Kumu Kahua Theatre Brings Back an Audience Favorite by Edward Sakamoto
WHAT: Remount of Aloha Las Vegas by Edward Sakamoto
WHERE: Kumu Kahua Theatre, 46 Merchant Street
WHEN: July 14 – 31, 2016
COST: $5-$30; Ticket information below
INFO: 536-4441, kumukahua.org
HONOLULU, HI— After years of requests, Kumu Kahua Theatre is once again reprising its blockbuster-hit comedy about a land-rich/cash-poor local family preparing to move from Hawai‘i to Las Vegas.
Wally Fukuda lives in the Liliha district of Honolulu. He’s a recently retired baker still recovering from his wife’s death. His friend Harry, visiting from Las Vegas, tries to persuade him to sell his house, make the move, and enjoy a new life. In spite of his love for Hawai‘i’s fresh air and beaches, Wally warms to the idea, but when he seeks approval from his married son and unmarried daughter, one is opposed to the whole idea. The ensuing debate over the relative merits (and demerits) of each location, embodied in the dynamics of a quick-changing contemporary local family, makes for great comedy--spiced with a strong dose of thought-provoking realism. This play broke Kumu Kahua box office records when originally staged in 1992, repeatedly selling out the 300-seat Tenney Theatre. It was restaged in 2002 and 2005 and toured to other islands in 2006.
“The cast of the 2002 production of Aloha Las Vegas wanted to do the play one more time for playwright Ed Sakamoto” says Dann Seki, an actor who appeared in several Edward Sakamoto plays produced by Kumu Kahua Theatre. “Whether or not it was true, he often said that this was his favorite cast. The core of the cast has been together through three different productions of the play, the most recent in 2006. Aloha Las Vegas, written in 1991, is still topical today as the central character, Wally, wrestles with the decision to leave Hawai‘i and move to the mainland. It is one of the most popular and successful plays presented by Kumu Kahua Theatre. Ed Sakamoto left Hawai‘i in 1966 and always wanted to come home. His passing in 2015 makes the theme of leaving Hawai‘i and not being able to return, even more poignant. The cast would like to present this production as a gift to Ed, welcoming him home.”
Kumu Kahua Theatre Artistic Director Harry Wong will again direct the play. Cast members include Kumu Kahua Theatre favorites: Dann Seki, Allan Okubo, Janice Morimoto, Eric Mita, Tony Solis and Nara Cardenas, all of whom are reprising roles from previous productions. Monica Coldwell will join the cast for the first time, though she has appeared as assistant director and stage manager of earlier productions.
Tickets for performances can be purchased with a credit card by calling 536-4441, or by visiting the box office at 46 Merchant Street (corner of Bethel and Merchant Streets, downtown) between 11am and 3pm Monday through Friday. Tickets can also be purchased at KumuKahua.org.
Ticket prices are $5-$20 until May 30th, 2016. On June 1st, prices increase to $10-$30.
“We know everyone loves this show and wants to see it again, but summer remounts can take a toll on our annual budget. To defray the production costs, we will increase our prices slightly.” Says Donna Blanchard, Managing Director of Kumu Kahua Theatre. “We want everyone to be able to see our shows and hate raising prices around here, so we’re compromising by running this early bird special.”
Kumu Kahua productions are supported in part by The Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and Arts through appropriations from the Legislature of the State of Hawai‘i and by the National Endowment for the Arts. Also paid for in part The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, The Hawai‘i Community Foundation, McInerny Foundation (Bank of Hawai‘i, Trustee); Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI) Charitable Foundation, The Atherton Foundation and Hawaiian Electric Company; The Star-Advertiser and other foundations, businesses and patrons.