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Manoa Valley Theatre Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Manoa Valley Theatre is celebrating its momentous 50th Anniversary with a play season filled with star-studded audience favorites, Broadway blockbusters and compelling dramas that herald the next half-century for the noted Off-Broadway playhouse. During its anniversary season, MVT will present a spectrum of multi- disciplinary experiences including musical comedies, historical dramas and audience participation events. New collaborations and partnerships are just two of the many features of the season. In what will be a world premiere, MVT has commissioned an original script, Shipment Day, about well-known leprosy activist Olivia Robello Breitha and Hawaii's leprosy history. It will also produce the Hawaii premiere of Allegiance, a Broadway musical about the Japanese American internment during WWII and one family's extraordinarily divisive experience.

For fifty years, MVT has served Hawaii's public and artistic communities by leveraging the convergence of art, audience and commerce to develop and strengthen our local community. Originally conceived by a group of UH Manoa graduate theatre students as a community workplace for local performing artists, MVT has evolved to become a leading member of Hawaii's cultural community and one of its oldest avocational theaters by producing intimate, high-quality, and innovative theatre for the benefit of Hawaii audiences.

"We're grateful for the privilege we'd had to serve the community for five decades, and to interact with the lives of so many Hawaii residents," adds Producing Director Dwight Martin. "More than three-quarters of a million tickets have been issued over the course of more than 300 play productions. All of this has been made possible by the talents of Hawaii's thespians and the generosity of Hawaii's theatre patrons and sponsors. It is a joy to celebrate this milestone together."

"MVT 50 years old? Who could have predicted this?" asks Manoa Valley Theatre Board Chair Jeffrey Portnoy. "We owe it all to the extraordinary on stage and back stage talent we have in our community and the hundreds of individuals, corporations. Foundations, and government who donate generously and buy tickets. Stay tuned for another 50!"

The 2018-19 Season will run from August 2018 to August 2019. Tickets are on sale now at and by calling (808) 988-6131. Allegiance is not part of the season ticket offering and will be performed at the historic Hawaii Theatre. MVT's six-play lineup is:

by Bill Russell, Frank Kelly, Albert Evans and Robert Longbottom
August 30 - September 26

Pageant is a female beauty pageant performed by an all-male cast. Complete with evening gowns, talent, swimwear and answering calls from the Glamouresse Beauty Crisis Hotline, six contestants compete for the title of Miss Glamouresse (a cosmetics company): Miss Deep South, Miss West Coast, Miss Great Plains, Miss Bible Belt, Miss Industrial Northeast and Miss Texas. Four judges selected from the audience vote and determine nightly who the winner will be at each performance.

Shipment Day
by Lorenzo DeStefano
A World Premiere
November 8 - 25

Set in Honolulu between 1934 and 1937, Shipment Day dramatizes the traumatic early life experiences of the well-known leprosy activist Olivia Robello Breitha. It chronicles Olivia's diagnosis with the condition at 18, her two and a half year confinement at Kalihi Hospital, to the day before her shipment to Kalaupapa, the Hansen's disease settlement on Molokai. As Hawaii State Department of Health parolee #3306, Olivia would spend the next seventy years of her life, until her death in 2006 at the age of 90, at Kalaupapa.

Avenue Q
a musical comedy by Robert Lopez, Jeff Marx and Jeff Whitty
January 10 - 27

Packed with an abundance of heart, this laugh-out-loud musical tells the timeless story of a recent college grad who, along with new human and puppet neighborhood friends on New York's Avenue Q, struggles to find a job, dates and the ever-elusive purpose in life. Addressing a wide range of humorous adult issues, and filled with gut-busting humor, not to mention puppets, the show is similar to a beloved children's television show and offers a place where puppets are friends, monsters are good and life lessons are learned.

a musical drama by Marc Acito, Jay Kuo, and Lorenzo Thione
A Hawaii premiere
March 28 - April 7

One family's extraordinary experience suffering the wrongful imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II creates familial turmoil in a troubling time of a nation at war. Young Sam Kimura enlists in the army to prove his family's loyalty, while his sister, Kei, joins the draft resisters fighting for the rights of their people. Their divisiveness threatens to tear them apart forever. But as long-lost memories are relived and a new perspective is gained, Sam finds that it is never too late to forgive and experience the redemptive power of love.

Tony n' Tina's Wedding
by Nancy Cassaro and Artificial Intelligence
May 16 - June 2

One of the longest running shows in Off Broadway history, this delightful evening gives new meaning to the phrase "And now for something completely different!" Audience members are the guests at the nuptial celebration of Tony Nunzio and Valentina Vitale in all its tacky and hilarious glory. Following the church service is a reception where the audience joins the wedding party and their bickering families for a pasta dinner, champagne toasts, wedding cake and dancing to a five piece band.

The Rocky Horror Show
by Richard O'Brien
July 18 - August 4

Time warp with Brad Majors and his fiancée, Janet Weiss for a night out that is destined to be one they will never forget. A thunderstorm and a flat-tire force them to seek help at the castle of Dr. Frank 'N' Furter, an alien, transvestite scientist with a manic genius and insatiable libido. The night's misadventures quickly cause Brad and Janet to question everything they've known about themselves, each other, love, and lust. The Rocky Horror Show is a hilarious, wild ride that no audience will soon forget.

Plays and dates are subject to change under special circumstances.

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