By Wayne Harada
Just when you think Waikiki is lacking in fresh new shows, along comes a homegrown musical prospect entitled “Honu by the Sea,” set for a limited summer run starting July 4, at the Royal Hawaiian’s Monarch Room.
With an ocean-front barbecue dinner option on the hotel’s Ocean Lawn, with Diamond Head as the backdrop, this sounds like a top tier destination. But you don’t have to have dinner to attend.
“Honu by the Sea” is a new endeavor by Johnson Enos, veteran Island actor, singer, composer, and songwriter, who is reuniting with his high school acting mentor, director Ronald Bright, to stage a family-friendly show exploring denizens from under-the-sea, encountered by a Waikiki beachboy who learns the value of friendship and the virtues of saving the ocean environment.
The cast features 15 singers and dancers, including Malia the Honu, played by Madison Eror (last seen as Meg Giry in Paliku Theatre’s “Phantom of the Opera”), and Zare Anguay (who played Bernardo in “West Side Story” at Paliku), as Kainoa the beachboy.
The Broadway-style musical tracks Honu’s journey to the Northern Hawaiian Islands to rescue her mother who has been trapped by ocean debris, with Kainoa’s kokua.
The other performers include Jessica Cruz, Bryce Irvine, Barry Quilloy, KoDee Martin, Meilan Akaka, Shawna Masuda, Carlos Chang, Miguel Cadoy III, Marlise Ahuna, Cara Nakagawa, Rachel Wong Nicole Enos and Christian Mendoza.
The show will run Wednesdays and Sundays in the Monarch Room, Waikiki’s premiere showroom. While it bows July 4, the hotel had previous bookings, so production resumes July 15 and continues through Sept. 30.
Enos, who wrote the original music and lyrics, is a onetime Hawaii performer and host, whose credits include production work with the likes of Bette Midler and Kristin Chenoweth.
‘HONU BY THE SEA’
Premieres at 7 p.m. July 4; resumes July 15 and plays 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Sundays through Sept. 30
Premium dinner package, from 5 p.m; with dinner from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.; $125 for adults, $85 for keiki 3 to 12, plus tax
Regular dinner package, $95 adults, $65 keiki; plus tax
Show only, $49 adults, $35 keiki; plus tax