Seabury Hall's Todd Van Amburgh calls Anton Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard" "one of the world's greatest plays," which it is, and a "romantic comedy," which it is - but we're talking Russian literature, so don't expect "Barefoot in the Park."
On the other hand, as Tevye would say, maybe Chekhov invented the dramedy? Set amid the emancipation of the serfs by Tsar Alexander II, Chekhov's 1904 play examines how social change allowed former serfs to gain wealth and status while some aristocrats were becoming impoverished, unable to manage their estates without slave labor. The play follows an aristocratic Russian family and the family's well-known cherry orchard estate just before it is auctioned to pay the mortgage. "It's one of my all-time favorites," says director Van Amburgh. "Chekhov's last, greatest play is so sad, but it's funny. The play shows the complete range of ages and classes scurrying to find love before the roof caves in."
Sound familiar? The world has always known periods of economic downturn, times when the idea of just dumping that condo for half of what it's worth makes more financial sense. That is the Ranevskaya family's dilemma. The cast of Chekhov's classic characters features Celina Bekins as matriarch Lyubov Ranevskaya and Gregory Saydah as her brother, Gaev. The Renevskaya daughters are played by Gabrielle Bega and Laura Mayron, with Zeb Mehring and Ryan Noufer playing their suitors and providing the romantic comedy relief. Additional cast members include Allie Moskow, Wyatt West, Carter Umetsu, Taka Tsutsui, Brendan Wilson, Danielle Ferrer and Cassidy Ross. The talented Marsha Kelly returns to design turn-of-the-century costumes.
“The Cherry Orchard” opens at Seabury Hall this weekend.
Eric Rolph Photography photo
* Seabury Hall Performing Arts' "The Cherry Orchard" by Anton Chekhov opens Friday and runs through March 3. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., with one Sunday matinee at 3 p.m. March 4 at the Seabury Hall Performance Studio in Makawao. Tickets are $11 for adults, $9 for senior citizens and $5 for students. For more details or reservations, call 573-1257.
The Kamehameha Drama Club students are putting together a show that will tell Maui audiences why it's their time. "'Our Time' is a musical review with voices of our future," says director Alexis Dascoulias. "The students have been looking at and listening to lots of different material and picking out what they like. We started by talking about what is important to them. What they would want to tell their parents, their teachers, their peers and the world if they could say anything, anything at all. That was our springboard. The show morphed into a review, and the students wanted to call it 'Our Time,' the song we open the show with."
The review will feature vignettes from "Voices from the High School," "Making It, and Stuff," "Yearbook," "Sammy Carducci's Guide to Women and Looking for Corky Johnson," along with songs from "Fame," "Starting Here Starting Now," "Anyone Can Whistle," "CAMP," "Merrily We Roll Along" and other film and stage musicals. I asked Dascoulias why she chose to let the students construct their own show. "We decided on this format because it allows the students to be themselves and tell their own stories while also polishing some of their skills as performers. They will get to work with Aly Cardinalli (choreographer) and Tana Larson (musical director), which creates an outstanding team. The students have also been talking about what they want to accomplish this year as far as their skills and talents. With this format, each student gets the opportunity to focus on what they want."
* Kamehameha Schools Maui Drama Club presents musical review "Our Time," opening Friday and running through March 3. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. at the Kamehameha Schools Maui campus in Kula. Admission is free, and reservations are not required.
Catch the Trey McIntyre Dance Project tonight at 7:30 in Castle Theater at the MACC. One of the most sought-after choreographers working today, McIntyre has created a canon of more than 80 works for companies such as American Ballet Theatre, Stuttgart Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and New York City Ballet.
* Trey McIntyre Dance Project tickets are $12, $30, and $40, plus applicable fees. To purchase visit the MACC box office, call 242-7469 or order online at mauiarts.org.
The timeless American classic "Grease" opens Friday and runs through March 11. Book, music and lyrics by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. Directed by New York guest director/choreographer Brian Swasey. The Maui ensemble cast features Eric Peterson, Jacqui Sherwood, Lia Krieg, Rueben Carrion, Patty Silva, Jonna Ahn, Aly Cardinalli and Jerry Eiting.
* "Grease"?plays Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. at the Historic Iao Theater. Tickets are $40 and $22; keiki 12 and under are $15. Dinner packages available with Caf O'Lei and Bistro Casanova. For tickets, call the Maui OnStage box office at 242-6969 or visit mauionstage.com.
Baldwin High School Performing Arts Learning Center and the Baldwin Theatre Guild present the Maui premiere of "Hairspray" at the Baldwin Auditorium on March 2 through 11. Music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Whittman and Shaiman and a book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, based on the 1988 John Waters film. Directed by Linda Carnevale. "Hairspray" is the tale of Tracy Turnblad and her rise from high school outcast to local celebrity amid the backdrop of racial tension, civil rights and segregation in Baltimore, circa 1962.
n "Hairspray" performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., Sunday, March 4, at 5 p.m.; Sunday, March 11, at 2 and 7 p.m.; and an additional 1 p.m. show Saturday, March 10. Tickets are available at the door only: $12 for adults, $9 for seniors and $7 for 17 and younger. The box office will open one hour prior to showtimes and seating begins a half hour prior to performance.
Maui OnStage will be holding open auditions for "On Golden Pond" from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Historic Iao Theater. Actors should be prepared to read from the script and list any rehearsal conflicts at that time. Callbacks will be held on Wednesday evening, March 7. Rehearsals will begin in March, with nine weekend performances April 20 through May 6 at the Historic Iao Theater. The characters are Norman Thayer (80), Ethel Thayer (late 60s / 70s), Charlie Martin (40s), Chelsea Thayer Wayne (40s), Bill Ray (40s), and Billy Ray (12-14). Directed by Steven Dascoulias. To make an audition appointment, call Maui OnStage at 244-8680.