2017 Spring Season Preview
The spring theatre season is about to begin, and now that Hitting The Stage is working with the Hawaii State Theatre Council, we wanted to include as many productions from all across the islands in our spring preview, rather than focus solely on O‘ahu. Please check out all the great theatre the Aloha State has to offer! Also, keep checking in with HTS as some theatres still have to solidify their upcoming shows. We’ll get you that information as soon as we know more. The hits just keep on coming! Make a date to see some theatre in Hawai‘i in 2017!
Let us know if we’ve left anything off the list, and also don’t forget to send us your community reviews at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Key: APAC = Aloha Performing Arts Company, DHT = Diamond Head Theatre, HOT = Hawaii Opera Theatre, HTY = Honolulu Theatre for Youth, KCP = Kauai Community Players, KKT = Kumu Kahua Theatre, LEE = The Leeward Theatre, MVT = Manoa Valley Theatre, MO = Maui OnStage, OFF = O‘ahu Fringe Festival, TAG = The Actors’ Group, UHM = University of Hawaii at Manoa)
Stage Kiss, 1/12-1/29 (MVT)
Art imitates Life. Life imitates Art. When two actors with a history are thrown together as romantic leads in a forgotten 1930s melodrama, they quickly lose touch with reality as the story onstage follows them offstage. Romantic comedy and backstage farce are whipped together in this lively comedy about what happens when lovers share a stage kiss—or when actors share a real one. A Hawaii premiere.
O‘ahu Fringe Festival 2017, 1/12-1/15 (OFF)
After four exciting and successful years, O’ahu Fringe Festival is happy to be back to celebrate reaching a wonderful milestone, its 5th year! The O’ahu Fringe Festival is open to any and all performing artists; this gives all involved a place to showcase their work in an atmosphere of community and creativity.
You and Me and the Space Between, 1/13-2/4 (HTY)
What happens when an island springs a leak and can no longer float on the open sea? This thoughtful and poetic story by the author of Suzette Who Set To Sea asks pressing questions about what might happen when an island’s people are forced to change, and tells the story of one girl’s heroic journey to save her people’s lives and spirits. Age 7+
Little Shop of Horrors, 1/13-1/29 (KCP)
In this hilarious musical smash, Seymour and Audrey find love while Seymour tries to keep Audrey II, a people-eating plant in the flower shop where he works, satisfied. In his music, composer Alan Menken used many of the musical styles of the early 1960s, including rock and roll, doo-wop, and Motown.
Yellowman, 1/13-2/5 (TAG)
Yellowman is a multi-character memory play about an African-American woman who dreams of life beyond the confines of her smalltown Southern upbringing and the light-skinned man whose fate is tragically intertwined with hers.
Maui Fringe Theater Festival 2017, 1/20-1/22 (MO)
The Maui Fringe Theater Festival: a marathon of the performing arts!
Buffalo’ed, 1/26-2/26 (KKT)
The same manifest destiny that absorbed Hawai'i also played a hand in the devastating Philippine War for Independence. Buffalo Soldiers, serving in the US cavalry, were sent to fight against a population more similar to their own - they both yearn for freedom.
The Fox on the Fairway, 1/27-2/12 (DHT)
The play spins around a golf tournament and pulls the rug out from underneath the stuffy members of a private country club. Filled with mistaken identities, slamming doors, and over-the-top romantic shenanigans, it's a charmingly madcap adventure about love, life, and man's eternal love affair with... golf.
A Streetcar Named Desire, 1/27-1/31 (HOT)
Andre Previn’s transformation of Tennessee Williams classic play. Set in New Orleans in the 1940s, Blanche DuBois arrives at the home of her sister, Stella, and husband, Stanley Kowalski after suffering the loss of her ancestral home and job. Skeptical of the story, Stanley grows infuriated by Blanche losing his wife’s birthright, and sets out to reveal the truth behind the circumstance. The conflict between the two unfolds with tragic and violent consequence.
Screwbuki, 1/27 & 1/28 (LEE)
Screwbuki is innovative show which combines traditional Kabuki theatre with modern improv. Using kabuki voice, movement, character architypes, costume and make up with improvised dialog and storytelling, Screwbuki is one of the most requested improv show in the country.
Twelfth Night, 1/27-2/4 (UHM)
Illyria is a mythical, glitzy place where the inhabitants are in love with themselves and the idea of being in love. Into this world comes the shipwrecked Viola, grieving from her twin brother’s presumed death. She disguises herself as a male page in the service of Count Orsino, and is called upon to woo the Countess Olivia for her master. Alas, a comic love triangle develops as Viola falls in love with Orsino, who is madly in love with Olivia, who then falls for the “boy” who is Orsino’s messenger.
