Fans of “Hawaiiana Live” bid aloha to the weekly show at the Palace Theater on Wednesday.
For eight years, the show highlighted the talents of Leilehua Yuen and Manu Josiah, among many others.
With hula, mele and acts from local musicians and filmmakers, the daytime performances sought to show the audience “Hawaii through our eyes” without the glitz of Waikiki, Yuen said.
“What all of us had wanted was to really show the visitors how we feel about our islands,” she said during a reception following Hawiiana Live’s final show.
Cheryl “Quack” Moore, the theater’s musical director and past president, referred to Hawaiiana Live as a “potluck show,” with regular and guest performers each bringing their own talents, whether they be hula, weaving or even paniolo rope tricks.
“We needed a day show in Hilo,” said Moore, who helped start the show with Yuen. “It was 45 minutes at $5, and it worked.”
Yuen said she wanted the show to feel like going to your favorite aunty’s house and hearing stories.
It also followed the cycle of the Hawaiian calendar, she said.
“We literally ended it on our 365th show,” Yuen said. “It’s a sign that it’s come to a full circle.
“If you came to all the shows, you came to a full year of Hawaii. It feels complete.”
While the self-funded show was successful, it could no longer sustain itself through slow periods in the tourist season, Moore said.
But she said it’s possible it might come back as a winter-only show, when more visitors are in town.
“If we do it in winter, I think we can do it ourselves,” Moore said.
Email Tom Callis at firstname.lastname@example.org.