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UHH announces performance season

By JOHN BURNETT

Tribune-Herald staff writer

The University of Hawaii at Hilo Performing Art Center’s 2012-2013 season promises “a little something for everyone,” according to Lee Dombroski, the theater’s manager.

The season kicks off Oct. 4 at 7:30 p.m. with the Eddie Palmieri-Brian Lynch Jazz Quartet, the latest incarnation of a two-decade musical relationship that produced the Grammy Award-winning CD “The Brian Lunch/Eddie Palmieri Project: Simptico.”

“I’m really looking forward to this concert, because Eddie just won the (National Endowment for the Arts) Jazz Masters award,” she said.

UHH’s elite Kapili Choir under the direction of Matthew Howell will tackle Mozart’s final composition, “Requiem Mass,” on Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Next up is one of the premiere singer-songwriters of music for children, Red Grammer, on Oct. 26 at 6:30 p.m.

“We’re doing a huge residency program with him for the schools,” said Dombroski, who said the music will appeal to children between kindergarten and fifth grade.

Ken Elliott, a former member of the prestigious Los Angeles experimental theater group The Actors’ Gang, will direct the UHHPAC production of August Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come & Gone.” The play, set in a black boardinghouse in 1911 Pittsburgh, features characters dealing with a past of slavery as well as the urban present.

“Both Kenny and I have met and worked alongside August Wilson, so we really have a lot of connection to the play,” Dombroski said. “It seemed like something we should be doing here to broaden our cultural reach.”

On Ensemble, a percussion quartet, brings its “taiko fusion” with elements of rock, hip hop and electronica on Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. Their music has been featured on the TV series “Heroes” and in the David Mamet film “Redbelt.”

The UH-Hilo Symphony Orchestra and Chorus will present its annual holiday concert “Sounds of the Season” on Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. Matthew Howell will direct traditional and contemporary music including favorites by Handel, Vivaldi and Debussy.

Both the Kapili Choir’s “Requiem Mass” and “Joe Turner’s Come & Gone” are part of the “Fall Quatro” package, along with the Great Leaps fall dance concert on Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. and the UH-Hilo Jazz Orchestra show on Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. The package includes all four shows for $20 general and $15 for UHH and Hawaii Community College students with valid ID.

“We’re offering folks the opportunity to get them all at once and not miss out, because Great Leaps usually sells out and the UHH Jazz Orchestra has been really full the last couple of semesters,” Dombroski said. The jazz orchestra, under the direction of Trever Veilleux, will feature a special tribute to the Blues Brothers.

Spring semester fare starts Jan. 11 at 7:30 p.m. with “The Intergalactic Nemesis Live-Action Graphic Novel Book One: Target Earth,” a meld of classic old-time radio drama with high-tech images, music and sound effects.

“It appeals to the young people who love graphic novels, and it appeals to the older generation who remember radio dramas,” Dombroski said.

Keigwin+Company, a dance troupe specializing in what Dombroski described as “very innovative, athletic modern dance” takes the stage Jan. 21 at 7:30 p.m. The New York Times said their show demonstrates “pop sensibilities, along with some quirky flair.”

Alton Takiyama-Chung and UH-Hilo Professor of Drama Jackie Pualani Johnson will regale the audience with an evening of obake (ghost) stories and ancient Hawaiian myths on April 13 at 7:30 p.m. Dombroski said that Takiyama-Chung will do “a number of other events on campus” as part of a week of storytelling at UHH.

“He’ll be doing obake stories and Jackie will recount the Pele and Hi‘iaka: A Tale of Two Sisters, the version that Dietrich Varez did with Petroglyph Press. Dietrich has been so gracious to allow us to use his woodblock images as a backdrop for that evening,” Dombroski said said.

Added Johnson: “The images help ground the tale in our ‘aina, helping us to give clarity to the epic each step of the way.”

Part of that week includes the UHH Acting Troupe presenting “Haunt,” a series of chicken-skin stories scripted and performed by troupe members from ghost stories around the world and directed by Johnson. Showtimes are April 11 and 12 at 7:30 p.m. with a Sunday matinee on April 14 at 2 p.m.” Haunt” will take the place of the customary spring musical production this season.

“Scenery, lighting, choreography, live musicians — they all make for riveting performances, but they also require big budgets and countless hours backstage and on-stage,” Johnson said, and added that the staged storytelling “will allow a simpler pace where the emphasis is on character and finding the unique voices in each culture.”

Johnson said that the theater plans to come back with a large-scale musical production in spring 2014.

“Haunt” is also part of UHHPAC’s “Spring Trifecta” package, with the spring Great Leaps dance concert on April 27 at 7:30 p.m. and the UHH Jazz Orchestra on May 1 at 7:30 p.m. Package price for all three shows is $15 general and $10 for UHH and HCC students with valid ID.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

 

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