Two theatrical milestones will be commemorated when the Castle Performance Arts Company (CPAC) and the I’m a Bright Kid foundation (IABK) collaborate to stage “60 Years of Castle Theatre” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 2) at the Ronald E. Bright Performing Arts Center at Castle High School.

Ron Bright, pictured left, has been the eminent resident, inspirational director and educator, who staged musicals at Castle during his tenure beginning in 1963. He has been mentoring a flock of young theater buffs over the decades, many who ultimately made the cut to star in Broadway musicals after graduation from Castle.

The event also coincides in what would have been Mr. Bright’s 90th birthday on Sept. 2. He retired in 1988 and died July 7, 2015, at age 81.

A third historical moment will unfold, too,  when the Michael Bright family – Michael is Mr. B’s second son —  vocalize together for the first time, on “A Million Dreams,” the power ballad from the film, “The Greatest Showman.” Michael will be joined by wife Jade and their children (and Mr. B’s and Mo Bright’s grandchildren) Caitlin,  Drew and Colton, a familial moment that surely will have Poppa beaming and applauding from his heavenly perch.

Mo Bright, joins Ron Bright, at the keyboards.

“It’s such a wonderful feeling, to have them performing and singing for the first time as a family,” said Mo Bright. “I’m so proud of all of them.”

Mo has been part of Mr. B’s life and times from the get-go, with a ringside seat for most of the prime spectacles staged by him. She was always an onlooker, offering comfort and support from the sidelines, and was a valuable assistant to Mr. B, logging notations for the shows.

“It seems like only yesterday,” she said of the passage of time. “Sixty years? The memories are still fresh in my mind.”

She’s been Auntie Mo to all the stage youngsters, for nearly all the times he’d assemble a cast and rehearse in his inimitable style, creating opportunities leading towards opening night. “I may have missed a few shows,” she sighed, referring to the times she was pregnant with sons Michael and Clarke Bright and daughter Jodi Bright Stein.

Ron Bright and son Clarke Bright prep for “West Side Story.”

This joint project between CPAC and IABK means all collaborative hands will be on deck from both theatrical teams, with CPAC’s Karen Meyer rehearsing and staging Castle’s students and IABK’s Ligaya Stice coordinating elements from her camp, the mission being to share the story and history of the theatrical seeds planted and nurtured on the Kaneohe campus.

Curiously, there’s no director per se, and while there will be the noticeable presence of 24-VII, the versatile dance group led by Marcelo Pacleb, there’s no bona fide choreographer credited nor a vocal or musical director.

Emcee chores will be shared by Wally Tavares, Castle ’72, and Devon Nekoba, frequent Bright-directed singer-actor who also is a radio deejay now.

Regulars to Mr. B’s Castle shows, as well as his post-retirement productions at Paliku Theatre at the Windward Community College, will recognize the faces and voices of performers Kimee Balmilero, Jodi Leong, Sarahlea Kekuna, Allan Lau, Miguel Cadoy III, Kalea McLagan  and the aforementioned Nekoba.

The Ron Bright Theatre is home of the Castle Performing Arts Center.

The show will embrace memories from pre-Castle Theatre productions at Castle Gymnatorium and Benjamin Parker School, to more recent IABK endeavors at Paliku, providing an arc of triumph reflecting the spectrum of the Bright learning curve.  The musical fare will run the gamut, from “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” from “The Sound of Music” to “On My Own,” from “Les Miserables,” and from “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better” from “Annie Get Your Gun” to “This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman.”

“Celebrate 60” is the first of two Ron Bright productions this month.

“An Evening of Rodgers & Hammerstein Classics,”  produced by the IABK foundation, will be held at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29 and 30 and at 4 p.m. Oct. 1 at Paliku Theatre, at Windward Community College. The show will feature such signatures from the R&H vaults including “The King & I,” “South Pacific,” “Oklahoma,” “Carousel” and “The Sound of Music.”


  • “Celebrate 60”

Tickets: $20 adults 18-64, $10 students 18+, seniors 65+, military. A collaborative production by CPAC and IABK foundation. Tickets: https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/75807

  • “Rodgers & Hammerstein”

Tickets: $32 premier; $27 adults;  $22 seniors, students and military;  $17 youths 6-13; free, toddlers 2-5; $17, floor seating (ticketing required for all). Produced by IABK. Tickets: https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/75827 or imabrightkid.org/tickets

Local boy Morales in China tour

Local boy Joseph Morales, who has been one of the touring Hamiltons in the family of “Hamilton” companies, is one of several Broadway leads who are touring in “Next Stop Broadway,” in prestigious multi-cultural gigs in China, arranged by Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment.

Keri Rene Fuller and Joseph Morales, are touring China.

Morales joins Jen Colella (“Come From Away”), Keri Rene Fuller (“Six”), and Zachary Piser (“Dear Evan Hansen”) and they’ll represent America in shows at the Shanghai Grand Theatre, the Beijing Tianqiao Performing Arts Center, the Nanjing Lichi Theater, the Chengdu City Concert Hall and the Shanxi Opera House. Performances began Aug. 23 and run through Sept. 10.

Top Chinese performers also are part of these  presentations, themed “A Star-Studded Night of New Broadway Classics.”

Morales, a Wahiawa native who is a former Bright Kid performer, also starred in Lisa Matsumoto pidgin English musicals before finding his calling in “Hamilton,” in which he played the title role in Chicago and several national tours. …

And that’s Show Biz.. …

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