Time to hit the theater

The summer theater season is underway, with a great lineup of musicals, plays and more around the island. Here’s a rundown of the productions.

“Catch Me If You Can” (May 23-June 8)

10257043_10152412797633390_3594456980648899658_nThe Diamond Head Theatre musical, which opened Friday, is based on the popular 2002 film that starred Leonardo DiCaprio. It tells the story of Frank W. Abagnale, Jr., a con man who as a teenager ran away from home in search of the glamorous life and winds up living the high life posing as a pilot, a doctor and a lawyer. Eventually, Frank’s lies catch the attention of FBI agent Carl Hanratty, who is up for the chase across the United States and abroad.

This musical production stars Aleks Pevec in the lead role. Pevec’s a former Diamond Head Shooting Star, who went on to perform in the Broadway version of “Catch Me If You Can.” The show is directed by John Rampage and choreographed by Christine Yasunaga. For the performances, musical director Emmett Yoshioka and his orchestra are positioned inside the set in the style of a 1960s TV Variety Show.

Diamond Head Theatre
520 Makapuu Ave.
May 23-25, 29-31; June 1, 5-8 (Friday, Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday at 4 p.m.; Saturday, May 31, 3 p.m.)
Visit diamondheadtheatre.com for tickets.


“Clybourne Park” (May 23-June 8)

ClybourneWinner of 2011 Pulitzer Prize or Drama and the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play, “Clybourne Park” opened Thursday at Manoa Valley Theatre. This funny, yet provocative, comedy/drama, written by Bruce Norris, is told in two acts set 50 years apart. The first act, set in 1959, has nervous community leaders anxiously trying to stop the sale of a home to a black family. The second act, set in the same house in the present day, shows the now predominantly African-American neighborhood as it battles to hold its ground in the face of gentrification.

Vanita Rae Smith is the guest director of the show, which stars Dezmond Gilla, Jeanne Herring, Greg Hunt, Adam LeFebvre, Russell Motter, Miriam Neuman and Therese Olival. The show is intended for audiences 14 and older.

Manoa Valley Theatre
2833 Manoa Road
May 23-25, 28-31; June 1, 4-8 (Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 4 p.m
For tickets, visit tix2.centerstageticketing.com


“Mark Twain Rides Again!” (May 26-27)

_wsb_220x330_MT+pic3In this one-man play, Sam Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, yarns and drawls his way through anecdotes about his historic trip to Hawaii in 1866. Humorous anecdotes colorfully describe the visit as the famous writer lovingly reminisces about the future 50th State.

The one-man show is adapted and directed by Jerry Tracy, the artistic director of Kona’s Aloha Performing Arts Company, who also plays Twain himself.

Manoa Valley Theatre
2833 East Manoa Road
May 26-27, 7 p.m.
For tickets, visit tix2.centerstageticketing.com.


“Koi, Like The Fish” (May 29-June 29)

KoiIn this Oahu premiere of Kealiʻiwahine Hokoana’s “Koi, Like the Fish,” a young woman moves with her family to live with her sick uncle, Koi, in order to take care of him. Koi is a recluse and tensions begin to rise between him and his niece.

Kumu Kahua Theatre
46 Merchant Street
May 29-31; June 5-7, 12-14, 19-21 and 26-28 (Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m); June 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 (Sunday at 2 p.m.)
Visit kumukahua.org for tickets.


“The Mikado” (June 13-22)

Screen Shot 2014-05-24 at 7.16.46 AMHawaii Opera Theatre’s production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s beloved musical comedy, The Mikado, is the vision of Henry Akina, who will be making his return as stage director in Honolulu for the first time since 2012. Set in Japan, “The Mikado” follows Nanki-Poo, who disobeys the Mikado by escaping his arranged marriage, only to fall in love with Yum-Yum, who happens to be betrothed to the Lord High Executioner. “The Mikado” originally opened in London in 1885 as a satire of British politics and is frequently played across the globe.

Fashion designer Anne Namba designed the costumes of the Harajuku girls, anime characters, yakuza and Japanese business people.

Blaisdell Concert Hall
777 Ward Ave.
June 13-15 (Friday to Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 4 p.m.); June 20-22 (Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m, Sunday at 4 p.m.)
Tickets are available on ticketmaster


“Wrestling Ernest Hemingway” (June 19-29)

ErnestIn this adaptation of Steven Conrad’s movie of the same name, “Wrestling Ernest Hemingway” stars Joe Moore and Pat Sajak as two elderly men who meet in a park and begin conversing.

Frank (Moore) is a former Irish-American sea captain who explains he once wrestled Hemingway, while Walter (Sajak) is an introverted former barber who becomes a dancing enthusiast. Once they meet, they begin an unlikely friendship.

Hawaii Theatre
1130 Bethel St.
June 19-22, 25-29 (Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m., with an extra show at 7 p.m. on June 28)
For tickets, visit hawaiitheatre.com


Monty Python’s “Spamalot” (July 18-August 3)

SpamThis Diamond Head Theatre production is described as a musical comedy “lovingly ripped off from” the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” The show tells the legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and the quest for the Holy Grail, and features a bevy of beautiful show girls, not to mention cows and killer rabbits.

The show is filled with spoofs of many other musicals, including the productions of Andrew Lloyd Webber, “Les Misérables” and “Fiddler on Roof.” Seen by more than two million people in its initial Broadway run, the show won three Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Diamond Head Theatre
520 Makapuu Ave.
July 18-20, 24-26, July 31-August 2 at 8 p.m.; July 26 at 3 p.m.; July 27 at 4 p.m.; August 2 at 3 p.m.
Visit diamondheadtheatre.com for tickets.