Hawaii residents who saw Kumu Kahua’s production of Lee Cataluna’s comedy "Folks You Meet In Longs" in 2003 will find this revival — a fundraiser to help finance the 2011-2012 season — a comfortable return to popular material.
Almost all the original characters and character sketches are intact. The adult situations, crude vocabulary and toilet humor are intact as well. Anyone who enjoyed the show in 2003 can count on enjoying it this time as well, but hurry — its short run ends Sunday.
Harrison Kawate was a big hit with the opening-night audience as the diarrhea victim who describes at length his unsuccessful effort to make it to a toilet. Stephanie Keiko Kong portrays the woman who gets revenge on her colleagues by making their coffee with toilet bowl water and urine. Jaedee-Kae Vergara is the woman who snaps and grabs a knife when the man in her life says, "I’d give my left (testicle) for a …," one too many times.
Aito Simpson Steele takes the show in a different direction as the guy who slyly entices a girl to sit on his lap. Steele doesn’t reach the level of creepiness Wil T.K. Kahele hit in the original production, but the stunned silence at the end of the sketch attested to the effectiveness of his performance.
‘FOLKS YOU MEET IN LONGS’
» Where: Tenney Theatre, St. Andrew’s Cathedral, 229 Queen Emma Square
» When: 8 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
» Cost: $35
» Info: 536-4441 or www.kumukahua.org
Kong plays a similarly dark character in Act 2, a malevolent high school girl whose self-appointed role in life is brutally beating other girls "who don’t know how to walk."
Moses Goods III displays his versatility with four widely divergent roles: an ex-con who speaks with cautious pride about his estranged son; a flamboyant Portuguese medical professional; a stereotypical young local male who gets busted by his girlfriend for making an inappropriate noise while looking at another woman; and a man of no particular ethnicity who enjoys watching two women fight in the parking lot.
Charlotte Dias owns a pair of crowd-pleasing characters. In Act 1 she’s a teacher who gets her kicks talking suggestively to the workers at the car wash and then looking at their butt cleavage when they bend over to vacuum under the seats. In Act 2 she plays a foulmouthed grandmother whose use of the "F-word" got huge laughs on opening night.
Sherry "Sista Sherry" Clifton, who originated the character of "queen-sized princess" Sandralene Ferrera in Cataluna’s breakthrough comedy, "Da Mayah," has four good character roles here — each could be a sister or cousin of Sandralene.
Blossom Hoffman touches the heart as a sadder but wiser survivor of a relationship with a man who had "the stink towel smell," and does so again as a woman stuck in a dreadful marriage who dreams of being married to "Mr. Longs" and living over the pharmacy.
Dawn Gohara ties things together as the narrator, a cashier with 20 years’ experience who says she’s "seen it all" several times over.
John H.Y. Wat (set design) re-creates Longs on the Tenney Theatre stage, and Naomi Davis (costume design) has done an excellent job coming up with appropriate and distinctive attire for more than 30 quirky characters.