining are taken care of. It doesn't take much convincing. Everyone's excited to come to Hawaii.”;

Special guests this year include:

Jay Pierce: Who's played the part of Old Deuteronomy in “;CATS,”; Javert in “;Les Miserables,”; John in “;Miss Saigon”; and Pontius Pilate in “;Jesus Christ Superstar.

Marc Dalio: Who's starred as Gaston and Beast in the Broadway National Tour of “;Beauty and the Beast,”; as Chris in “;Miss Saigon”; and Tony in “;West Side Story.”;

Raymond Patterson: Who's played the title role in “;Jesus Christ Superstar”;

Christina Caplan: Who's played Delee in “;Smokey Joe's Cafe) and has been a dancer and vocalist in productions of “;Chicago”; and “;Cabaret.”;

Brian Caplan: Also a featured dancer and vocalist in “;Jekyll and Hyde”; and “;Hair.”;

“;I ask they what they want to do, and they're willing to do anything, though after singing one role for a while, they're excited to try something new,”; Lei said.

They'll be joined by dozens of local performers, including Anita Hall, Neva Rego, Mihana Souza, newscaster Pamela Young, Coco Chandelier and more, for a cast numbering more than 120.

This year, the presentation will be built around costumes by local designers Takeo and Eric Chandler, with a storyline built around the idea of the singers' trip to the designers' studio to be fitted with costumes, including night scenes when the studio empties and the manikins come to life.

This marks the first time the designers—who volunteered time and materials—are working with a stage production this large, and they had their share of difficulties dressing dancers from a petite size 0 to plus sizes up to 6X.

“;Usually, when we do fashion shows, we're only dealing with size 0 to 6 at the largest,”; said Takeo, who, with Chandler, has been at rehearsals every night since late April.

With a small Broadway production, Lei said, there are “;normally three or four designers for every 50 people, so it's been a big challenge, but I think it's going to be spectacular. We're going to surprise you.”;