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Exciting exhibitions: An Academy Calendar
by Jayme Haitsuka, Lifestyles editor

“You’ll have rats at your feet in this show,” said Ken Noyle, star of Phantasma, a one-man show at Indigo restaurant on Nuuanu Avenue. Speaking before the show to the small audience gathered in the Red Opium Den at Indigo, Noyle cheerily added, “Ghosts will tickle your funny bone!”

Academy of Arts photo

He was right, in the interest of digestion, to assure the audience that the show would not be all screams. As the show began, the den darkened and slowly filled with fog and the dreary late-night sounds typical of the back alleys of Chinatown in the late 1800s. After such a dramatic introduction, the crowd seemed prepared to be scared.

The performance primarily consisted of Noyle's stories: of individuals long deceased, of old Honolulu opium dens, and of their denizens. Some of the stories were light and entertaining, filled with humor and magic; others were dramatic and dark, accentuated by harsh lighting and foreboding sound effects.

Noyle created relationships with inidividual audience members by telling them their fortunes through their personal objects. After listening to their fortunes, audience members took Noyle more seriously, thus making his characters and the stories he told more believable. The Red Opium Den, which holds no more than 30 people comfortably, was made to seem larger through the dim lighting.

“You were always wondering if someone was behind you,” said Yonie Espirtu, an undergraduate at HPU. Noyle, a slightly rotund man with graying hair, a pleasant face, and a cockney accent is a captivating storyteller and entertaining magician.

His dramatic antics drew the audience into his world of spirits and sorcery. And although he uses only simple special effects to supplement the stories, viewers should still expect to be thrilled and chilled by his performance.

“I thought it was a wonderful, original experience,” said Jaclynn Fasken, a recent HPU graduate. “I’d definitely see it again!” According to Noyle, the play will run as long as people continue buying tickets, however seating is limited to a little over 20 people per showing.

To make reservations for the two shows nightly, Tuesday through Saturday at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., contact Indigo Restaurant at 521-2900.



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