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Hawaii Performing Arts Festival to Open with AN EVENING AT THE STORK CLUB

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Now in its 12th season, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival has garnered great acclaim for its world-class performances on the Big Island each summer. This year will be no exception for the festival, as the season kicks off with An Evening At the Stork Club, starring Justin John Moniz, Ashley Lambert, and David Castillo.

An Evening At the Stork Club will celebrate one of New York City's most iconic landmarks of all time, featuring music made famous by Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, among others. The program will also celebrate favorites from the Great American Songbook, including works by Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, and Richard Rodgers.

During its years of operation, the Stork Club was visited by many political, social, and celebrity figures. It counted among its guests the Kennedy and Roosevelt families, and The Duke and Duchess of Windsor. The news of Grace Kelly's engagement to Prince Rainier of Monaco broke while the couple was visiting the Stork Club. Socialite Evalyn Walsh McLean, owner of the Hope Diamond, once lost the gem under a Stork Club table during an evening visit. It was at the Stork Club, where Ernest Hemingway was able to cash his $100,000 check for the film rights of For Whom the Bell Tolls, in order to settle his bill.

Originally presented as one of the festival's annual fundraising events last December, An Evening At the Stork Club earned high praise which quickly sparked plans for this season's revival, according to HPAF Artistic Director, Val Underwood. "Our hope is to reach an even broader audience this summer, with performances scheduled at both the Hapuna Prince Beach Resort and Palace Theater. It's going to be a wonderful start to our season, which we believe will be the finest in HPAF's twelve year history," says Underwood.

Justin John Moniz will make his way to the Big Island via Michigan, where he is currently starring in Romberg's The Student Prince with Opera Grand Rapids. As the winner of the 2015 American Prize in Voice - Chicago Musical Theatre Award, Moniz recently made his solo debut at Chicago Symphony Center. He has performed over 60 roles on both operatic and musical theatre stages across the country. During the 2014/15 season, Moniz starred alongside Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) in DreamCatcher Theatre's production of Sondheim's Into the Woods at the Adrienne Arsht Center. In addition, he has previously made appearances with Sarasota Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre, Opera Company of Middlebury, Palm Beach Dramaworks, Orchestra Miami, Orchestra of Northern New York, and Gulfshore Opera, among others.

Ashley Lambert's voice can be heard on The Help, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, American Hustle, Trainwreck, Insurgent, The Interview, Divergent, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, to name a few. A native of Santa Barbara, CA, she holds a BFA from New York University through the Atlantic Theater Company under David Mament and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. Lambert is currently a partner and voice actress with Hoffmannbrow Voice Casting in Los Angeles, and lends her voice to a range of projects from pixies in the Disney animated Tinkerbell Series to monsters featured in Hotel Transylvania. On the stage, she has been previously seen as Cathy in The Last Five Years, Helena in All's Well That Ends Well, Natasha in The Three Sisters, Valentine in Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Maria in West Side Story.

David Castillo is a Los Angeles-based singer, actor, and model known to deliver "impassioned," (LA Times) "beautifully sung and confidently acted" (Opera News) performances. His versatility as an artist opens himself to a vast repertoire ranging from baroque to experimental with new and upcoming collaborative projects focusing on and exploring cultural identity, technology, and fashion. The New Orleans native recently debuted world premieres with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Goethe in Andriessen's Theatre of the World, the Los Angeles Opera as Atzuko in ¡Figaro! (90210), and the Los Angeles Master Chorale as King and David in Kirchner's Songs of Ascent. This past season, Castillo made his Off-Broadway and New York debut in ¡Figaro! (90210), reprising the role of Atzuko.

Critically acclaimed pianists Phil Kadet and Val Underwood will join forces with Moniz, Lambert, and Castillo during this special limited engagement.

Phil Kadet is a pianist in high demand. Based in New York City, he regularly appears in several popular nightclubs. Kadet recently concluded a two-season residency in Paris, and currently serves as the music director for All Hands on Deck, a touring big-band musical. HPAF Artistic Director, Val Underwood, is distinctive for his equal skill as a voice teacher and a pianist. His students continually take top honors in major vocal competitions, enter top schools and can be heard in opera houses world-wide. The LA Times has described his piano playing as "exquisite".

Tickets for An Evening At the Stork Club are now available for purchase by visiting www.hawaiiperformingartsfestival.org.


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