By Wayne Harada
‘Tis the season: As the fall drama season continues and Christmas approaches, there are familiar classics and favorites — and a grim award-winning black comedy from Ireland — arriving on Island stages.
Worth checking out:
Classic ‘A Wonderful Life,’
returns as a live radio play
As part of its infrequent Studio Series, Manoa Valley Theatre will present a holiday classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play,” staged as if it were a radio show circa 1940s.
Six actors will take on multiple roles to bring the Christmas favorite, popularized in an iconic film, complete with sound effects.
Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 and 7 at MVT.
The adaptation of the story of George Bailey and his trials and tribulations o a snowy Christmas Eve, is one of the Top 10 most produced plays in the country according to American Theatre magazine.
Jeanne Rogers will direct a cast featuring Maleko McDonnell, Lauren Murata, Ken Roberts, Scott Robertson, Nicole Tessier and Shannon Winpenny.
Anne Alves is stage manager.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for youths 25 and younger. Call 988-6131 or purchase tickets online at www.manoavalleytheatre.com.
Ron and Cathy Weinberg are sponsoring the show as a holiday gift to the community.
DHT’s ‘Annie’ follows
Broadway’s fall revival
You could go to Broadway to see the latest revival of the family favorite at the Palace Theatre — but Diamond Head Theatre has a well-timed homegrown version, premiering Friday at DHT.
Riley Newton, from DHT’s Shooting Star youth program, will play the carrot-topped lead role, joined by Lisa Konove as Miss Hannigan.
The local cast, directed by Rob Duval, also features Chris Gritti as Oliver Warbucks and Autumn Ogawa as secretary Grace Farrell. For Ogawa, the show is a flashback to her youth: As a child actor, she played Annie at DHT.
In the Big Apple, newcomer Lilla Crawford is Annie, Katie Finneran is Miss Hannigan, Anthony Warlow is Warbucks and Brynn O’Malley is Farrell.
The timeless musical, by Tony Award-winning Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, is marking its 35th year with the revival. It boasts the iconic “Tomorrow” tune plus “Hard Knock Life,” “Maybe,” “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile” and “Easy Street.”
DHT performances are at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and at 4 p.m. Sundays, with 3 p.m. matinees Dec. 15, Dec. 22, and Dec. 29. Three other add-on performances were announced prior to the premiere: at 7 p.m. Dec. 27 and 28 and 8 p.m. Dec. 29.
Tickets: 733-0274 or www.diamonheadtheatre.com.
TAG books ‘The Pillowman’
black comedy for holidays
Irish playwright Martin McDonagh’s award-winning “The Pillowman” will provide top-notch drama for holiday theater-goers who want something different.
Troy Apostol will direct the black comedy of Katurian Katurian, yes, a fiction writer with a double-barreled name residing in a police state, who is interrogated about the gruesome content of his short stories and their similarities to a number of bizarre and violent murders against children. Through narration and some depictions, the grim stories unfold — along with a confession to the murders by Michael, Katurian’s brother, which gives him motive to save his stories from destruction.
The cast features Garrett Hols, Seth Lilley, Bill Carr, Tony Nickelsen, Adam LeFebvre, Aiko Chinen and Bronte Amoy.
The show will run Thursdays through Sundays, Dec. 14 through Jan. 6, at TAG headquarters at the Dole Cannery. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Sundays.
Tickets: $20 adults, $15 seniors, $12 students and military with IDs; all seats are $12 on Thursdays.
Information: 722-6941 or online at www.taghawaii.net.