Jesus Christ Superstar, 2/10-3/12 (APAC)
Jesus Christ Superstar is the show that popularized the term “rock opera.” The 1970 concept album led to the 1971 Broadway debut and many revivals throughout the world over the years. A pure, sung-through rock and roll phenomenon by the legendary team of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.
Home, 2/11-2/18 (HTY)
This age-appropriate work explores the value of a shelter. What is a home? What happens when you do not have one? Two charming characters wrestle to create their own homes until they come to realize that one of the great joys of having a home is sharing it. Age 3+
Home, 2/17-3/5 (KCP)
The final play in Hawaii playwright David Penhallow Scott’s series four plays about plantation life in World War II-era Hawaii. In this fourth and final episode, Eudora, the widow of a plantation manager, struggles to make a new life for herself after her husband’s death. To be directed for KCP by Steve Whitney.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, 3/3-3/19 (MO)
Lawrence Jameson makes his lavish living by talking rich ladies out of their money. Freddy Benson more humbly swindles women by waking their compassion with fabricated stories about his grandmother’s failing health. After meeting on a train, they attempt to work together only to find that this small French town isn’t big enough for the two of them.
Rock of Ages, 3/9-3/26 (MVT)
It’s the tail end of the big, bad 1980s in Hollywood, and the party has been raging hard at one of the Sunset Strips last legendary rock and roll venues. The fairy-tale madness is about to end, though, when developers unveil plans to turn the fabled Strip into just another capitalist strip mall. Can a pack of rock and rollers save the strip–and themselves–before it’s too late? Music of headliner pop bands from the era holds the answer. A Hawaii premiere.
Coyotes, 3/10-4/2 (TAG)
Coyotes is a simple story of the redemption of the Spirit. Eva searches for happiness and self worth. Through a series of adventures, relationships and self discovery, she finally finds her place in the world. Quirky characters and touching situations bring this intimate story to life.
The Trial of the Big Bad Wolf, 3/11-3/19 (MO)
The Wolf: villain or victim? The Three Pigs: innocent or at fault? The Jurors (Miss Muffet, Bo Peep, Cinderella and Humpty-Dumpty, to name a few:) solid citizens or characters with a past? And what about Judge Wise O. Al? Is justice on his side—or does he have a secret to hide? Then there’s the media—a reporter, newscaster and town crier. Have they come to accurately report the proceedings—or to turn the courtroom into a media circus? And who is that surprise witness at the end?
Talley’s Folly, 3/12-3/28 (KCP)
This Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Lanford Wilson will be directed for KCP by Nellie Foster. Taking place in 1944 in a Victorian boathouse in Lebanon, Missouri, this funny, sweet love story follows two seemingly incompatible lovers as they come to realize they are truly kindred spirits who have found each other.
Evita, 3/24-4/16 (DHT)
The musical is based on the life of Argentine political leader Eva Peron who became the spiritual leader of the nation, rising from nothing to become one of the most famous political figures in the country’s history. It follows Eva’s early life, rise to power, charity work, and eventual death.
Three Decembers, 3/24-4/1 (HOT)
Composed by Jake Heggie (Moby Dick), Three Decembers is based on a play by Terrence McNally, about Broadway Star, Madeline Mitchell, as she enters the twilight of her career and life. The story unfolds with Madeline, estranged from her children, sharing a secret she has kept, and over three decades hidden truths are revealed as they struggle to find their identities as part of a family and in their lives.
Black Faggot and Puzzy, 3/30-4/30 (KKT)
In Black Faggot, Victor Rodger, author of My Name is Gary Cooper, introduces us to a chaotic mix of men in the period of self-discovery and celebration of their sexual identity. --- Written by Kiki, Puzzy is a coming-of-age story of a young Pacific Island woman, grappling with the reality of her sexuality and the pressure of generations of dogma.
Savannah Sipping Society, 3/31-4/16 (KCP)
The latest by Kauai’s favorite playwrights, Jesse Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten, to be directed by Jo Grande. In this delightful laugh-a-minute comedy, four unique Southern women are drawn together by Fate – and an impromptu happy hour – and decide it’s high time to reclaim their enthusiasm for life.
