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Rasa Fournier

Aloha Chorus Musical To Revive Children’s Belief In Santa

The Sounds of Aloha Chorus will nip any aspiring Ebenezer Scrooges in the bud with its first children’s show, Believe in Santa, which also happens to be its first show on the West side.

The musical comedy takes place at 3 p.m. Saturday the new Jack and Marie Lord Performing Arts Theatre at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Kapolei.

“We’re a chorus of men who sing four-part harmony (bass, baritone, lead and tenor), and we number anywhere from 30 to 60 when on stage,” said spokesman Hank Drayton.

The chorus is the local chapter of the nationwide Barbershop Harmony Society, which sings a cappella, in the tradition of barber-shop quartets.

The first half of the program will feature somewhat of a play:

“The plot revolves around a kid who is starting to wonder if Santa Claus is real. It’s kind of a ripoff from It’s A Wonderful Life,” explained musical director Rob Hartley. “An elf is dispatched to try to get the boy to believe that Santa is real in time for Christmas. When the child sees Santa as real, he will be able to hear the believer’s bell, and the elf will get to be in the elite elves’ club. He will earn his wings, so to speak. (Woven into the play), we use every excuse we can to sing familiar Christmas songs,” Hartley added.

To infuse the storyline with Hawaiian flair, the production depicts local characters and uses Honolulu Hale City Lights as the setting. Real-life brothers Liam (13) and Oliver (11) deClive-Lowe, who already have made a name for themselves on local stages – particularly as part of Hawaii Education of the ARTS choral program on the Windward side – are cast as brothers in the production. The younger boy still believes in Santa, while the older one has doubts. Keeping it a family affair, their father Ian plays the elf who is charged with renewing the older boy’s belief in Santa.

Part two changes things up with a variety of groups taking the stage. Three quartets will perform, including one made up of high school and college students, and a lady’s quartet that recently placed second in a multi-state regional competition. A small ensemble that’s known for its jazzy numbers also will be featured. The grand finale brings the men’s chorus and youth chorus back on stage to belt out tunes together.

Expect to hear traditional selections like It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas, Let It Snow, Jingle Bells and Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, as well as the Jackson 5 version of Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Hartley also promises a “really neat” vocal jazz version of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer in seven-part harmony, and much more.

Tickets cost $20 for general admission, and $5 for children 12 and under, with every keiki in attendance receiving a free gift from Santa after the show.

For reservations or more information, visit soundsofaloha.org or call 262-7664.

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