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2017-2018 Theater Season Calendar

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    Nick Atiburcio, left, Ari Dalbert and KC Odell star in “Romeo and Juliet.”

Honolulu’s 2017-2018 theater season is a fresh cornucopia of diversity that includes revival productions of Broadway classics and recent Broadway and off-Broadway hits that are being presented by Honolulu theater groups for the first time. The schedule also contains new works by island playwrights and addresses subjects ranging from the music of Cole Porter to the experiences of Micronesian immigrants in Hawaii.

The new kid on the block theater-wise is Theatre Found, which is presenting “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot,” a provocative courtroom drama by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis, for three weekends in August in the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Earle Ernst Lab Theatre. UH-Manoa associate professor of theater Mark Branner is a key member of the group; Branner directed a Hollywood production of the show in 2009 and is also directing this one. Theatre Found partnered with Paul Mitri’s All the World’s a Stage theater group two years ago to present a critically acclaimed production of “Freud’s Last Session” in several “found spaces” around Honolulu.

Synopses have been provided by the theater groups.


The Arts at Marks Garage, 1159 Nuuanu Ave.;

“Romeo and Juliet”: Shakespeare’s best-known romantic tragedy, directed by Rob Duvall with an “age appropriate” cast. July 14-23

“A Comedy of Errors”: Shakespearean comedy transported to what looks like New York in the 1920s. July 28-Aug. 6

Chekhov minifestival: “The Seagull”: plus two Chekhov shorts: HSF founder Tony Pisculli directs “The Seagull,” 19th-century Russian playwright Anton Chekhov’s acclaimed look at love, life, innocence, betrayal and the cost of leading an artistic life. (The “shorts” — “Avenger” and “Bear” — will be presented one hour before the official showtime, and are free.) Aug. 11-20


553 S. King St., 447-3916,

“Twelf Nite o Whateva!”: James Grant Benton’s 1974-vintage pidgin “translation” of Shakespeare’s 1602 romantic comedy “Twelfth Night, or What You Will,” performed at the lawn outside the mission houses. Aug. 3-17

“Yesterday’s News”: Historical figures talk about their contributions to Hawaiian history; performances take place at Oahu Cemetery. Dates to be announced.


“The Last Days of Judas Iscariot”: Mother Teresa, Pontius Pilate, Sigmund Freud, Simon the Zealot, Satan and Jesus Christ are among the witnesses in this provocative courtroom drama about the most hated man in Christianity. Aug. 18-Sept. 3


Brad Powell Theatre, 650 Iwilei Road No. 101, 722-6941,

“Choir Boy”: Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play is set within the Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys, dedicated to the creation of strong, ethical black men. Pharus wants to be leader of the school’s legendary gospel choir. Does it matter that he is gay? Aug. 18-Sept. 3

“Boy”: After a male infant survives a disfiguring accident, a well-intentioned doctor convinces his parents to raise him as a girl. The repercussions of that decision continue to unfold two decades later, as the child becomes an adult struggling with gender issues. A play by Anna Zeigler. Oct. 6-22

“Picasso at the Lapin Agile”: Comedian/playwright Steve Martin imagines what might have happened if Albert Einstein had met Pablo Picasso in a Parisian cafe in 1904 — before Einstein transformed physics with his theory of relativity and Picasso set the art world afire with cubism. Nov. 24-Dec. 10

“Mining for Cole”: Shari Lynn is joined by vocalist Kip Wilborn and pianist Jim Howard in a multimedia celebration of the life, times and timeless compositions of composer/lyricist Cole Porter. Expect tickets for this one to sell out fast. Jan. 5-21

“The Happiest Song Plays Last”: Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegria Hudes’ sequel to “Water by the Spoonful” follows the experiences of Elliot Ortiz and his cousin Jasmin Ortiz. Elliot is in Jordan making a film about America’s war in Iraq; Jasmin is helping out at a Philadelphia soup kitchen. Feb. 23-March 11

“The Road to Mecca”: An old woman who lives alone and creates odd concrete sculptures is in danger of being sent to an old folks’ home until a young woman she once helped comes to her aid. An international favorite by South African playwright Athol Fugard. April 13-29

“The Prodigal Son”: A 17-year-old boy from the Bronx suddenly finds himself in a private school in New Hampshire. He’s violent, gifted, alienated and on fire with a ferocious loneliness. Two faculty members wrestle with the dilemma: Is the kid a star or a disaster? Playwright John Patrick Shanley’s passionate, explosive portrait of a young man on the verge of salvation or destruction. June 1-17


46 Merchant St., 536-4441,

“Who Killed Gilbert Botello?”: A “typical British whodunit” peopled with recognizable people and reshaped by playwright Garrick Paikai into “a refreshing representation of Hawaii.” Aug. 24-Sept. 24

