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Roseanne Barr to Perform in “The Vagina Monologues” on the Big Island

On Saturday February 8 at 7:00pm and Sunday February 9 at 2:00pm The Kahilu Theatre and V‑Day Kamuela will present two benefit performances of Eve Ensler’s award winning play The Vagina Monologues.

vagina monologues

Last year over 5,800 V-Day benefits were held around the world raising awareness and over $5 million in funds towards ending violence against women. Last year’s Kahilu Theatre production included a cast of political and theatrical stars from the Big Island including Sen. Malama Solomon and Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter – and sold out days before opening night. “Best production of Vagina Monologues ever,” raved a CEO in attendance, “and I’ve seen New York and LA productions for years!”

This year’s cast will include Rosanne Barr, actress, comedian, writer, television producer, director, and 2012 presidential nominee of the California-based Peace and Freedom Party.  Rosanne is also a resident of the Big Island, with a home in Waimea and a macadamia nut farm in Honokaa.  Several new and some returning actresses fill out the cast.  The performance will again be directed by Jane Sibbett, who has now joined the Board of the Kahilu Theatre Foundation.

This riveting, socially illuminating production is as flat out hilarious as it is spectacularly emotional. Vagina Monologues is a piece of theatrical history not to be missed.  100% of proceeds go to services helping women and children in crisis, with the huge majority staying here on the Big Island. The Light On Foundation, Child & Family Services and Hamakua Youth Center will all benefit from tickets sold. The performance is suitable for ages 13 and over.

Tickets are priced $25, $20, $15 and $10, and are available from the Kahilu Theatre website www.kahilutheatre.org and the box office, which is open 9am to 12noon Monday to Friday, walk in or call (808) 885-6868.

Makana to Perform Two Big Island Concerts

Makana will perform two concerts on the big island, on Thursday January 30th at the Aloha Theater in Kainaliu at 7pm, and on Friday January 31st at the Kahilu Theater in Waimea at 7pm.

Makana Cameron

Makana Cameron

Tickets are available in advance from AlohaTheatre.com, or from Kiernan Music for the Aloha Theatre show and from Kahilutheatre.org, or 885-6868 for the Kahilu Theatre show.  Tickets for the Aloha Theatre are $30 general admission, with $25 discount price for students and seniors.  At the door all tickets will be $35.  Tickets for the Kahilu Theatre show are reserved seating, ranging from $20 to $65, with discounts for Kahilu Theatre members.

Makana is an internationally acclaimed guitarist, singer, and composer who is widely known for lending his musical talent for social change. His guitar playing has been featured on three Grammy-nominated albums, including the soundtrack of the Academy-Award winning film “The Descendants.”

Makana’s unique blend of Hawaiian, folk and rock influences and the passion and energy of his performance engages his audience like few entertainers on the scene. He has performed worldwide in venues ranging from Tianjin Opera House to Bumbershoot in Seattle to WOMAD in England to The White House. Makana has shared the stage with Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson, Sting, Carlos Santana and Elvis Costello.

For his two Big Island concerts he’ll be performing songs from his new CD release RIPE.

Kahilu Theatre Presents Two Great Musical Concerts in the Week of Martin Luther King Day

The Kahilu Theatre presents two great musical concerts in the week of Martin Luther King day, both events featuring musicians whose activism in the areas of peace and human justice resonates with the holiday.

Kahilu presents Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi, on Friday January 24 at 7pm.

Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi

Known around the world as a truly great guitarist, vocalist, performer and composer, his trademark is his deep and gutsy voice. A member of Zimbabwe’s KoreKore tribe, Mtukudzi sings in the nation’s dominant Shona language along with Ndebele and English. He also incorporates elements of different musical traditions, giving his music a distinctive style, known to fans as “Tuku Music.”

Mtukudzi was named Zimbabwe’s first UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Eastern and Southern Africa and was awarded the prestigious Cavaliere of the Order of Merit Award by the Italian Government in recognition of his work as an international musician and activist. Mtukudzi has toured around the world, performing for large audiences, and deserves the accolade of world music super star, and nickname “the giant of Zimbabwe”.

Kahilu presents Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum on Sunday January 26 at 4pm.

Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum

Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum

Bluegrass vocalist and fiddle player Laurie Lewis is one of the great country and bluegrass vocalists of our time, Laurie’s 30-year career as a stirring vocalist, gifted songwriter, champion fiddler, and topnotch bandleader has earned her a Grammy, and twice named her Female Vocalist of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association. She is joined by longtime collaborator mandolin/guitarist Tom Rozum. Tom’s crisp musicianship and comic banter add verve and excitement to every Laurie Lewis performance.  Expect their characteristically versatile and engaging offering of love songs, laments, social commentary, and freewheelin’ fun in the spirit of old-time music.

Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine recognized Laurie’s musicianship and service work with this quote; “Laurie’s strength manifests in many ways: her commanding presence on stage combined with an emotional vulnerability, the truths in her lyrics, her physical voice which transcends gender, her strong commitment to causes and issues in which she deeply believes, which all resonate with a respect for the land, the natural world, and human mercy and justice.”

For both performances, tickets range from $20 to $65, with discounts for Kahilu Theatre members, available in advance from the Theatre’s new website www.kahilutheatre.org.  Public can also drop in at the theatre or call the box office from 9am to 12noon, at (808) 885-6868.

The “Tuku” concert is sponsored by: Herb & Sunny Aston, Melanie Holt & Tim Bostock, Dr. John Stover & Bayardo Aviles – Cosmetic Centers of Hawai`i.  The Lewis & Rozum concert is sponsored by Phillip & Jo Ann Conley.

Hualalai Academy on Big Island Closing, Needs Funds to Get Through School Year – Board of Director Under Fire From Parents

Parents of students that attend Hualalai Academy on the Big Island of Hawaii were shocked when they received an email on Friday from the Board of Directors of the School, Dr. Matt James, that told them the academy would be closing it’s doors for good at the end of the academic year OR SOONER.

Hualalai Academy on the Big Island

Hualalai Academy on the Big Island

The letter basically stated the school needed to raise $3,000.00 per student just to be able to complete the school year.

I tried to warn folks about the legitimacy of some of the things this alleged “Dr.” was doing previously on my website:

Dr. Matt James

Dr. Matt James

Today I got an email from a parent from one of the students that attends the campus and she is concerned about her kids future at this school and whether he will even complete the school year at the school:

“Aloha Damon
I’m a concerned parent who’s child attends Hualalai. We received a letter Friday that they will be closing their doors before end if school year. We are currently trying to get answers and can’t get any. We started looking into the president of the board Dr. Matt James and seen do did a story on him awhile back, we found that his past seems to be shady. Looking for some help.”

I’ve forwarded this information on to some of my other journalist friends and we will see if we can get some answers for the students.  In the meantime here is the letter that students brought home to their parents yesterday:

 January 17, 2014

Dear Hualalai Academy Ohana,

It is with a heavy and sad heart I must share with you that Hualalai Academy must close its doors at the conclusion of this academic year or sooner if we are unable to secure additional funding. We are turning to you, the ohana, to help the school get through this school year.

Before I begin and share with you the entire series of events, I want you to know that as parents of two children who attend this amazing school, my wife and I are devastated. The faculty and Board of Directors have done everything we can and at this point we do not see a miracle on the horizon.

John Colson, the Board of Directors and I have been working on our financial challenge since July 1st of this school year. To begin, please keep in mind that John left a wonderful job at HPA to join us. He believed this school was special and that it could become the premier independent school in Kona.

First, we identified the school needed to cut expenses and reduce overhead. John did this immediately and put the school in a position to be as close to a balanced budget as possible. Furthermore, the board made the difficult decision of conducting a teach-out for the high school and suspending operation at the end of May 2014. Both of these actions set up our ability to stabilize the school.

Next, we secured funding to fill gaps created by a smaller than usual enrollment to complete the first half of the school year. This temporary loan assisted the school to remain functional, and it allowed John and I the necessary time to meet with the bank and work on our debt restructuring. While the school owns the land, it has also incurred significant debt over the years.

The school campus, both land and structures, has a significantly higher value in comparison to our debt; therefore, based on this, we created a three to five year business plan to improve the school. As a part of the plan, we met with the bank to restructure the loans and refinance the land. Based on the land value and our plan, we were very confident the bank would approve the plan and assist us with a new financial package. We have been with this bank since the foundation of our school and have a good working relationship with them.

So, with the land asset, John running the school, and our business plan, the meeting went extremely well. The bank gave us positive indications and we were asked to wait. Because of this response, we only pursued one other avenue which was a possible sale of the land to finance our operations. After waiting for two months, we were informed by the bank that not only would they NOT refinance the land, they would not assist us in any other fashion.

During the two month wait, we also met with all of the viable banks in Hawaii to no avail. Additionally, we worked with an investment company from the mainland, explored the option of becoming a charter school with authorities and we have looked for a buyer to purchase the land all with the legitimate expectation that we could stay open and continue to deliver the amazing Hualalai Academy Experience.

As of January 16, with no other viable options for the school, we felt we must disclose our financial situation to you. Thus, we must now work to find transitional funding to complete this school year and assist families as they begin to find other educational options for the 2014-2015 school year. To put our financial situation into perspective, the school needs to raise approximately $3000 per student to make it through the remainder of the 2013-2014 school year.

On behalf of the full board, I thank you for your support of Hualalai Academy and being a part of our ohana. We are now doing everything we can to complete this year, and we need your support and help. To be clear, without additional funding the school year may have to be shortened.

Should you have questions, please contact John at your convenience.

With a heavy heart,

Dr. Matt James, Chair

Board of Directors

Hualalai Academy