comscore 2018-2019 Honolulu Theater Season Calendar | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

2018-2019 Honolulu Theater Season Calendar


    Kumu Kahua’s “38 Minutes” is a combination of short plays and improv inspired by individuals’ experiences during the Jan. 13 false missile alert.

A new year of island theater begins this week with a special preseason show at Kumu Kahua Theatre, the kickoff of the Hawaii Shakespeare Festival and Chaminade University’s first show of the 2018-2019 season.

With 18 groups presenting shows on local stages Oahu can count on a great year of vibrant and diverse entertainment.

Manoa Valley Theatre, founded in 1969 as the Hawaii Performing Arts Company, is celebrating its 50th season with a schedule that includes the world premiere of “Shipment Day,” playwright Lorenzo DeStefano’s dramatization of the confinement of his cousin, Olivia Robello Breitha, at Kalihi Hospital before she was sent to the Hansen’s disease colony on Kalaupapa in 1937, and the Hawaii premiere of “Allegiance,” the George Takei-inspired Broadway musical about the unjust imprisonment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

Kumu Kahua’s “38 Minutes,” which opens Thursday, is a combination of short plays and improv inspired by individuals’ experiences during the Jan. 13 false missile alert.

Two theater groups are new on the local scene. Evolve Theatre Company, which presented its first show earlier this year, is back for a full season. Newer still is local actor Kevin Keaveney’s Kailua OnStage Arts company, or KOA, which debuts with “The Wolves,” a contemporary drama about members of a high school girls soccer team, at the end of August.

Elsewhere, Hawaii’s theater community is offering everything from perennially popular Broadway standards — Diamond Head Theatre opens its season Sept. 21 with “Hello Dolly!” — to cutting-edge Pulitzer Prize-winning contemporary theater and fresh works by Hawaii-resident playwrights.


46 Merchant St., 536-4441,

>> “38 Minutes”: January’s false-alarm announcement that North Korea was attacking Hawaii is addressed first with scripted scenes and monologues, then with an improvised performance using audience feedback. July 12-29 (preseason show)

>> “Pakalolo Sweet”: A night of “karaoke, beer and weed” gets a group of Honolulu marijuana growers talking about “the medical uses, benefits and cultural aspects of marijuana in precontact Hawaii.” A sequel to “Not One Batu.” Aug. 23-Sept. 23

>> “June Is the First Fall”: A closeted gay Chinese-American man returns home from New York City and discovers his sister — the only person in his family who knows he’s gay — is engaged to his first love. Nov. 8-Dec. 9

>> “Shipwreck’d on the Body Beautiful”: When James F. O’Connell was shipwrecked in the Caroline Islands in the 1820s the islanders spared his life but tattooed him from “head-to-foot.” He later became famous as “America’s First Tattooed Man” in P.T. Barnum’s “American Museum” freak show. Based on a true story. Jan. 17-Feb. 17.

>> “The Watcher of Waipuna”: Gilbert Sanchez defends his tiny corner of paradise against evil commercial expansion, corporate development and greedy family members. March 21-April 20

>> “Da Beer Can Hat”: Bobo is a little “slow,” and his abusive father wants to send him away, but despite injuries, harassment and discrimination Bobo never complains. He doesn’t have much, but he has a true friend. Based on Darrell Lum’s original short story. May 23-Jun. 23


The Arts at Marks Garage, 1159 Nuuanu Ave.;

>> “All’s Well That Ends Well”: HSF co-founder Tony Pisculli uses an all-female cast to explore the similarities between love and war. July 13-22

>> “King Lear”: Richard Valasek stars in HSF co-founder R. Kevin Garcia Doyle’s staging of one of Shakespeare’s darkest tragedies. July 27-Aug. 5

>> “Hedda Gabler”: HSF co-founder Harry Wong III takes the audience to 19th-century Norway with Jaimie Bradner starring as Henrik Ibsen’s tragic heroine. Aug. 10-19


3140 Waialae Ave.; 202-6360,

>> “Dead Accounts”: Shortly after Jack comes home unexpectedly from New York, his estranged wife arrives and tells his family why he’s returned. July 13-22

>> Other productions to be announced


Performance locations vary; 927-7150,

>> “Eurydice”: Playwright Sarah Ruhl’s contemporary revision of the story of Orpheus tells it from the perspective of his wife. July 20-29, Paul & Vi Loo Theatre, Hawai‘i Pacific University, Kaneohe


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

>> “The Sleeping Beauty”: The ever-popular fairy tale told through ballet. Aug. 3-5, Blaisdell Concert Hall

>> “The Nutcracker”: National and international performers star in the company’s annual staging of Tchaikovsky’s classic Christmas ballet. Dec. 14-16, Blaisdell Concert Hall


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

>> “The Crusade of Connor Stephens”: Extreme loss shakes a Texas family as it comes to terms with a tragic act of violence in this award-winning play by Dewey Moss. Its story becomes an allegory for the national debate over religion, tolerance and the seedlings of hate. Aug. 3-26

