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Flowers of Hawai‘i

Lee Cataluna serves up a fresh slice of local life.

February 6, 2014
Maui Weekly

Local audiences love Lee Cataluna's writing--her books, her newspaper columns and her plays. Now there's a new work to relish called "Flowers of Hawai'i," a series of 10 vignettes that draw directly from family life--local style. The works will be performed at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center's (The MACC) McCoy Studio Theater with actors of Kumu Kahua Theatre on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 7 and 8 at 7:30 p.m.

This new work by Cataluna presents a series of short "playlets" depicting the strained and often confrontational relationships among members of several Hawai'i families. The vignettes capture the essence of family relationships. An elderly woman's children and grandchildren claim her possessions while she's still alive, sticking nametags under her belongings. A young mother tries to foist off the responsibilities of raising her child onto her mother. A married woman grows tired of her affair with a possessive policeman. A neighbor discovers that his friend is being physically abused by his wife. Cataluna, well known for her hilarious, local-style comedies, gets serious without abandoning her sense of humor in this world-premiere drama.

If there's even only one takeaway quote, it's this: "We understand what it's like to raise kids who turn out nothing like we intended."

Article Photos

Danielle Zalapony and Reb Beau Allen. Lee Cataluna’s “Flowers of Hawai‘i”>b? will be performed at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s McCoy Studio Theater with actors of Kumu Kahua Theatre on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 7 and 8 at 7:30 p.m.

The cast of 15 includes Jacob Song, Charlotte Dias, Danielle Zalopany, Jaime Bradner, Jason Quine, Julia LoPresti, Karen Hironaga, Kati Kuroda, Lisa Ann Katagiri Bright, Nick Nakama, Reb Allen, Tiffany Brown, Tyler Tanabe, Wil Kahele and Wil Hao.

"The great actors will have you thinking, crying, laughing and wondering: Is my family like this? Trust me, it probably is--which is good, because the basis of the story is love."--Allan Okubo

Kumu Kahua Theatre is the award-winning, all-Hawai'i organization that has now brought many original local-style theatric productions to The MACC: "Folks You Meet in Longs" (also by Cataluna), "Gone Feeshing," "Jive-Bombers Christmas," "Voices From Okinawa" and more.

Based in downtown Honolulu, Kumu Kahua's mission is to present plays about life in Hawai'i by Hawai'i playwrights for Hawai'i people. Under Artistic Director Harry Wong, Kumu Kahua Theatre is the only all-Hawai'i theater production in the islands. Kumu Kahua has been staging Hawai'i-themed projects by island writers since the 1970s, at the outset of the Hawaiian cultural renaissance, and The MACC has become the presenter of Kumu Kahua on Maui for the past 10 years.

Savor a slice of local life!

Tickets for this Kumu Kahua Theatre production of Lee Cataluna's "Flowers of Hawai'i" are $25, and half-price for keiki 12 and under. Purchase tickets at The MACC Box Office or by calling 242-SHOW (7469) Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or online at MauiArts.org.

 
 

 

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