Island still basking
in 'Phantom's' triumph
|Thursday, May 15, 2003
Island still basking in ‘Phantom’s’ triumph...
The great production by visionary/star Debra Lynn with her Maui Light Opera Company and the indefatigable team of Francie von Tempsky and David Johnston with the Maui Academy of Performing Arts may be gone, but it will never be forgotten by those who witnessed Maui theater history last weekend. Maui theater veterans agree there has never been an audience response like this to a production.
When standing and clapping didn’t suffice to express what the audience felt, shouts, cheering and festooning the stage with roses is what they resorted to. It was truly operatic; for an instant it was like being at the Met or LaScala or Woodstock. Such was the level of enthusiasm that the performers seemed to be overwhelmed by it. But this is a normal and typical human reaction when an audience finds itself in the presence of great human voices.
Lynn, Richard Cray and Randl Ask are world-class singers who could be the toast of any town. Thank God they have chosen Maui (although Ask lives now in Honolulu). Amber Naramore is a bright, young, rising star with a glorious voice. Add to the mix the intelligence, artistry and sensitivity of director John Langs, the talent of music director Stephen Haines, the “fabulous” Marsha Kelly, the marvelous Jerry Eiting, and the joyous and wonderful Diana Hutchinson. Throw in the outstanding acting of John Peterson, the character work by Vinnie Linares, Andrew Bulkley, John Ziegler and Stephen Hatcher. Sweeten with the “F” girls, Sheryl Preston, Ashley Jones and Karen Stavash. Put in a pinch of Christian Holmes’ boyish charm.
Mix it all up with the painterly talents of scenic
artist Daniel Bissler, costume designer extraordinaire Bernard Tristan
Foong, the lights of Will Hastings, mask makers Marianna Rydvald and Lee
Michael Walczuk. Put it in the Castle Theater, the “pearl of the Pacific,”
with its professional crew led by Rusty Conway and sound designer Stefan
Phillips, and you’ve got the best that the theatrical art form can be.