On Monday at the Historic Iao Theater, actor Rick Scheideman will present a one-man show, "Sam Clemens and the Real Mark Twain." For those that aren't aware, Mark Twain spent four months in Hawaii in 1866 before he became famous. At the time he was 31 and working on assignment for The Sacramento Union. Those "Letters from the Sandwich Islands," eventually ended up in one of his early books "Roughing It," published in 1872. Regarding Maui, Twain said, "I went to Maui to stay a week and remained five. I never spent so pleasant a month before, or bade any place goodbye so regretfully. I have not once thought of business, or care or human toil or trouble or sorrow or weariness, and the memory of it will remain with me always." It's reported that Twain stayed in a boarding house on Market Street, conceivably the exact same stretch where the Iao Theater now stands.
The following is an excerpt from Twain's "Roughing It." "I still remember, with a sense of indolent luxury, a picnicking excursion up a romantic gorge there, called the Iao Valley. The trail lay along the edge of a brawling stream in the bottom of the gorge -a shady route, for it was well roofed with the verdant domes of forest trees. Through openings in the foliage we glimpsed picturesque scenery that revealed ceaseless changes and new charms with every step of our progress. Perpendicular walls from one to three thousand feet high guarded the way, and were sumptuously plumed with varied foliage, in places, and in places swathed in waving ferns. Passing shreds of cloud trailed their shadows across these shining fronts, mottling them with blots; billowy masses of white vapor hid the turreted summits, and far above the vapor swelled a background of gleaming green crags and cones that came and went, through the veiling mists, like islands drifting in a fog."
The original play was created by actor and writer Cliff Jewell, who was inspired by seeing Hal Holbrook's portrayal of Twain while in high school.
Actor Rick Scheideman stars as Sam Clemens
"This work focuses on events from Clemens' own life, his childhood on the Mississippi, his true adventures out West, his courtship and marriage to Olivia Langdon and the episodes that form the basis for Twain's unique literary voice and vision," said Jewell. He began researching Twain while still a teenager and gradually began to focus on the deeply personal moments of Clemens' life. "Some of them were accounts of tragedies in Clemens' life and others dealt with many of his views on religion, politics and the 'damned human race' in general."
The Monday night performance will also include excerpts from "Life on the Mississippi," and "Huckleberry Finn."
Jewell has toured all over the United States with his show, but entrusts Scheideman to do Twain justice. "I know the difference between an actor who is in tune with his craft and one who is not, and am pleased to recommend this very talented man, Rick Scheideman, to you."
Scheideman and Jewell met in Colorado. "I was mesmerized by Cliff's performance. We became friends and I got his permission to do the show myself. He's a great guy and a great friend." Rick has now been playing Twain for the past 15 years as well as other iconic characters in one-man shows like Albert Einstein and C.S. Lewis. He's toured from all over Colorado to Columbia, South America and now Maui. " the Real Mark Twain" can be a 15-minute presentation or a full length two-act play, but Sheideman will present the full version as part of Maui OnStage's free theater series.
* Maui OnStage continues ONO! Monday with "Sam Clemens and the Real Mark Twain," adapted by Cliff Jewel and starring Rick Scheideman. The free one-night only performances happen at the Historic Iao Theater, 6:30 p.m. every second Monday of the month.
And speaking of "indolent luxury" in the Iao Valley, don't miss "Celebrate the Arts with MAPA," this weekend. The 24th Annual Garden Party runs from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
The all-inclusive event includes talented Maui singers performing songs "Annie," "My Fair Lady," "Man of La Mancha," and the well known duo Moondance will be performing live jazz. Maui's top artists will be creating fresh art on site followed by a live auction. The open bar will feature fine wines and local beer.
There will be numerous Maui restaurants participating.
On-site artists include George Allan, Robin Bones, Jackie Pias Carlin, Michael Clements, Joseph Fletcher, Anna Good, Marylyn Holland, Jack Hamilton, Jamie Roth, and Steve Turnbull. An additional silent auction will include hotel stays, activities, fine jewelry, and themed baskets. Tickets are $75 in advance, or $85 at the door The Garden Party is a 21 and older only event. To purchase last-minute tickets, you may call 244-8760.
Also this weekend
The Ku Mai Ka Hula 2012, international hula competition returns to the MACC this Saturday. The seventh annual competition features nine halau winners from Japan's competition and halau from Hawaii and California in adult solo and group performances. The dancers will compete in kahiko (traditional hula) and 'auana (modern hula) in both male and female categories. Celebrate the longstanding friendship between Hawaii and Japan with this memorable and inspiring day of hula at its finest. Performances from 1 to 7 p.m. in Castle Theater at the MACC. Tickets are $25 for adults, and $12.50 for keiki 12 and younger. To buy tickets visit the MACC box office, call 242-7469 or order online at mauiarts.org.
ProArts presents "Doubt" by John Patrick Shanley ("Moonstruck"), directed by Kristi Scott. This hit Broadway drama won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play in 2005. Set in a Catholic school, the extremely strict and traditional Sister Aloysius is opposed to the more modern views of a young charismatic priest and his affinity with the only African-American student in the school. Her experience and instinct leave no room for doubt as she vows to evict Father Flynn from the parish. "Doubt" opens Friday Sept. 28 and runs until Oct. 14 at the ProArts Playhouse in Kihei. Visit proartspacific.com or call 463-6550.
Mark your calendars for the gala opening of Seabury Hall's all new state of the art Creative Arts Center. The facility's first production is a revue entitled "Reunite," directed by David Ward and starring Seabury alumni. "Reunite" plays Friday and Saturday Sept. 28 and 29 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $11 adults, $9 for senior citizens, and $5 for students. For further information, call 573-1257.