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The show goes on: Kahilu Theatre entertains 6,000 guests so far this year


The Kahilu Theatre reports sizable crowds recently, especially for its home-produced shows.

In early January, “The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee” was a great hit, with two sold-out performances. The “Vagina Monologues” also sold out two shows and when a third performance was added, it sold out in just a few days.

The venue was also full for Makana and almost full for Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra. Crowds also appreciated Zimbabwean superstar Oliver Mtukudzi and bluegrass duo Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum during the Cherry Blossom Festival when the theater welcomed an estimated 1,000 people in one day.

School audiences flocked to The Voyager Exhibit throughout January, to a performance geared to students by Makana, and after-school arts programs.

“The people of Waimea and all of North Kohala were hungry for the theater to back and running,” said artistic director Tim Bostock. “Just since the beginning of the year over 6,000 people have been through the Kahilu doors — about half the population of Waimea. Reasons? We have a great program, it’s easy to buy tickets on our website, and we have a welcoming energy that’s palpable.

“I have to give huge kudos to our volunteers for always being ready with a smile, and to our board for bringing us this far. Especially our two directors Jane Sibbett and Beth Dunnington, without whom we could not have pulled off such a spectacularly successful home season,” he added.

Coming up, the Beamer Solomon Halau O Poohala will present its annual “Eia Ka Hula” at 6 p.m. Saturday. The fundraiser is titled “Lei Hala o Kauai ame Lei Aloha Lei Makamae,” and will be a tribute to Prince Jonah Kuhio, comprising a collection of hapa haole hula songs, directed by hula loea Hulali Solomon Covington and Malama Solomon.

The Kahilu Dance Series concludes with Rhythmic Circus, a one-of-a-kind, rapid-fire, high-spirited dance and musical troupe, which will explode on the Kahilu Theatre stage at 7 p.m. Thursday. Its show is called “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now!” and is a percussive-dance spectacular that electrifies audiences with its hard-hitting tap, sidesplitting humor and finger-snapping tunes.

Besides outrageous tap-fusion dance, music that embraces the best of rhythm and blues, soul, jazz, salsa and reggae, and award-winning vocalists, audiences will be wowed by Aaron Heaton, also known as Heatbox. Heaton is capable of reproducing with awe-inducing accuracy a myriad of musical instruments, including tuba, harmonica, trumpet, maracas, turntables and classical strings. His vocal range spans from a naturally deep bass to a clear, sharp falsetto and his repertoire ranges from calypso to classical symphonies, and even a super-funky James Brown impersonation.

Rhythmic Circus is sponsored by Kate Bell, Tom Blackburn and the Fairmont Orchid Hotel.

The Rhythmic Circus will also offer a free master class, the day before its public shows. Any organization or artists interested in presenting their work at Kahilu Theatre should contact Bostock at 382-3290 or timbostock@hawaiiantel.net.