“The Wild Birds”: Premiere of Eric Anderson’s historical drama about the problematic Chiefs’ Children’s School, which was created in 1839 to give high-ranking alii children an “American” education, and the experience of missionary couple Amos and Juliette Cooke in teaching there. Nov. 2-Dec. 3

“Living Room”: Premiere of William Kahele’s comedy: Eli’s family and friends nearly drive him crazy as he wrestles with his troubled past and uncertain future. Jan. 18-Feb. 18

“Demigods Anonymous”: Young 20-something demigods try to live normal lives and control their ability to transform into supernatural animals. Premiere of the work by Noa Helela. March 22-April 22

“Dead of Night”: The year is 1956. The place is Honolulu. In Edward Sakamoto’s “suspenseful thriller about economic reality and the death of idealism,” five union members decide to violently pressure their employer to meet the union’s demands. May 24-June 17


Tenney Theatre, 229 Queen Emma Square, 839-9885,

“The Ballad of Mu Lan”: HTY company actor/playwright Alvin Chan reworks this well-known Chinese legend using traditional Chinese theatrical techniques, martial arts choreography and contemporary music. Recommended for ages 5 and older. Aug. 25-Sept. 30

“Masters of the Currents”: A play created with community interviews confronts the widespread negative stereotypes of Micronesian immigrants head-on with stories of the challenges Micronesians face when they come to Hawaii. Recommended for ages 8 and older. Oct. 13-21

“Ouch!”: Characters Boo and Hoo are happy, even when they get an “ouch,” but when they start to feel other people’s ouches, they set out with their box of Band-Aids to fix all the ouches in the world. Recommended for ages 2 and older. Nov. 4-11

“Extraordinary Stories From an Ordinary Ohana”: Veteran playwright (and Star-Advertiser columnist) Lee Cataluna examines what it means to live in contemporary Hawaii, the value of connection and community, and the diversity we experience in building our personal ohana. Recommended for youth in grades 5 and above. Nov. 24-Dec. 16

“The Red Balloon”: Playwright Annie Cusick Wood’s take on Albert Lamorisse’s Academy Award-winning fantasy comedy-tragedy about a young French boy whose best friend is a sentient balloon. Recommended for ages 5 and older. Jan 12-27

“Kinolau”: Frequent HTY collaborator Moses Goods returns with traditional stories about the Hawaiian akua (gods) who appear to mankind in forms known as kino lau. How do these ancient stories illuminate our lives in Hawaii today? Recommended for ages 8 and older. Feb. 9-17

“Little Big Eye”: A feisty little fish with a curious eye for adventure meets colorful characters and explores the hidden wonders living within Hawaii’s waters. An interactive journey for HTY’s youngest audiences by Kathleen Doyle, filled with puppets and music that bring the ocean to life. Recommended for ages 2 and older. March 3-10

“Shocka: The Story of Energy and Hawaii”: If energy powers everything, how does it work? A new musical exploring the basic question of what makes us go. Recommended for ages 5 and older. April 13-May 1


96-045 Ala Ike St., Pearl City, 455-0011,

“Monsters and Maidens Burlesque”: The LCC Theatre Program opens its 43rd season with a G-rated song-and-dance revue inspired by its upcoming production of “She Kills Monsters.” Aug. 31-Sept. 10

“She Kills Monsters”: A young woman finds her deceased sister’s “Dungeons & Dragons” notebook and discovers an imaginary world that is populated by homicidal fairies and nasty ogres, and steeped in 1990s pop culture. “A heart-pounding homage to the geek and warrior within us all.” Nov. 2-19

“Plantation Plays”: Stories about life on Hawaii’s sugar plantations, presented on the grounds of Hawaii Plantation Village in Waipahu. Nov. 4-19

Main stage show: To be announced. Nov. 17-26

“The Merchant of Venice”: Shakespeare’s controversial tragedy about a bitter Jewish moneylender who demands a man’s heart (“a pound of flesh”) as payment for an ill-advised debt. April 12-21


2833 E. Manoa Road, 988-6131,

“The Full Monty”: Unemployed steelworkers decide to become male strippers in this musical comedy by Terrence McNally and David Yazbeker, based on the 1997 film. Sept. 7-24

“The Legend of Georgia McBride”: Economic problems force an Elvis impersonator to become a female impersonator at a Florida bar in this sassy comedy with music by Matthew Lopez. Nov. 9-26

“Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery”: Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic “The Hound of the Baskervilles” presented as comedy with a cast of five portraying more than 40 characters. Jan. 11-28

“Fun Home”: Based on Alison Bechdel’s 2006 humorous “graphic memoir” about growing up lesbian and life with her funeral home-operating family. March 1-18

“Shear Madness”: An interactive comic whodunit that allows the audience to question the suspects and then vote on the solution to the mystery. A hit at MVT in 1998. May 3-20

