The Honolulu Museum’s Doris Duke Theatre Presents ‘The Legend Of Ko’olau’
Out of the rugged, romantic cowboy tradition emerged the outlaw Hawaiian Kaluaiko’olau — a hero written about by author Jack London and Pulitzer Prize poet W.S. Merwin. After successful tours to Hawaii, Los Angeles, Berkeley and Sacramento, this true historic drama “The Legend Of Ko’olau” returns on Nov. 19 (Saturday) at 7:30 p.m. to Honolulu for a performance at the Honolulu Museum’s Doris Duke Theatre.
Selected for creation funding by the National Performance Network of New Orleans, the play was invited by the Hawaii state officials for a special performance at the Kalaupapa National Park on Molokai before former Hansen’s Disease patients and their families.
Berkeley poet/radio commentator Jack Foley who attended the Northern California premiere, wrote: “Last night Adelle and I saw a remarkable one-man play, The Legend of Ko’olau. Written by Gary T. Kubota, it’s the story of the “Hawaiian outlaw cowboy,” Kaluaiko’olau and his resistance to political and moral forces he gradually comes to understand are eroding not only himself but the entire Hawaiian people.
“A compassionate man who has worked with lepers, Kaluaiko’olau becomes a leper himself. The play documents his struggle to maintain his sense of dignity and his armed refusal to be treated in the inhumane way that lepers were treated. With his wife and young son he becomes an emblem of resistance-a “legend.” But to put it that way is leave out the many humanizing touches playwright Kubota has given the man-his multiple conflicting allegiances, his anger, his humor, his guilt about a murder he felt compelled to commit, his conflicts about religion, his deep love for his wife and son.”
The actor Moronai Kanekoa, a native Hawaiian born on Maui, has appeared on TV shows “Scorpion” and “Castle,” andmost recently performed in a major role in the new film “Kuleana.”
The director Monte Scott Perez toured nationally with the late actor Jack Klugman who starred in TV roles as Quincy and The Odd Couple.
Kubota, a Honolulu journalist, has received several national writing awards.