The Honolulu Theatre for Youth’s “The HI Way” television series has been nominated for six regional Emmy Awaards.
The theater group had to pivot from live productions to virtual because of last year’s pandemic, and since March 2020, the resident ensemble has produced 21 half-hour episodes that have connected with more than 4 million views via TV stations.
“HTY’s shift to digital production would not have been possible without the incredible support we received from our community partners,” said Becky Dunning, HTY managing director. Supporters included government and foundation grantors, she said, along with corporate donors and community individuals “who recognized the importance of keeping Hawaii children engaged and excited about learning during the pandemic.”
Eric Johnson, HTY’s artistic director, commended teachers who embraced the show’s content for distance-learning and in-person classes, and said the shows “celebrates what is unique about our culture, lifting up local stories and perspectives, and celebrating the values of diversity, environmental stewardship and aloha.”
The six nominated episodes are “Pono,” “Respect Racism,” “Energy” and “Da Holidays,” with a special nominee in Gerard Elmore, who directed “Surfing.”
Episodes for season three are now televised on Hawaii News Now stations as well as the theater’s website, www.htyweb.org.
Season four premieres in fall of this year. …
DHT’s nostalgic ‘Forever Plaid’ opens May 28
“Forever Plaid,” an off-Broadway musical brimming with nostalgia and tuneful oldies, opens May 28 at Diamond Head Theatre, eight performances through June 5. Facial masks are required to attend, with social distancing protocols prevailing, meaning limited seating in the theater.
The show has a heavenly twist; four buddies named Sparky, Smudge, Jinx and Frankie head to a gig when a school bus collides with their car, terminating their career. But the stars were aligned and the group’s fate is reborn so the foursome can continue its musical journey.
The show is a tribute to 19502 guy-group music – think the Four Seasons from another era – with emphasis on four-part harmony. Thus, the score features the likes of Four Freshmen, Four Aces and Four Lads and titles such as “Three Coins in the Fountain,” “No Not Much,” “Moments to Remember,” “Love Is a Many Splendored Thing,” “Rags to Riches,” and “Shangri-La.”
Andrew Sakaguchi returns home from New York to direct and choreograph, with Maika‘i Nash conducting the orchestra.
The cast features Tyler Devere as Jinx, Scott Fikse as Smudge, Ryan Michel as Frankie and Will Thomson as Sparky.
Playdates: 7:30 p.m. May 28, 7:30 p.m. May 29, 4 p.m. May 30, 7:30 p.m. June 3, 7:30 p.m. June 4, 3 p.m. June 5, 7:30 p.m. June 5 and 4 p.m. June 6.
Tickets: $22 at diamondheadtheatre.com …
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Remembering Willie K
Willie K will be remembered in a Celebration of Life in the form of a drive-through from 2 to 4 p.m. May 18 at the Wahikuli Wayside State Park on Maui.
The Kahaiali‘i ‘Ohana – Willie’s family and friends – is presenting the drive-through, in a one-way traffic route below the Lahaina Fire Station.
Some traffic restrictions will be in place, with no-left turns and no-parking in the nearby lots.
Uncle Willie, the beloved entertainer, died May 18 2020,
He is widely known for his expansive musical repertoire, ranging from old-style Hawaiian to the blues, from operatic arias to country tunes, from contemporary Hawaiiana to jazz. He was a regular at several Maui sites and the Blue Note Hawaii club in Waikiki, where he serenaded his fans monthly until illness prevented him from performing.
Willie Awihilima Kahaiali‘i is survived by his wife, Debbie Kahaiali‘I and children Karshaun, Max, Lycettiana and Antoinette. …
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And that’s “Show Biz.” …