By Wayne Harada
Go see a show ... support Island theater.
We don’t want to see closures, amid this depressed economy, the way restaurants have been shuttering.
Besides, there are plenty of should-see stuff in the days and weeks ahead.
at Army Community Theatre’s Richardson Theatre, Fort Shafter
A Hawaii premiere of a Tony Award winning musical that’s a backstage whodunit, with a book by Rupert Holmes, composer of “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” and the hit song, “Escape (The Pina Colada Song),” with music by John Kander and Fred Ebb, creators of “Chicago” and “Cabaret,” so it has some pedigree.
Plot/cast: involves a theater company’s leading lady, Jessica Cranshaw, played by Tina Shelton, who dies during a curtain call, prompting a murder investigation. The cast includes Tom Holowach as a stage-struck police lieutenant Frank Cioffi (which earned David Hyde Pierce a Tony Award on Broadway), Leonard Klompus as the director of a musical in a show-within-a-show, and Shanan Colvin as the new leading lady Niki Harris.
Showtimes: Premieres at 7:30 p.m. this Thursday; repeats at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, through March 14.
Tickets: $15 to $28.
Reservations: 438-4480, www.armytheatre.com.
“Footloose — The Musical,”
at Mamiya Theatre, Saint Louis School
A musical by Tom Snow (music), Dean Pitchford (music), with additional music by Kenny Loggis; book by Pitchford and Walter Bobbie.
Plot: A tale of youth challenging laws that forbid dancing in a farming town, with such hits as “Footloose” and “Let’s Hear It for the Boy.” Yep, it's based on the hit movie with Kevin Bacon. Pitchford, a Saint Louis album, will be at a fund-raising gala.
Showtimes: Premieres at 7:30 p.m. March 6, with a benefit gala 7:30 p.m. March 7; repeats at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 4 p.m. Sundays, through March 22.
Tickets: $22 general, $18 students, military, students and seniors over 60; $15, children under 12; gala, $100.
Reservations: 550-8457, www.honoluluboxoffice.com; gala, 739-4862.
at Kennedy Theatre
A Japanese noh theater tale of a distraught mother's quest for her abducted son, kidnapped by slave traders.
Plot: The mother discovers the chilling truth of the whereabouts of her missing child while crossing the Sumida river; authetic and exquisite costuming, with traditional music and movement, with masks also bringing a haunting and compelling element.
Showtimes: Premieres at 8 p.m. March 6; repeats at 8 p.m. March 7 and again at 8 p.m. March 12 and 13 and 2 p.m. March 15.
Tickets: $18 general, $16 faculty, seniors and military; $12 students, $5 UH students.
Reservations: 956-7655, etickethawaii.com.
“Tuesdays With Morrie”
at Manoa Valley Theatre
A drama based on the best-selling memoir by Mitch Albom and adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher and Albom, concerning the issue of ALS, aka Lou Gehrig’s disease, and the meaning of life.
Plot/cast: Greg Howell plays sociology Prof. Morrie Schwartz, the ALS victim, and Scott Robertson as sportswriter Mitch Albom, in a tale of bonding relationships.
Showtimes: Premieres at 7:30 p.m. March 18; repeats 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 4 p.m. Sundays, through April 5.
Tickets: $30 general, $25 seniors andmilitary, $15 patrons 25 and younger.
Reservations: 988-6131, www.manoavalleytheatre.com.
at Honolulu Theatre for Youth’s Tenney Theatre, St. Andrew’s Cathedral
Plot/cast: The adventures of musubi man, Emily Hare and Nathan Mark.
Showtimes: Premiere at 11:30 a.m. March 7; repeats at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. March 14 and 21.
Tickets: $10, opening performance; $8, other shows.
Reservations: 457-4254, www.htyweb.org.
at Diamond Head Theatre
A revival of one of the classics of American musical theater, based on the memoirs of stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, with book by Arthur Laurents, music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.
Plot/cast: Shari Lynn plays Mama Rose, the stage mother who wants her daughter Louise/Gypsy (Candes Meijide-Gentry) to be a star, in the era of vaudeville; Dennis Proulx is Herbie. the score boasts such chestnuts as “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” “Some People,” “Let Me Entertain You,” and “You Gotta Have a Gimmick” and “Rosie’s Turn.”
Showtimes: Premieres at 8 p.m. Mach 20; repeats at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 4 p.m. Sundays, 3 p.m. selected Saturdays, through April 5.
Tickets: $12 to $42.
Reservations: 733-0274, www.diamondheadtheatre.com
“Defending the Caveman,”
at the Hawaii Theatre
A one-man comedy about the sexes, for adult audiences, about the relationships of man with woman, with laughs aplenty. Written by Rob Becker, starring Isaac Lamb.
Plot: The foibles of the sexes, from caveman perspective.
Showtimes: Premieres at 7:30 p.m. March 31; repeats at 7:30 p.m. April 1, 2; 8 p.m. April 3; 2 and 8 p.m. April 4, 2 and 7 p.m. April 5.
Tickets: $31 to $46.
Reservations: 528-0506, www.hawaiitheatre.com.
And a special: “Caveman,” Ringo Starr’s 1981 cult fave, will be a First Friday special this Friday, with prehistoric pricing — $1 admission — as a prelude to the forthcoming stage show. Screenings will be at 5 and 6:45 p.m.; Guy Cruz will perform two 50-minute sets at 8 and 9 p.m. in the theater’s piano bar.
More later, as the theatrical season progresses...