Our Maui youth thespians have been working their butts off this summer to bring their live tales to the stage. It’s rare that we have an opportunity to see them all in action in one grand weekend, so take advantage and go to the theater. These stories are not just for kids, and their unique interpretations of these classics will delight you. Extra points if you see all three.
Oliver! goes on to its second weekend of performance on the Westside at the Lahaina Gateway Center. You have never seen workhouse kids like this. Oliver takes on a new twist – the story is played in a dystopian future, where orphans are sold to the highest bidder. It’s no wonder they find their own family in Fagin’s gang, and this time Fagin is a matriarch played by Sydney McCarney, who looks out for her young crew and teaches them how to survive together. Directed by Kristi Scott with Musical Director Aida Rose and Assistant Directors Francis Taua and Heidi Turner. Performed by Theatre Theatre Maui.
Performances: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7pm; Sunday at 2pm. Tickets: $12/Adults; $7/Child. Pre-sale tickets available at Lahaina Music. Lahaina Gateway, (305 Keawe St., Lahaina); 808-661-5304; Lahainagateway.com
Beauty and the Beast Jr.
I know you are familiar with Beauty and the Beast, but tale is a gift that keeps on giving. Packed with life’s lessons in bullying, unrequited love, tolerance, romance, and self love, this classic Disney show has it all. It is truly a wonder to absorb a show in the Iao Theater, and reflect on all the history there. The keiki that grace this antique stage have put their passion and life’s experience into this show, and it’s easy to get swept away with their storytelling. Their touch of comedy timing is spectacular too. Directed by Dejah Padon with Musical Director Kim Vetterli. Performed by the Maui Onstage Youth Theatre.
Performances: Saturday at 11am and Sunday at 1pm. Tickets: $10/Adults; $6/Child. Pre-sale tickets available online. Historic Iao Theater, (68 N Market St., Wailuku); 808-242-6969; Mauionstage.com
Lion King Jr.
Picture the African savannah where Mother Nature’s classic drama has played out for centuries. Life, death, and politics play out in a lion clan. This monarchy isn’t without issues, and lineages clash for a chance to rule Pride Rock. Enter hilarious BFFs Pumba the warthog and Timon the meercat to save the day. With an incredible and daring array of lionesses, zebras, cheetahs, panthers, gazelles, hyenas, antelope, birds, and leopards, cohabiting on the African plain has never been more interesting. The music and songs won many accolades for Tim Rice and Elton John back in the ‘90s and these keiki really capture you with their interpretations. Co-directed by Sally Sefton and Logan Heller with Music Director Danielle Mealani Delaunay. Performed by the Maui Academy of Performing Arts Summer Musical Theatre Camp.
Performances: Opening night on Thursday, July 26 at 7pm. Friday at 7pm, and Saturday/Sunday at 4pm. Family days on Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 1pm. Reserved seating: $15/Adults; $12/Students. General seating: $12/Adults, $10/Students. Family day special: All seats/$10. Pre-sale tickets available online or call MAPA box office. A‘ali‘ikuhonua Creative Arts Center on the Seabury Hall campus, (480 Olinda Rd., Makawao); 808-244-MAPA; Mauiacademy.org
Photo courtesy Jack Grace