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Bitter Roots: Waikīkī International Market Place’s “O Nā Lani Sunset Stories”

Let the torches be lit!”

The voice boomed through the International Market Place. Eleanor and Gwen instinctively looked up from their dinner.

We welcome you to join us now at the Queen’s Court, as we present O Nā Lani –– the Sunset Stories. Welcome, and Aloha!

An incantation was heard, and Gwen noticed tourists seeping out of the stores, and gathering around the grassy courtyard where they sat, eating.

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Playing Along: Nothing Without A Company’s “Pakalolo Sweet”

“It had to get dramatic, didn’t it?”

“Was it not already?” asked Eleanor, as they walked carefully across the astroturf lining the ground in the Berger Park Coach House. The space, a tight blackbox in the center of a park on the edge of Lake Michigan, felt tightly cramped when oriented in a traditional proscenium setting.

“Well, yeah, it was, but I had hope it would stay upbeat about it,” Dania mused. “It wasn’t like Batu, last year. That was dramatic the whole way through. This one felt like it suddenly decided to be a drama halfwa––”

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Sorrow At The Heart: Three Brothers Theatre’s “Spring Awakening”

Gwen was not a fan of Spring Awakening –– and she readily admitted that it was her fault, not the show. She’d burned out on the musical, ever since its 2006 Broadway production caught fire among the teen theatre set, with endless repetitions of its inanely pop-punk score dredged up at more cabarets than she could count. The lyrics were poetic enough on their surface that no one Gwen knew had needed to dig any deeper into them to find meaning. An angsty screed against uncaring parents, for a generation slowly acclimating to an uncaring world. A string of regional productions after performance rights were released in 2011, while the tide of interest was still high, had afforded her numerous opportunities to see a gaggle of Wendlas and Melchiors partake in enough hayloft intimacy to make the cast of Equus blush.

Gwen was, to put it mildly, over it.

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