Tonight and tomorrow night Lahaina will be transformed for a group of 70 folks or so, who will climb into a time capsule with the folks at Lahaina Restoration Foundation and travel back to the old days when this West Maui spot was the capital of Hawaii. Okay, travelling will be done by your imagination, while your tastebuds work in real time, but isn’t that a safer way to travel any how? This weekend only we will be treated to the beautiful combination of art appreciation, engaging historic theatre and gorgeous food.
With paint, murals, lanterns, tables and linens, Theo Morrison and her team are busily readying the Old Lahaina Prison to serve as the site of the main course of the Lahaina Restoration Foundation’s Third Annual Progressive Dinner Party.
During a progressive dinner party, you travel (or “progress”) from one site to the next for each course of your meal. The Lahaina Restoration Foundation has added a historical twist to the concept – you travel from one historical site to another by trolley and shuttle, with historical narration along the way. “The evening starts with appetizers at the Wo Hing Museum on Front Street, moves to the Old Lahaina Prison for salad and the main course and ends up at the Pioneer Inn for dessert,” explains Morrison. “You also enjoy culinary creations by some of Maui’s most noted chefs, including chefs Mark Ellman, Ryan Luckey, Sheldon Simeon and Jay Kulukulalani.”
“You could call this a fusion of a ‘foodie’ and ‘historical’ event,” says Morrison, noting that the chefs will be using ingredients such as Snake River Farms Gold Label Kobe Tenderloin, Island Fresh Ahi, and Molokai Prawns, to create tantalizing dishes especially for the occasion. “The settings are as memorable as any you’ll ever find, and you’ll learn a bit about Lahaina’s rich history throughout the evening.”
The fascinating backdrop of Chinese history in Lahaina cloaks the first course – pupus prepared by Chef Sheldon Simeon at the Wo Hing Temple. But the real action is going to be found aptly placed in the old prison built in the 1850s by order of the legislature and King Kamehameha III of Hawaii. Inside the 28 inch thick coral block prison walls you will be witnessing a new dimension of Lahaina, theatrical performances by Great Scott Productions, inspired by an old song that homesick sailors sung called “Saturday Night in Lahaina.”
Longtime Lahaina residents will enjoy the portrayal of the late Captain Kenny, a beloved and colorful local resident who transported his artwork in a shopping cart and sold it along Lahaina’s streets. Actor Chuck Dicker will be playing the part. Other actors in the show include Robenn Robb, Allen Cohen, Ute Finch, Michelle Nakagawa, Derek Nakagawa, Garrett Probst and Bailey Keller.
You can purchase tickets for either Friday or Saturday evening. The seats are limited to just 68 diners (34 couples) per evening and are $135, all inclusive. Each evening will begin at 5:45 pm at Wo Hing Museum.
“We are also offering special VIP tables for 8 for $1,000,” saysMorrison. “With this package, you get private reserved table with a personal server at each site, complimentary parking for four cars at the Baldwin Home parking lot at the corner of Dickenson Street and Front Street, and one copy of the book, Exploring Historic Lahaina, for each VIP.”
The evening caps at the historic Pioneer Inn for dessert and dancing, with music provided by Haiku Hillbillies on Friday night and Rock ‘n’ Rogues on Saturday night.
The dinner party is a benefit for Lahaina Restoration Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to faithfully restore, maintain and interpret the physical, historical and cultural legacy of Lahaina, Maui, first capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii. A portion of the Progressive Dinner Party ticket price ($60 per individual ticket or $400 for a VIP table) is U.S. tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.