Digging Into Honest Abe’s Early Life And All Those Womenfolk
By PAIGE TAKEYA
It’s a play about Abraham Lincoln – minus Abraham Lincoln.
To be the first to unravel that puzzler, theater and history buffs can head to Hawaii Pacific University’s Paul and Vi Loo Theatre at 7:30 p.m. April 4 for the opening night of Heritage, P.J. Barry’s unorthodox ensemble play about the 16th president.
“Lincoln is always relevant,” said director Joyce Maltby. “Last year, of course, the Lincoln movie came out, and I think that reawakened an interest for people in Lincoln. But that only covered a very short time of his life, right there toward the end of the Civil War. This one goes back to his grandmother. It’s a lot of the early years that people don’t know much about.”
In fact, Heritage follows the president exclusively through the eyes of those who loved him best – like his grandmother, Lucy Hanks; his first love, Ann Rutledge; and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln.
Maltby said that audiences should expect a dynamic performance. There will be singing, period music, square dancing and authentic photographs projected on the stage.
And Heritage is digging deep into the historical archives for this one. “It goes back to even something like Lincoln’s grandmother had actually met George Washington and Lafayette,” noted Maltby, “so there will be whatever pictures we can come up with of things that are mentioned in the story.”
Audiences can look for fellow Windward residents Jim Tharp and S. Rick Crump on stage, as well as Hailey Farah, Rachelle Gesselman and Samuel Filbeck (who are also HPU students). Beth E. Barry, Melinda Maltby, Joel McClure (another HPU student) and MidWeek‘s Rasa Fournier also star.
Tickets cost $20, $15 and $5, and the play runs until April 27. Showtimes in Kaneohe are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 4 p.m. Sunday. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 375-1282 or visit hpu.edu/theatre.