Freestyle: Hawaii Theatre sets 2015-16 lineup
BY ELIZABETH KIESZKOWSKI / email@example.com
The Hawaii Theatre has announced a full season of events, beginning with classical/world fusion quartet Fandango on Sept. 27 and continuing through Girls, Guns and Glory, featuring a four-man, Hank Williams-inspired Boston band on April 7, 2016.
Girls, Guns and Glory is among the surprises of the season, which offers a varied line-up.
There are some promising shows to look forward to here, from outlaw-Hawaiians The Rough Riders (Oct 23) and slack-key prodigy Makana’s tribute to his mentor, Sonny Chillingworth (Nov. 14) to the theatrical, passionate dancers of Juan Siddi Flamenco Santa Fe (March 8) and Broadway (“Jersey Boys”) veterans The Midtown Men (March 19), in a return engagement.
Downtown’s beautifully restored palace of the arts took on a new director of programming, John Parkinson, at the beginning of this year. Parkinson met with me a few days ago to run down the 2015-2016 programming — and he’s charged up to let audiences know what’s coming up.
It’s the first full season of events to be presented by the Hawaii Theatre in some time, says publicist Kristin Jackson, who also helped clue me in.
These shows won’t be all you’ll see at the theater in coming months, either. In addition to programs that may be brought in by presenters who rent out the theater for shows, as Buffalo Music did for Roger McGuinn, there may be more announcements coming directly from Parkinson and crew.
For tickets and show times, go to www.hawaiitheatre.com.
In the meantime, let’s run down the 2015-16 presenting season, now underway.
THE ROUGH RIDERS
Henry Kapono, Brother Noland and John Cruz have forged success in and out of the islands by doing things their own way, while unmistakably originating in Hawaii. They perform their individual hits and new collaborations as the Rough Riders. Oct. 23.
A South Pacific roots band called “the heart and soul of the Pacific,” Te Vaka fuses Polynesian rhythms and dance with rock ‘n’ roll, combining log drums with electric guitar, drum kit and bass. Under the leadership of songwriter and lead vocalist Opetaia Foa‘i, the group includes musicians and dancers from Samoa, Tokelau, Cook Islands and New Zealand. Oct. 30
MAKANA AND FRIENDS: A TRIBUTE TO SONNY CHILLINGWORTH
He was truly just a kid when he received a grant in the ‘80s from the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts to study under Hawaiian slack key legend Sonny Chillingworth, whose soulful tone and stylings remain unmatched. Continuing Chillingworth’s legacy while maturing into a bold stylist in his own right, Makana has developed a “slack rock” style known for its energy, wit and virtuosity. This concert is a tribute that Makana has long intended to create, with special guests including Leabert Lindsey and Nina Kealiiwahamana. Nov. 14.
AMY & WILLIE K. HOLIDAY SHOW
Amy Hanaiali’i and Willie K. are two of the most charismatic performers in Hawaiian music, and a show combining their attractions promises to make for a special holiday treat. Dec. 18-20.
KUANA TORRES KAHELE
Known for his vocal range and a multiple Na Hoku award-winning musician, Kahele will showcase Hawaiian music and Hula at the Hawaii Theatre, with original songs created in dedication to Kauai, Maui, Niihau and Hawaii island from Kahele’s bestselling “Music for the Hawaiian Islands” series. Local halau will perform hula especially choreographed for the evening in a lei-filled performance, including a fresh lei parade. Tickets include a copy of Kahele’s “Make Lei” instructional DVD. Jan. 10.
JUAN SIDDI FLAMENCO
This ensemble of nine flamenco dancers and musicians is known for its passionate, theatrical performances. March 8
LÚNASA WITH TIM O’BRIEN
Irish traditional acoustic group Lúnasa has sold more than quarter of a million albums, and has produced seven acclaimed studio albums, earning international acclaim in the process. The band will appear in Honolulu with Tim O’Brien, a noted American country and bluegrass musician. March 10.
One of Hawaii’s most revered kumu hula and singers, Robert Cazimero hosts a celebration of Hawaiian mele and hula, featuring the men of Halau Na Kamalei o Lililehua, the ladies of the Royal Dance Company and other special guests. March 12
THE MIDTOWN MEN
Stars from the original cast of Broadway’s “Jersey Boys” formed the Midtown Men after sharing the stage for over a thousand performances. Tony Award winner Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and Tony nominee J. Robert Spencer now have their own show on the road, bringing to life their favorite 1960s hits. March 19-20.
GIRLS, GUNS AND GLORY
This Boston-based four-piece specializes in old-school country and early R&B, centering the show on a dozen Hank Williams classics. Parkinson promises it will be a crowd-pleaser. April 7.