Kumu Kahua, the island theater group dedicated to stage plays by playwrights who focus on works and themes reflecting the island lifestyle or history, has set its 2022-2023 season with flashbacks to its heritage.
Throughout the new season, Kumu Kahua will acknowledge and address the legacy of its founder, the late Dennis Carroll, a pioneering playwright and professor emeritus of the University of Hawaii’s Department of Theatre and Dance. He died in 2021, but set the foundation for Kumu to seek scripts by playwrights who express and explore island themes and local stories, reflecting the Hawaiian culture in comedies and dramas.
“It’s particularly fitting that as we look ahead with excitement to the new, that we’re also celebrating old friends,” said Donna Blanchard, Kumu Kahua Theatre managing director. “Community has always been at the heart of the theater, and we are humbled by the enthusiasm of our audiences and the passion of our advocates in helping us to sustain our mission.”
Thus, Kumu is looking to the past as it sprints forward to its 52nd season, which will feature these five productions:
* “Aloha Las Vegas,” by Edward Sakamoto, Aug. 25 to Sept. 25, 2022. About a retired widower, Wally Fukuda, living comfortably in Liliha, till his pal Harry visits from Las Vegas, who proposes Wally does the same, where he can live for a fraction of the Hawaii cost. Family dynamics put a damper on his decision.
* “Lucky Come Hawaii,” by Jon Shirota, Nov. 3 to Dec. 4. An adaptation of Shirota’s 1965 novel, a comedy set in wartime 1941, where a precarious balance exists between American GIs, local Japanese and West Maui Okinawans. But when Japan bombs Pearl Harbor, martial law is imposed and the world goes topsy-turvy when a new normal prevails.
* “Gone Feeshing,” by Lee A.Tonouchi, Jan. 19 to Feb. 19 2023. Da Pidgin Guerrila’s father’s friend is the inspiration of this true-life heroism journey exploring love, communication and forgiveness. Two brothers go fishing; the older bro comes to terms with his relationship to their dad and his tragic death. With the pidgin guru’s orientation, expect a lot of local lingo.
* “Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers,” adapted to the stage by Keith Kashiwada and John H.Y. Wat, inspired by Lois-Ann Yamanaka’s groundbreaking novel. It’s a 1970s, coming of age tale set in Hilo, where Lovey Nariyoshi endures middle school with the support of her bestie, Jerry. A sense of identity is forged, shaped by white American pop culture and media, that makes her ashamed of her upbringing, laced with the beautiful and the brutal realities of growing up local.
* “Folks You Meet at Longs,” by Lee Cataluna, May 25 through June 25. The denizens, who make Longs a part of their days, are the focus of these raucous monologues, tapping a creepy uncle, a hickey-necked teen, a pickled-mango-craving hapai mom and more.. The play evolved in an award-winning book for Cataluna.
Tickets: $80, returning season subscribers; $90, new season subscribers; $25, student season subscribers; $170, Viewer’s Choice Pass ($10 tickets per pass); $70, scholarship subscription (a season ticket order given away by Kumu Kahua).
Where: (808) 536-4441; email firstname.lastname@example.org; at box office, 46 Merchant Street, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays. …
Broadway’s weekly grosses
No change in the leaders, who continue to lead: No. 1, “The Music Man;” No. 2, “Hamilton;” No. 3, “The Lion King.”
Grosses for the week ending May 15, 2022, courtesy the Broadway League:
|A STRANGE LOOP||$690,667.95||6,589||7,376||89.33%|
|COME FROM AWAY||$468,509.24||5,048||8,368||60.33%|
|DEAR EVAN HANSEN||$522,763.89||5,834||7,872||74.11%|
|FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE / WHEN THE RAINBOW IS ENUF||$249,353.60||4,061||6,184||65.67%|
|GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY||$289,305.00||3,941||6,384||61.73%|
|HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD||$1,163,099.10||10,228||12,976||78.82%|
|HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE||$364,925.00||4,341||5,096||85.18%|
|MJ THE MUSICAL||$1,352,143.20||10,468||11,096||94.34%|
|MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL||$537,705.40||4,750||5,200||91.35%|
|MR. SATURDAY NIGHT||$858,847.00||6,519||8,337||78.19%|
|POTUS: OR, BEHIND EVERY GREAT DUMBASS ARE SEVEN WOMEN TRYING TO KEEP HIM ALIVE||$461,864.25||6,326||11,608||54.50%|
|TAKE ME OUT||$474,951.23||4,211||4,648||90.60%|
|THE BOOK OF MORMON||$941,030.65||7,679||8,528||90.04%|
|THE LION KING||$1,636,928.00||12,659||13,568||93.30%|
|THE MUSIC MAN||$3,377,554.04||12,268||12,200||100.56%|
|THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA||$728,082.26||7,704||12,840||60.00%|
|THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH||$115,745.00||2,371||5,290||44.82%|
|TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL||$1,015,122.00||8,626||11,824||72.95%|