>> “True West”: In this Sam Shepard play, two brothers with very different lifestyles are forced to work together in the creation of a screenplay that will make or break their lives. Oct. 5-28

>> “Pocatello”: A Hawaii premiere of this heartbreaking comedy that looks at flawed and lovable people trying to build a home in the changing landscape of middle America. Dec. 7-30

>> “Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train”: A bicycle messenger awaiting trial for murder is befriended by a charismatic serial killer in this drama by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis. Feb. 8-March 3

>> “Sweat”: Lynn Nottage’s 2017 Pulitzer Prize-winner follows a group of factory workers who have spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets and laughs, who then find their friendships threatened by layoffs. April 12-May 5

>> “Mining for Cole”: Shari Lynn, Kip Wilborn and pianist/arranger Jim Howard explore the musical legacy of composer/lyricist Cole Porter in a multimedia production built around Porter’s contributions to the Great American Songbook of pre-rock pop music. June 14-30


553 S. King St., 447-3916,

>> “Much Ado About Nothing”: Shakespeare’s early romantic comedy about deception and self-deception performed at the lawn outside the mission houses. Aug. 10-25

>> “Oahu Cemetery Pupu Theatre”: Actors portray some of the famous people buried near where they are performing in Oahu Cemetery. June


Tenney Theatre, St. Andrew’s Cathedral, 229 Queen Emma Square, 839-9885,

>> “Filipino Folktales & Fables”: A celebration of the cultural traditions of the Philippines that includes stories about how to stand up to bullies and outwit the sky. Recommended for ages 6 and older. Aug. 24-Sept. 22

>> “Sparkle”: Lucas loves all things that sparkle. Isabella doesn’t like sparkle at all. The poignant play by Annie Cusick Wood (wife of actor Henry Ian Cusick of “Lost”) teaches kids to express themselves and stand up for who they are. Recommended for ages 3 and older. Oct. 13 and 20

>> “Paniolo: Stories and Songs from the Hawaiian Cowboy”: Hawaiian storyteller Moses Goods explores a remarkable period in Hawaii’s history and shows how traditional Hawaiian values and practices integrated with the paniolo lifestyle. Recommended for ages 7 and older. Nov. 2-17

>> “Elephant and Piggie’s ‘We Are in a Play!’ ”: Mo Willems’ beloved Elephant and Piggie are joined by a trio of singing squirrels as they explore the ups and downs of friendship. Recommended for ages 3 and older. Dec. 7-Jan. 26

>> “Home of the Brave”: Honolulu Star-Advertiser columnist Lee Cataluna interviewed military dependents from families in all branches of the service. The result chronicles the experiences of children whose parents are in danger in distant war zones and who may find themselves unwelcomed by the civilian community. Recommended for ages 7 and older. Feb. 8-23

>> “Trash & Treasure”: An interactive adventure for some of HTY’s youngest audiences that explores how no resource or opportunity should be wasted in the life cycle of “stuff.” Recommended for ages 3 and older. March 2 and 9

>> “The Adventures of Pinocchio”: A “re-imagined” version of the classic Italian story of a mischievous puppet and his maker/father Geppetto. Recommended for ages 5 and older. April 12-May 18


96-045 Ala Ike St., Pearl City, 455-0380,

>> “Freak Show:” An eclectic group of performers lead an intimate exploration of fantasies that range from “funky fetish to the fabulously grotesque.” No one under 18 admitted without adult guardian. Aug. 30-Sept. 8

>> “Folks You Meet at Longs”: Honolulu Star-­Advertiser columnist Lee Cataluna’s 2003-vintage look at the nice, the nasty and the downright creepy people you can meet at Hawaii’s favorite chain of drugstores. Nov. 2-17

>> “In the Heights”: The 2008 Tony Award-winning musical about life in the predominately Hispanic neighborhood of Washington Heights. Jan. 17-26

>> “Ho‘ina”: Dance and performance art by Peter Rockford Espiritu and the Tau Dance Company. March 21-23

>> “Much Ado About Nothing”: Shakespeare’s comic tale about the unintended results of gossip, rumor and eavesdropping. April 4-13


2833 E. Manoa Road, 988-6131,

>> “Pageant”: An “all-male cast” stars in this musical comedy spoof of the traditional all-American beauty contest. A hit at MVT in 1998. Aug. 30-Sept. 16

>> “Shipment Day”: The world premiere of playwright Lorenzo DeStefano’s dramatization of the confinement of his cousin Olivia Robello Breitha at Kalihi Hospital until the day before her shipment to the Hansen’s disease colony at Kalaupapa in 1937. Nov. 8-25

>> “Avenue Q”: A “motley group” of humans and “Sesame Street”-style puppets search for work, sex, love and the meaning of life on a “seedy” street in New York City in this Tony Award-winning adult-oriented musical. A hit at MVT in 2011. Jan 10-27

>> “Allegiance”: The Hawaii premiere of the George Takei-inspired musical drama about the wrongful imprisonment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. March 28-April 7

>> “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding”: The audience is part of the wedding party in this audience-participation comedy about everything that can go wrong at a wedding reception. A hit at MVT in 1996 and 2011. May 16-June 2

