Friday | July 29, 2016
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Past and present grace the stage

Past and present University of Hawaii at Hilo performing arts majors will grace the stage — as will some of the school’s faculty and staff — Saturday night at the UH-Hilo Performing Arts Center.

“Legacies: Hoomau” is a one-night-only benefit extravaganza for the performing arts center and department. The curtain rises at 7:30 p.m.

The center’s manager Lee Dombroski promised “a great show to benefit our programs that enrich the lives of our students.”

The review, which combines music, dance and short films and video, is the brainchild of Dori Yamada, the center’s associate manager, who’s also a dancer and choreographer.

“I’ve been really fortunate and lucky to have opportunities to dance and choreograph and perform here, and I realized what a great thing we have,” Yamada said. “There is so much talent here and performing arts in general at the university is not always the department that gets the recognition or the funding, so I wanted to do something for them.”

Numerous program alumni will be giving back, as well, including 2011 grads Kimo Apaka and Cristina Hussey.

“For Kimo and Cristina, this is their last show here,” Yamada said. “Cristina gets on a plane the next day and Kimo leaves in November. They’re my friends and I wanted to share the stage with them one last time.”

Yamada has choreographed several sold-out UH-Hilo Jazz Orchestra shows, collaborating with music instructor Trever Veilleux, who has put together an eight-piece ensemble for this show.

“It’s pretty much a smaller version of the UH-Hilo Jazz Orchestra,” Veilleux said, noting there will be a three-piece horn section with trumpet and alto and tenor saxes.

Veilleux, an accomplished guitarist who conducts the orchestra, will sing and play lead guitar on Steely Dan’s “My Old School.”

“Part of the reason I chose it is because Dori and I share a love of Steely Dan,” said Veilleux, a 1999 UH-Hilo alumnus. “The lyrics are kind of ironic: ‘I’m never goin’ back to my old school.’ And, of course, I never left my old school. I’m still there. … Also, it’s really fun for me to play the guitar on.”

Hussey, Eva Gonzalez-Ruskiewicz and Lilinoe Kauahikaua will perform “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.”

“They’re great. They sound like the Andrews Sisters,” Veilleux said.

Yamada said a medley from “Motown: The Musical” by Apaka, Justin Chittams, Scott Wuscher and a special guest “should be amazing.”

Several faculty members from other departments will also perform “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”

In addition to Yamada, choreographers include Kea Kapahua and Trey Saunders.

“I love their aesthetic and I like their style,” Yamada said, adding that Kapahua will open the show “restaging a piece that was orignally choreographed by (the late) Earnest Morgan.”

“The people who are in this are all people who work well together,” she said. “And that’s what I love about performing arts, people coming together to work as a team toward one common goal.”

Tickets are $20 general, $10 for students with valid student ID and for children 17 and younger, and there will be “surprise boxes” at the event for $10 each. Surprises include a handcrafted koa bowl, UH-Hilo Performing Arts Center season ticket packages, Fall Quatro ticket packages, tickets to center events and other items.

For tickets, call the UH-Hilo box office at 974-7310 or order online at

Email John Burnett at