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Entertainment // Art & Stage
Rasa Fournier

Under A Haleiwa Sunset

Once a month, as nature sweeps its broad strokes of brilliant yellow and orange across the evening sky, a group of novice artists sit with their own set of brushes, trying their hands at paints and canvas. It’s Third Friday at Haleiwa Joe’s, which also means live music and dancing, exhibits by local artists, live art by professionals, a free photo booth … basically a celebration of North Shore art.

“I went with my husband and 10-month-old son to support some artist friends exhibiting there,” says Tiffany Hervey. “We were excited that an art event was not only in our hometown supporting local artists, but starting early enough that we could attend.”

Hervey liked the experience so much that she now hosts Third Friday, which kicked off last April. From 6 to 10 p.m. entry is free and all ages are welcome. After that, the night belongs to the 21-and-over crowd.

“What’s most exciting,” adds Hervey, “is that there’s something for everyone. You can make a dinner date out of it, enjoy local art, make your own art, buy art and hear live music – and still get home at a decent time. Or you can stay late, dance and socialize at more of a party scene.”

Several hundred visitors have been attending the monthly gathering, with the Paint the Night Away booth with Erin Browne Delventhal being a popular attraction. Whether a plumeria or sunrise shell, visitors are invited to replicate a subject from nature, with step-by-step instruction. All supplies are provided, including the canvas that they get to take home.

“They are thrilled with what they have created,” says the North Shore artist. “Every time they look at their masterpiece, they think, ‘I made that, what else can I create in my world?’”

Both visitors and locals benefit from the art party, as Hervey points out: “It’s empowering for local artists involved because they get to sell their artwork and exhibit to their own community as well as to international visitors. Visitors have been enthusiastic about enjoying and buying the art since it’s exclusive to Hawaii – a unique memory of their experience here.”

Haleiwa Joe’s general manager Kanani Oury expresses concisely what everyone connected to Third Friday seems to agree on: “It feels very inclusive and warm.”

“We are getting a lot of ‘thank yous’ from community members for bringing the event here,” she adds. “Many of us love art but have to drive to Honolulu to see it!”

the TICKET stub

When: Aug. 16 and the third Friday of each month, 6-10 p.m.
Where: Haleiwa Joe’s (66-011 Kamehameha Hwy.)
More Info: 637-8005, haleiwajoes.com

ALSO SHOWING

‘Outage’ Lights Up TAG

The two acts that comprise Outage at TAG (through Sept. 1, tag hawaii.net) are basically two long scenes that local scriptwriter Jan Shiarella McGrath, director Victoria Gail-White and five brilliant actors have made into a powerful slice-of-life drama. At the end of a long week’s work, attending a play in the evening often means quite a few heads nodding off, but the simmering dialogue, understated humor and fabric of interpersonal issues easily keeps eyes rapt and, on occasion, elicits wet cheeks. Heartfelt might describe these performances, except that they play out so naturally as they address cancer, infidelity and alcoholism, that Outage never delivers an all out gut-punch. Rather, multifaceted characters, with their intelligent conversation and a beautiful set, envelope you and gently fill you with empathy.

Gail-White attributes the show’s cohesiveness to a longstanding theatrical history between herself and McGrath, and to the dedicated group of actors. We’ve seen Gail-White on-stage, but with her first full-feature directing debut, she offers some insight into what goes on offstage: “In acting you find a character and you do your job, but directing is looking at every detail, and it’s obsessive – what’s on the stage, right down to the cups, the costumes, set design, color of the walls, lighting design and working with the cast, pulling the emotions out.

“These actors have been such a blessing. They do this because it’s their passion. Nobody gets paid. Some of them have full-time jobs. They come to rehearsal after working all day, and then they have to go home and learn their lines. Every time you take on a role, to move into that person means that you stretch yourself, your compassion and your connection to that character and how that character is like you and unlike you. And if it’s unlike you, how can you sort of pull that and find some compassion, because no one is ever playing a bad guy. They’re playing a character who believes they’re doing the right thing or that they’re being the best person they can be. It’s getting to that place within yourself where you’re not ‘playing’ the bad guy.”

Outage’s menagerie of characters are sympathetic and human, with all of their concomitant allure and foibles, and that genuine quality is what makes the production so engrossing.

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