This Shopper Recommends "Longs!"
Most people familiar with theater in Hawaii will instantly recognize the name of Lee Cataluna, and this may be one of her most timeless works. If you’re not familiar, the title of Folks You Meet in Longs should tell you most of what you need to know.
Short, comedic monologues move quickly and keep your attention. As a comedy, it ticks all the boxes and works well but the parts that will stick with you are the underlying souls of the characters as they let you into their worlds. Most of them will be recognizable as folks you’ve worked with, dated, or even will see across the table on Thanksgiving. This familiarity may be one reason that their stories feel so natural, making you feel as if you’ve just walked through a dozen different Longs at all hours of the day. Feelings of nostalgia, aided by a wonderful set design featuring vintage Longs ads, combine with the familiarity and voyeuristic nature to make a very personal experience that is likely to differ for each person in the audience.
Although the pidgin dialog makes it so there’s no question about where these people call home, looking past that all the stories of their struggles, victories, and defeats will be recognizable to anyone. It seems especially important in today’s world that we all listen to each other, and with that in mind I would recommend seeing this to absolutely anyone.
Written by Dustin Lockwood.