I remember seeing Monkey Waterfall’s Celebrity Fame Project when they performed with Leeward Community College’s theater program. Interactive and truly theatrical, it was a sight to behold. Now, they move the project and performance to Chinatown.
In Celebrity Project: Fame at the Venue, body language, mask work, humor, theatre and dance come together in a performance that looks critically and affectionately at fame.
The cast includes Sami L. A. Akuna /Cocoa Chandelier, Betsy Fisher, Mark Branner, Esther Izuo, Kati Kuroda, Annie L. Lipscomb, Ben Moffat, Dann Seki and Misa Tupou, with masks by Michael Harada and Maile Yawata, costumes by Gary Fujimoto, and lighting by Don Ranney, Jr. All are innovative solo artists, directors, and educators in the Hawai‘i’s arts community, and recognized locally, nationally, and internationally for excellence in their fields.
Opening both performances will be a musical set with Ernie Provencher and friends featuring vocalist Starr Kalahiki.
Monkey Waterfall, a mask theatre company, was founded in 1990 by Yukie Shiroma, Ben Moffat, and Michael Harada to legitimize their passion for masks, puppets, and unspoken theatre. After completing a world tour in 1998–9, the Company formed a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation and decided to shift its primary focus away from overseas touring, choosing instead to devote its energies towards teaching and performing at home.
Celebrity Project: Fame at the Venue is supported by funding from the mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts, and through the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts with appropriations from the Hawai‘i State Legislature, by the National Endowment for the Arts, and private donors.