DHT announces 100th anniversary lineup

Mar. 14, 2014 | 0 Comments
Diamond Head Theatre Artistic Director John Rampage, left, with Megan Mount, Kathryn Mariko Lee, Nicole Marie Sullivan, Candes Meijide Gentry, John Sloan III, Celia Kenney and Kira Stone, who performed at DHT's 100th Anniversary Season party at the Sheraton Waikiki. (Star-Advertiser photo by John Berger)

Diamond Head Theatre Artistic Director John Rampage, left, with Megan Mount, Kathryn Mariko Lee, Nicole Marie Sullivan, Candes Meijide Gentry, John Sloan III, Celia Kenney and Kira Stone, who performed at DHT’s 100th Anniversary Season party at the Sheraton Waikiki. (Star-Advertiser photo by John Berger)

BY JOHN BERGER / jberger@staradvertiser.com

Artistic Director John Rampage was the emcee and also one of the performers when Diamond Head Theatre announced its 100th anniversary season with a party for its major producers and financial sponsors Wednesday at the Sheraton Waikiki’s Leahi Lounge.

Rampage presided over a musical revue of songs from the musicals DHT will present during its centennial. Megan Mount opened with a song from “Mary Poppins.” Kathryn Mariko Lee and Nicole Marie Sullivan, the female leads in DHT’s 2009 production of “Irving Berlin’s ‘White Christmas,” reprised their performances from that show, and Candes Meijide Gentry did “A Cockeyed Optimist” from “South Pacific.”

Rampage took the stage for a song from “42nd Street,” and Mount returned with Celia Kenney and Kira Stone to portray a princess as a pre-teen, a teen and a young woman in “Shrek The Musical.”

The audience also got a taste of the talent that awaits Honolulu in DHT’s upcoming production of “Showboat” when John Sloan III, who just closed the Honolulu run of “Disney’s ‘Lion King’” and will be seen as Joe in “Showboat,” followed Gentry’s performance with a “South Pacific” showstopper, “This Nearly Was Mine.”

Several members of Diamond Head Theatre’s Shooting Stars performed as an ensemble.

Rampage said none of the roles in any of the shows have been pre-cast and the performers at the party were chosen “because they could learn the material in a hurry.” He added he certainly will not be performing in “42nd Street.” (Rampage played producer Julian Marsh in DHT’s 1999 production, “but that was 16 years ago!”)

DHT traces its roots back to a group of theatergoers known as the Footlights who presented “The Amazons: A Farcical Romance,” a popular play of the time, in 1915. The group later changed its name to Honolulu Community Theatre. It became Diamond Head Theatre in 1990. Rampage told the audience that DHT’s production of “Showboat,” which opens March 28, will be the group’s 208th musical and that it has also presented 462 non-musical plays, readings and tableaux (a type of staged entertainment in which the performers do not speak or move).

Here’s the schedule for DHT’s 100th Anniversary Season:

‘MARY POPPINS’
Opens Sept. 26
Broadway’s version of the 1964 Disney film and the children’s books that inspired it.

IRVING BERLIN’S ‘WHITE CHRISTMAS’
Opens Dec. 5
Broadway’s version of the 1954 movie. A hit for DHT in 2009.

‘TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD’
Opens Jan. 30, 2015
Harper Lee’s classic story of courage, racism and the loss of childhood innocence.

‘SOUTH PACIFIC’
Opens March 27, 2015
Loretta Ables Sayre reprises her Broadway performance as Bloody Mary in DHT’s revival production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s greatest musical.

’42ND STREET’
Opens May 22, 2015
Tony Award-winning musical about romance and Broadway during the Great Depression. A hit for DHT in 1999.

‘SHREK THE MUSICAL’
Opens July 17, 2015
Based on the 2001 DreamWorks film and William Steig’s 1990 book.

For more information, call (808) 733-0277 or visit Diamondheadtheatre.com.
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John Berger has been a mainstay in the local entertainment scene for more than 40 years. Contact him via email at jberger@staradvertiser.com.

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