‘Dragonfly’ Is Revived For A New Generation

The Paliku Academy of Performing Arts students ham it up at Ala Moana Center during a preview scene from 'On Dragonfly Wings.' The revived musical plays July 19-28 at Castle High School's Ron Bright Theatre. Photo from Terry Gerber.

In the end, it’s all about a much-loved little girl with leukemia. That’s the motive for the revived and reimagined local musical, On Dragonfly Wings, which opens July 19 at Ron Bright Theatre.

In the seventh summer production by Paliku Academy of Performing Arts, director John-Paul Tai has worked with the play’s original creators to inspire a sense of compassion in the younger generation, just as nearly 31,000 Hawaii residents showed for the late 3-year-old Alana Dung in 1997 by registering as bone marrow donors.

“After speaking with Adelia Dung, mother of Alana and head of Alana Dung Research Foundation,” Tai said, “I knew that we were meant to do this show and make a difference.”

The troupe sponsors a bone marrow registry from 3 to 5 p.m. this Saturday at Ala Moana Center fronting Nordstrom. The foundation and the Hawaii Bone Marrow Registry also will be at each performance of On Dragonfly Wings to sign up audience members in Kaneohe. For details, call Tai at 383-6765.

Showtime at Bright Theatre is 7 p.m. July 19-20 and 26-27, in addition to 2 p.m. matinees Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are $20, $15 and $10, and can be ordered online at showtix4u.com.

Inspired by Alana Dung’s short, courageous life, the show by Roslyn Catraccia and the late Lisa Matsumoto follows the adventures of a cheerful young waterbug who embarks on a journey to the world above where she transforms into a beautiful dragonfly.

“It’s an honor and a pressure to be given the chance to present this show,” added Tai. “But from the opening scene, there’s a sense that this is unlike any production of Dragonfly ever done before.”