“The Princess and the Iso Peanut”: A “traditional fairy tale” princess falls in love with a Japanese-American prince but must pass an unusual test before she’ll be allowed to marry him. Lisa Matsumoto’s pidgin version of “The Princess and the Pea.” July 5-22


45-720 Keaahala Road, Windward Community College, 235-7310,

“The King and I”: The classic Rodgers & Hammerstein musical about the complicated relationship between King Mongkut of Thailand and Anna Leonowens, the no-nonsense governess he hired to teach his children in the 1860s. Sept. 8-Oct. 8


Kennedy Theatre, 1770 East-West Road; 956-7655,

Kennedy Theatre Main Stage — Main Stage Series

>> “The Spitfire Grill”: A recently released parolee is inspired by a page from an old travel book to start a new life working at the Spitfire Grill in Gilead, Wis., in this musical “about hope and transformation in difficult times,” based on the 1996 film. Sept. 15-24

>> “Fights & Delights: Three Chinese Comedies”: “Xiqu” (Chinese opera) performed in English and filled with “convoluted acrobatic contortions, mistaken identities, adorable lovers and exhilarating battles” becomes a celebration of “the clown” designed to appeal to audiences of all ages. Feb. 16-25

>> “Nora”: Filmmaker Ingmar Bergman’s adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s masterpiece, “A Doll’s House,” focuses on the central characters and “exposes the heart of Ibsen’s controversial play without mercy or apology.” April 13-24

Earle Ernst Lab Theatre — Primetime Series

>> “Fa’alavelave: The Interruption”: The death of a family member reveals long-kept secrets that strengthen a Samoan-Filipina lesbian’s appreciation of the value of family and her Samoan cultural legacy. Nov. 29-30 and Dec. 1-3

Earle Ernst Lab Theatre — Late Night Series

>> “Mimes, Masks, and Miracles”: Student director/Master Mime Todd Farley uses classic techniques of mime to inspire laughter and curiosity, celebrating human ingenuity. Sept. 15-23

>> “Almost Maine”: Nine “whimsical, romantic and quirky” short plays by John Cariani, exploring life and love in a remote Northern town. Nov. 3-12


520 Makapuu Ave.; 733-0274,

“Ragtime”: An unhappy, married, upper-class white woman, an ambitious Jewish immigrant and a talented African-American musician confront poverty, prejudice, hope and despair in turn-of-the-20th-century New York. Based on the novel by E.L. Doctorow. A hit at DHT in 2003. Sept. 22-Oct. 15

“A Charlie Brown Christmas”: Cartoonist Charles M. Schulz’s beloved alter ego confronts the overwhelming materialism of the Christmas season with the help of Lucy, Linus, a spindly Christmas sapling and Snoopy. The stage version of the 1965 television special. Dec. 1-23

“Calendar Girls”: Several English women decide to raise money for charity by posing for a calendar in which they appear to be nude but don’t actually show “the naughty bits.” Based on a true story; a play by Tim Firth based on the 2003 film. Jan. 26-Feb. 11

“Nice Work if You Can Get It”: A homage to the Jazz Age musicals of the 1920s and 1930s which features the music of George and Ira Gershwin. March 23-April 15

“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder”: A “knock ’em dead” musical comedy about an impoverished man who discovers that he’s eighth in line for an English peerage and decides to kill the unsuspecting relatives who stand between him and the title. May 18-June 10

“Disney’s Newsies”: A 2012 Broadway hit inspired by the real-life newsboys strike of 1899. July 13-Aug. 5


3140 Waialae Ave.; 202-6360,

“Beyond Therapy”: A “farcical comedy” about two New Yorkers who attempt to find stable romantic relationships with the help of their respective psychiatrists. Nov. 3-12

“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”: A psychopathic barber takes revenge on the corrupt officials who framed him for a crime he didn’t commit and then raped his wife and drove her to suicide. Stephen Sondheim’s musical based on a story dating from the 1840s was a hit on Broadway in 1979 and was revived in 1989 and 2005. April 13-22


45-045 Kamehameha Highway; 375-1282,

“Barefoot in the Park”: Neil Simon’s early Broadway smash ran for 1,530 performances in the mid-1960s and continues to resonate with romantics of all ages. Nov. 17-26

“Evening With the Bard”: Original pastiche of Shakespeare scenes designed to showcase exciting ensemble work and outstanding individual performances by HPU’s Young Actors Ensemble. Dec. 15

Spring show: April 6-15

“Julius Caesar”: Was the famous Roman military champion a brilliant leader or an ego-driven megalomaniac? William Shakespeare’s play was said by G. Bernard Shaw to be “the most splendidly written political melodrama we possess.” May 11-20


777 S. Hotel St. No. 101; 521-8600,

“The Nutcracker”: Hawaii’s biggest ballet company features national and international performers in its annual staging of Tchaikovsky’s classic Christmas ballet. Dec. 15-17


Productions to be announced.


Productions to be announced.

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