Manga, Fashion, Theater, Painting
With so much artistic revelry afoot, no less would do than a mishmash of some prominent events.
First up is wearable art by Native Hawaiian artisans at Maoli Arts Month’s (MAMo) May 21 fashion show at Hawaii Theatre ($20-$60, 528-0506). MAMo’s purpose is to celebrate traditional and contemporary creative diversity in the Hawaiian community and to provide a platform for cultural practitioners to showcase their works. In fulfilling that mission, the Wearable Arts Show brings together a dozen or so top designers, be it in the field of weaving, carving, kapa, feather work, shell jewelry, kakau (tattoo) or weaponry. Kumu Robert Cazimero will emcee during a program that includes performances and live music. Doors open at 5:30 for the 7 p.m. show (maoliartsmonth.org).
No. 2 on the agenda is Venus in Fur ($15, awstheatre.org), a theatrical presentation by All the World’s a Stage Theatre Company May 16-18 in the Artists’ Loft (1116 Smith St.). Once you hear that Paul Mitri and Leiney Rigg star, well, that’s the equivalent of show-biz gold. This play-within-a-play finds director Thomas Novachek unsatisfied with the ladies who have auditioned for his latest production, until a fateful encounter with a promising latecomer. Sexy, kinky and shocking are terms that have been used to describe this show.
Next up is a free manga exhibit at Japanese Cultural Center (through June 7, jcch.com) featuring MidWeek cartoonist Roy Chang, among a dozen Hawaii-based artists and writers in the field of manga. Titled Crossing Cultures, there’s a Kikaida tribute and walls adorned with animated art, complete with QR symbols for visiting the artists’ Web pages, as well as a guided feature that includes a phone number to call to hear the artists and authors talk about their work.
Sobering and delightful describes the latest Healing Through Art exhibit at Gallery on the Pali (through June 6, unitariansofhi.org/gallery). Beneath local artist Jocelyn Cheng’s cheerful integration of colors is a history of thyroid cancer in 1989. Watercolor and collage helped her pull through, and Cheng, now an oncology nurse at Queen’s, runs the hospital’s artist in residence program. Decorating the exhibit walls are a beauteous selection of more than 80 works of water-color, collage and mixed media, all done by cancer patients or those close to them. Especially inspiring are the artist statements posted alongside many of the pieces – uplifting words about the healing power of art. The many Hawaiian- and Asian-themed pieces are powerful little celebrations of life.
Finally, Lanikai Mortgage Players brings its unique theatrical genre to Shreve Theater at Lanikai Community Center (May 16-25, 262-5482). Wedlockout, or Bedfellows Make Strange Politics is their spring melodrama, modeled loosely after Lysistrata … if you recall, the ladies refuse to sleep with the men until the men agree to renounce war. The play is followed by an olio or variety show. The $7 admission includes free popcorn, and guests are encouraged to bring their own picnics.