>> “The Rocky Horror Show”: The original musical satire of the “B movie” horror films of the 1950s follows the misadventures of Brad and Janet at the hands of transsexual Transylvanian scientist Dr. Frank ’n’ Furter. July 18, 2019-Aug. 4, 2019


Performance locations to be announced, 388-0319,

>> “The Wolves”: Members of a high school girls soccer team talk about life and exchange confidences while warming up for practice. Aug. 31-Sept. 9

>> “Songs for a New World”: An “abstract musical” where all the songs are connected by a single theme: What do you do when you are forced to make a decision? Nov. 30-Dec. 9

>> “Men on Boats”: In this comedy, the year is 1869 and Maj. John Wesley Powell leads a crew of loyal volunteers to chart the course of the Colorado River. March 8-17

>> “Big Love”: A contemporary update of Aeschylus’ ancient Greek play “The Suppliants,” about 50 women who take refuge in an Italian villa to avoid arranged marriages with their cousins. May 24-June 2


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

>> “The Wiz”: The 1975 Broadway musical that retold the story of “The Wizard of Oz” as a journey through the African-American culture of the mid-1970s. Sept. 7-Oct. 7


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

Kennedy Theatre Main Stage — Main Stage Series

>> “Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat”: A rainy day is turned upside down by the arrival of a mischievous feline and his accomplices, Thing One and Thing Two. Sept. 14-23

>> “‘War of the Worlds’ — A Staged Reading”: Orson Welles’ live broadcast of H.G. Wells’ science fiction classic, “War of the Worlds,” allegedly panicked listeners in 1938 despite announcements during the broadcast that it was all fake news. The Theatre and Dance Association presents a staged reading for Wells’ drama in observance of the 80th anniversary of the broadcast. Oct. 26-30

>> “A Midsummer Night’s Bollywood Dream”: Co-directors Paul Mitri and Sai Bhatawadekar stage one of Shakespeare’s best-known comedies as a Bollywood musical. Feb. 1-10

Earle Ernst Lab Theatre — Primetime Series

>> “The Good Person of Setzuan”: A modern adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s dark parable about a young Chinese prostitute who takes on a second identity to protect herself from the evil that surrounds her. Oct. 10-14

>> “The Country Wife”: “Diabolical cads, flirts, rakes and other delightful yet unsavory characters” engage in a war of “wits and dimwits” in 17th-century England. April 24-28

Earle Ernst Lab Theatre — Late Night Series

>> “It Comes in Threes: An Evening of Quick Comedies”: Three one-act plays including Christopher Durang’s classic, “The Actor’s Nightmare.” Sept. 15-22

>> “Murder at the Victorian Estate!”: An improvised comic mystery inspired by “Clue!” and “Haunted Honeymoon.” Nov. 29-Dec. 2


520 Makapuu Ave.; 733-0274,

>> “Hello Dolly!”: The Broadway blockbuster about a shrewd Jewish matchmaker who decides to snare a wealthy bachelor for herself. A hit at DHT in 2004. Sept. 21-Oct. 14

>> “Irving Berlin’s ‘Holiday Inn’ ”: The modern Broadway stage adaption of the iconic 1942 Hollywood film best remembered for the song “White Christmas.” Nov. 30-Dec. 23

>> “Noises Off”: A fast-moving farce about a ill-starred stage comedy where everything that can go wrong backstage goes wrong while the actors do their best to carry on. Jan. 25-Feb. 10

>> “Something Rotten!”: A musical parody of Broadway musicals and Shakespeare set in the 1590s. March 22-April 14

>> “Beehive: The 60’s Musical”: A juke-box musical celebrating the pop hits of the 1960s and the women who sang them. May 17-June 9

>> “Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical”: A musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1988 children’s novel about a girl with “astonishing wit, intelligence and telekinetic powers.” July 12, 2019-Aug. 4, 2019


Ong King Arts Center, 1154 Fort Street Mall;

>> “HIR”: Playwright Taylor Mac’s look at a dysfunctional family that includes a “mad housewife,” a combat veteran, a transgender man and a man who has survived a stroke but is almost speechless. Oct. 12-25

>> Show to be announced, Dec. 12-23

>> “Indecent”: Playwright Paula Vogel explores the historical impact of a Broadway play — about a Jewish brother owner — shut down on charges of obscenity in 1922 but later defended in the courts. June 21-30


Paliku Theatre, 45-720 Keaahala Road, 235-7310,

>> “A Walking Shadow”: no information available. Oct. 19-27

>> “The Epic Voyage of Kane‘apua”: The adventures of the younger brother of Kane and Kanaloa are brought to the stage by Hawaiian playwright Moses Goods. Feb. 17-24

>> “Burning/Memory: Two Adopted Noh Plays.” Mar. 8-17


45-045 Kamehameha Highway; 375-1282,

>> Productions to be announced


>> Productions to be announced

Schedules subject to change; check theater websites for show times and ticket information. Theater groups are listed in date order of their first show opening.

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