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by Aubrey Hawke

Ancient demi-gods from opposite ends of the world meet as goofball modern-day superheroes in HTY’s first play of the new year, the world premiere of Maui vs. Hercules.

The play was commissioned from and written by local playwright Yokanaan Kearns, better known to the HPU community as Dr. John Kearns, Ph.D., associate vice president of Academic Programs. It opens as the demi-god Maui uses his magic hook to fish up a brand new island, one where he can be king and no longer be told what to do (in fact his first decree is to outlaw all hula practice).

Just as Maui is getting settled, Hercules arrives looking for an island where he can rule without being pestered to practice his epic poetry. What follows is a hilarious competition filled with dangerous quests, surprising twists, and a visit from a mysterious woman who seems to know a little too much about both of them!

Maui is played by longtime HTY company actor Junior Tesoro; Hercules is played by a recent addition to the HTY company, Swaine Kaui. British actor Mary Wells plays Britney.

Artistic Director Eric Johnson said, “We’re pleased to present this world premiere of Yokanaan Kearns’s newest play. By giving Maui and Hercules human foibles and problems, he embraces the “demi” in their demi-god status and shows us that even heroes have a lot to learn.

“ As a father, a Hawai‘i local, and a classics professor at HPU, Kearns was the perfect person to give us this funny glance into a mythology that might have been.”

Set and props are designed by H. Bart McGeehon; costume design is by Nara Cardenas; sound design is by Kalai Stern and Pierre Grill; choreography is by Kalai Stern.

Maui vs. Hercules opens Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m., at Tenney Theatre, St. Andrew’s Cathedral. It plays Saturdays, Jan. 19 and 26 and Feb. 2, 9, 16 and 23. Showtimes are 1:30 and 4:30 p.m.

An American Sign Language-interpreted performance will be staged on Feb. 16 at 4:30 p.m.
Tickets are $8 for children, college students with ID, and seniors age 60 and over; adults are $16. Active duty military receive one free child admission with the purchase of each regularly priced adult ticket.

Call the HTY box office at 839-9885.





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