One parent suggested that jackets and not-good shoes are must-wear for the Hawai‘i Children’s Theatre presentation of Disney’s “The Aristocats Kids” that opens today starting at 7:30 p.m.
“We need to wait until the sun goes down for the best effects,” said Director Rebecca Hanson.
Disney’s “The Aristocats Kids” featuring 19 students ranging in age from 9 to 15 unfolds under the big tent situated next to the Puhi Theatrical Warehouse that serves as the dressing area for the cast. The big tent is susceptible to the brisk trade winds currently buffeting the island, and it does not take much rain to turn the grounds to mud because of the daily showers blanketing parts of the island.
When Disney’s “The Aristocats Kids” opens today, it will mark the first time HCT will be putting on a production larger than the “virtual” events that kept people populations to minimal amounts over the past year and a half. This will be the first time HCT will be operating the production under the county’s Tier 5 that allows a maximum of 75 people inside with face masks and social distancing.
“We had to rent additional chairs,” said HCT President Dolly Kanekuni. “And the big tent has to have the pole for support. We need to figure out how to space the family groups together.”
Seventy-five people may sound like a lot, but when following the Tier 5 guidelines, the room is gobbled up quickly, and the tickets for the play, running Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m., are sold out.
“You might try the waitlist,” Hanson said. “But that line is long.”
The father-daughter light design team of Marty Schmidt and dad Steve Whitney worked around the characters during a recent rehearsal to develop the white tent into a theatrical experience for both performers and guests while Schmidt pondered the best location for the tech table.
“They had nothing to start,” Whitney said. “We had to bring in a lot of equipment.”
Kharma Stambaugh, a college theater major, created the backdrop as well as chased the characters around as the choreography back-up while trying to contemplate outlining the Eiffel Tower as suggested by Hanson and show Musical Director Nina Saraos.
The theatrical experience continues when the HCT presents “Adventure Theatre Performance” July 29, 30, and 31, starting at 7:30 p.m. each night. Tickets are available at hawaiichildrenstheatre.org.
“This one is totally different from ‘The Aristocats Kids,’” Kanekuni said. “There are eight boys in ‘Adventure Theatre.’ There won’t be as much song and dancing because the boys like comedy.”
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: The Garden Island