Two rising stage actors from Hawaii — Zare Anguay and Joshua Tavares — will perform onstage at the Blaisdell Concert Hall when Jonathan Larson’s Broadway musical “Rent” plays Dec. 24 to 29.
It’s always a plus to have a local face and name among the cast when a touring show hits our shores. It helps box office sales, reinforces the notion that Hawaii is a resource for Broadway talent and enables local spectators to applaud local achievements. The pair joined the tour a few months ago.
With the two aboard in the Tony-winning musical, there’s lots to cheer.
Anguay, last seen as the scarecrow in the Bright Kid Foundation’s “The Wiz” last fall, will portray Paul and is the understudy for Angel and Benny. While home for a few days recently, he surprised the cast of the I’m a Bright Kid production of “Children of Eden” when he came to watch a rehearsal. “Eden” opened Friday at Paliku Theatre. Anguay, who comes from a family of performing sisters, departed last Sunday to rejoin “Rent” in Canada.
Tavares, with roots on the Big Island, will play Angel. He studied at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. …
“Rent” — on a 20th anniversary tour — follows the just-closed “The Phantom of the Opera” and the upcoming “The Illusionists” (playing Oct. 23-27) in the trio of Broadway attractions at Blaisdell through the end of the year.
Tickets: 768-5252, broadwayinhawaii.com or ticketmaster.com …
As for island talent riding the Broadway musical bandwagon over the decades, the impressive roster continues to mount. Among them:
>> Ruthie Ann Miles (“The King and I”), Tony winner
>> Loretta Ables Sayre (“South Pacific”), Tony nominee
>> Bette Midler (“Hello, Dolly!”), Tony winner
>> Jason Tam (“Be More Chill,” “A Chorus Line,” “If/Then,” “Les Miserables”)
>> Willy Falk (“Miss Saigon”), Tony nominee
>> Leilani Jones (“Grind”), Tony winner
>> Keala Settle (“Waitress,” “Les Miserables,” “Hands on a Hardbody”)
>> Joseph Morales (“Hamilton,” Chicago company, now in the lead role of a national tour)
>> Marc delaCruz (“Hamilton” understudy on Broadway)
>> Daniel Ching (“Hamilton” tour)
>> Kaena Kekoa (“Aladdin” tour)
>> Pedro Ka‘awaloa (“The King and I” national tour)
>> Kylie Kuioka (“King and I” national tour)
>> Jason Scott Lee and Keo Woolford (“The King and I” London)
>> Francis Ruivivar (“Miss Saigon,” “Shogun, the Musical,” “Cats”)
>> Yvonne Elliman (“Jesus Christ Superstar”)
>> Ann Harada (“Avenue Q,” “Les Miserables,” “Cinderella”)
>> Randy Kim (“The King and I”)
>> Tiffany Shinn (“Les Miserables”)
>> Ryan Rumbaugh (“Les Miserables”)
>> Janel Parrish (“Les Miserables”)
>> Cliffton Hall (“Miss Saigon,” “Les Miserables,” “Wicked”)
>> Jade Stice (“Miss Saigon”)
>> Michael Bright (“Miss Saigon”)
>> Melanie Tojio Lockyer (“Miss Saigon”)
>> Christine Yasunaga (“The Lion King”)
>> Jewl Anguay (“The Lion King”)
>> Kimee Balmilero (“Miss Saigon,” “Mamma Mia”)
>> Robert Orosco (“Miss Saigon”)
>> Matthew Pedersen (“Miss Saigon,” “A Chorus Line”)
>> Aleks Pevec (“Something Rotten,” “Catch Me if You Can,” “Evita”)
>> Alvin Ing (“Pirates of Penzance”)
>> Andrew Sakaguchi (“The King and I,” “La Cage Aux Folles”)
>> Cole Horibe (“Kung Fu,” “The King and I”)
>> Greg Zane (“The King and I”) dancer and choreographer
>> Georgia Engel (“The Drowsy Chaperone”)
>> Mahi‘ai Kekumu (“Aida”)
>> Kristian Lei (“Miss Saigon” Germany)
>> Zoey Anguay (“Miss Saigon” Germany)
>> Cathy Foy (“Song of Singapore,” “South Pacific”)
>> Amado Cacho (“Miss Saigon”)
>> Ed Kenney (“Flower Drum Song”) …
Furthermore, a few island folks have succeeded in the world of theater without being on stage. Among them:
>> Kevin McCollum, producer of “Rent,” “Avenue Q,” “Something Rotten” and the upcoming season’s “Mrs. Doubtfire”
>> Dean Pitchford, composer of “Footloose” and “Carrie”
>> Jim Simpson, founding artistic director of the Flea Theater
>> Dr. Mark Mugiishi, producer from Hawaii, “Allegiance” …
When “Kinky Boots,” the 2013 Tony winner for best musical, opens Sept. 20 to kick off Diamond Head Theatre’s 2019-20 season, Kwame Remy guest-stars as Lola, the heels-wearing dude-in-drag who helps Zachary Linnert as Charlie Price, who’s faced with turning his father’s failing shoe company into a winner.
The show, loaded with female impersonators, is a warm, hilarious tale of opposites connecting, with a subplot of prejudices transforming into friendships. Stilettos with boots way up the legs, a fave of drag queens, help save the day!
The show, directed and choreographed by homegrown Andrew Sakaguchi, is adapted from a British film based on a true story. It features a Tony-winning score by Cyndi Lauper and a Tony-nominated book by Harvey Fierstein; the show earned a best actor in a musical Tony for Billy Porter (as Lola) and a best choreography award for Jerry Mitchell.
Also leading the cast: Vanessa Manuel-Mazzullo as Lauren, a shoe factory worker, and Jody Bill as Nicola, who suggests an alternate plan for the shoe plant. Phil Hidalgo is the musical director. “Kinky Boots” is set to run through Oct. 13, but DHT musicals commonly are extended. Tickets: 733-0274, diamondheadtheatre.com. …
And that’s “Show Biz.”
Wayne Harada is a veteran entertainment columnist. Reach him at 266-0926 or firstname.lastname@example.org.