Press Release

APAC SELECTS CAST FOR “JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR”

Miguel Montez has been cast as Jesus and Winton Nicholson as Judas in “Jesus Christ Superstar,” the next production of the Aloha Performing Arts Company.  Montez was seen as Emile deBecque in last season’s “South Pacific,” and Nicholson appeared as Juan Peron in “Evita” in 2015.  Other principal performers are: Tiffany Kutsunai as Mary Magdalene; Peter Anderegg as Pilate; Peter Schonberg as Caiaphas; Don Chinery as Annas; Pete Hoffman as the High Priest; Brett McCardle as King Herod; Topher Mann as the apostle Peter, and Miles Lugo as the apostle Simon Zealotes.  The other apostles are portrayed by Kent Kane, Bob Williams, Yasir Bey, Julia Compton, Kathryn Mayer, Kathryn St. Martin, Brandon Braam, Victor Lugo, and Megan Hodge.  In addition, a core group including Chamika Fujioka, Zara Nicholson, Bill Cottle, Daniel Moretz, Kira Kane, Piper Pearson, David Kerchman, Bobbie Lloyd-Anderson, Dave Anderson,  Levi Suydam, and Jesse Franklin will play various roles including soldiers, lepers, vendors, customers, reporters, followers, and tormentors.

Jerry Tracy is serving as director, with Joel Gimpel as music director, Marinella Savarese as vocal director, Ellen Farnsworth as choreographer, Judy Tringali, costume designer,  Gerald Lucena specialty scene painter, and Daniel Moretz as dance captain and stunt coordinator. Assistant directors are Tiffany Kutsunai, Sarah Crawford, Nora Beck Judd, and Wendy Buzby. Kutsunai is also designing the lighting.  Producers are Jan Rae and Peter Schonberg, Terry Ann Fujioka is stage manager, Toni Reynolds is prop manager, Kaitlin Moore is hair and makeup designer, Cameron Bailey is house manager, Kerry Matsumoto and Sharyn Toyama are box office managers, Jeff and Linda Rowand are sound designers and operators, and Nicole Gour and Justyn Toyama are lighting operators.

“Jesus Christ Superstar,” by the legendary team of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, exploded onto the scene in 1970 as a concept album, debuted on Broadway the following year, and has been revived worldwide countless times since.  The musical dramatizes the last week in the life of Jesus Christ.  APAC last produced the show in 1994.  The current production opens at the Aloha Theatre in Kainaliu on February 10 and plays through March 12, with Friday and Saturday performances at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m.  Tickets range from $10 to $27 and may be purchased online at alohatheatre.com, by phone Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., and at the theatre box office beginning one hour before curtain time.  Early ticket purchase is recommended for best seat selection.  For tickets or more information, call 322-9924.

APAC PURCHASES ALOHA THEATRE

A dream has come true at the Aloha Theatre.  The board of directors of the Aloha Performing Arts Company has announced that the organization has purchased the Aloha Theatre in Kainaliu, where it has resided for most of its history, thus securing a permanent home for the company.

“The purchase of the Aloha Theatre has been an APAC dream for as long as I have been involved,” said APAC Artistic Director, Jerry Tracy.  “It has always seemed like an impossible dream, and now that it has come true, it is practically surreal.”

Creating a stable home for APAC’s live theatre presentations and performances by other community groups was the primary reason for pursuing the purchase.  APAC is also concerned with preserving the historic building that is an important part of the cultural fabric of Kona.  “Aloha Theatre is a grand old lady, but showing her age a bit.” says Tracy.  “The mana in the place is palpable.  If the walls could talk, what stories would come tumbling down from them!”  The building is steeped in Kona history. Completed in 1932 as the Tanimoto Theatre, it was an active movie house and a chief source of entertainment for residents of Kona, especially coffee workers.  The named was changed to Aloha Theatre after World War II, and ownership of the property has changed hands many times over the years. A stage was added in the 1980’s and live community theatre performances began to complement movie showings.

It’s not an easy task for a non profit organization like APAC to take on the caretaking responsibility of a major community landmark.  “We evaluated every aspect of the transaction, and the board concluded that this was a strategic opportunity that couldn’t be ignored.” said APAC Operations Director Melissa Geiger.  Through the generosity of the previous owners, Len and Sue Welter, the parties were able to structure the purchase so that APAC can be assured of a stable location and an improved financial position.  APAC also gratefully acknowledges the professional assistance of Darl Gleed, of Darl Gleed & Associates, and Vonnie Razo of First American Title Company, Inc.

In coming months, APAC will be turning to its supporters to help fund the next chapter of Aloha Theatre history.  The goal will be to raise money not only to help with the purchase, but also to protect and improve the building and its contents.  An increase in community involvement is anticipated, and everyone is invited to become part of this historic moment by volunteering on facility projects or donating towards a specific project as part of the restoration on the theatre.  Many new volunteer opportunities will be available–not just working on the shows.  “I hope we will apply lots of loving care to the building” says Tracy, “to make sure future generations will be able to experience the joy and growth I have derived from it over the last quarter century.”  Live theatre has a long history in Kona, and APAC intends to continue that tradition, now secure in having a permanent home.  For more information or to volunteer to help, call 322-9924.