Thumbelina, 4/7-5/13 (HTY)
Based on the popular fairytale about a tiny girl born from a flower who ventures into a new world filled with wonder, this original telling of the story will use technology, puppets and original artwork to create a real time storybook before your eyes. In a world where the small becomes larger than life, the value of friendship, family and the power of a good story are the most powerful magic. Age 5+
Comedy of Errors, 4/13-4/22 (LEE)
Mistaken identities of every shape and size commence in a classic farce of Shakespearean proportions! Comedy of Errors is Shakespeare’s earliest comedy and shortest surviving play. Separated at birth, two sets of long-lost twins are loose in the same town. Mistaken identities make for hilarious complications: servants are set on wrong errands, jewelry is given to the wrong person, and husbands are locked out of their homes.
Power and Folly: Japanese (Kyogen) Satire for the 21st Century, 4/14-4/22 (UHM)
Populated by wily servants, self-important lords, larger than life mountain ascetics, city slickers, and country bumpkins, this Japanese medieval comic form is as accessible to 21st century global audiences as it has been to Japanese crowds for 600 years. While comedy brings much needed laughter into our lives, it has also long been a gently yet effective way of delivering political and social criticism. This production will stage a wide array of kyogen plays, from classical to newly written, including a “Hawai’i kyogen” that will leave you laughing – and thinking – about some important current issues facing us today.
The Tales of Hoffman, 4/21-4/25 (HOT)
The Tales of Hoffmann, composed by Jacques Offenbach takes place over a series of flashbacks, as the famous German poet Hoffmann tells the story of his three great failed romances at a bar, ruining his fourth great romance in the process. Each woman represents a part of the whole that he is seeking: Olympia, the beautiful doll, Antonia, the singer and Giulietta, the courtesan. As his current love, the prima donna Stella, abandons him in despair, Hoffmann once more dedicates himself to his true love: poetry.
A Few Good Men, 4/28-5/14 (MO)
This Broadway hit about the trial of two Marines for complicity in the death of a fellow Marine at Guantanamo Bay sizzles on stage. The Navy lawyer, a callow young man more interested in softball games than the case, expects a plea bargain and a cover up of what really happened. Prodded by a female member of his defense team, the lawyer eventually makes a valiant effort to defend his clients and, in so doing, puts the military mentality and the Marine code of honor on trial.
Disgraced, 5/5-5/28 (TAG)
This new drama explores Islamophobia and what it means to be Muslim in post-9/11 America. Amir is a successful corporate lawyer, enjoying his American lifestyle, but his parents came from Pakistan and raised him as a Muslim. He has “renounced” Islam, but has he really rejected the sense of identity he absorbed as a child?
Wait Until Dark, 5/18-6/4 (MVT)
A sinister con man and two ex-convicts are about to meet their match when their cleverly constructed deception against a sight-impaired woman is discovered by their intended victim to be a bizarre charade. What quickly ensues is a deadly game by her rules which propels this cat-and-mouse thriller from one moment of suspense to another until its electrifying, breath-stopping, final moment.
All Shook Up, 5/19-6/11 (DHT)
It's 1955, and into a square little town in a square little state rides a guitar-playing roustabout who changes everything and everyone he meets in this hip-swiveling musical fantasy. Among the 24 songs featured in the score are classics like "Heartbreak Hotel," "Love Me Tender," "Don't Be Cruel," "Can't Help Falling in Love," and of course the title tune.
Uncle's Regularly Scheduled Garage Party is Cancelled Tonight!, 6/1-7/2 (KKT)
Uncle's regularly scheduled garage party is cancelled for the first time in -- ever! The usual attendees show up and process their shock over the cancellation-- while they eat, drink, talk story and play music.
Happily Eva Afta, 6/29-7/16 (MVT)
This final segment in the original Once Upon One Time musical comedy trilogy continues the delightful adaptation of the traditional fairy tales we all know and love. A comedic, local fantasy full of energetic songs and colorful characters, you’ll meet Da Six Menehune, Da Tree Fairies, Hauna and Tantaran, Da Wicked Queen and many other local-style and traditional fairy tale characters as they go on a fun and crazy adventure!
Water by the Spoonful, 6/30-7/23 (TAG)
Somewhere in Philadelphia, Elliot has returned from Iraq and is struggling to find his place in the world. Somewhere in a chat room, recovering addicts keep each other alive, hour by hour, day by day. The boundaries of family and community are stretched across continents and cyberspace as birth families splinter and online families collide.
The Little Mermaid, 7/14-8/6 (DHT)
Ariel, King Triton's youngest daughter, wishes to pursue the human Prince Eric in the world above and gives up her voice to the evil sea witch, Ursula, trading her tail for legs. But the bargain is not what it seems and Ariel needs the help of her colorful friends, Flounder the fish, Scuttle the seagull, and Sebastian the crab to restore order under the sea.