Kumu Kahua Theatre Brings Lee Cataluna’s Classic Hit
HONOLULU (May 17, 2023) – Kumu Kahua Theatre rings up the finale of its 52nd Season of audience favorites with the smash hit Folks You Meet in Longs, Lee Catalunaʻs raucous collection of monologues celebrating a wide, wild range of characters frequenting Hawaiiʻs favorite drugstore. The play returns to Kumu Kahua’s downtown Honolulu stage in a new production under the direction of Alvin Chan and showcasing a stellar ensemble cast. Tickets are on sale now for evening and matinee performances running from May 25 – June 25 , 2023.
Born and raised on Maui, journalist and award-winning playwright Lee Cataluna has crafted stories that reflect the cultural acuity of an artist who grew up in an international crossroads. Featuring familiar characters, from a lip gloss-smacking teen to a pickled-mango-craving hāpai mom, Folks You Meet in Longs continues to inspire a loyal following. Since the play premiered at Kumu Kahua Theatre in 2003, it has gone on to numerous encore productions in Hawaiʻi and beyond, and become an award-winning book taught in high schools and universities for over twenty years.
“It’s an honor to work on a piece that I consider to be part of Hawaii’s theater canon,” said Chan, a Honolulu-based educator, actor, playwright, director, and designer who will also make his Kumu Kahua Theater directorial debut with the new production of Folks You Meet in Longs.
The play will feature a tremendous local cast, including Alysia-Leila Kepaʻa (of Nanakuli), Brandon Hagio (of Millilani), Cori Matsuoka (of Aiea), Darryl Soriano (of Millilani), Dawn Gohara (of Honolulu), Jason Kanda (of Honolulu), Jonathan Reyn (of Honolulu), Juvy Lucina (of Wahiawa), Leleaʻe “Buffy” Kahalepuna-Wong (Honolulu), Thoren Lagaʻali Black (of Waianae), and Krist10 Misaki (of Honolulu). Wil Kalahele is the Assistant Director, with Technical Direction, Set Design, and Lighting Design by Brian Sackett, Sound Design by Stu Hirayama, Costume Design by Iris Kim, Props Design by Sara Ward, Board Op is Sanae Tokumura, and Stage Management by Wayne Paʻakaula. A post-show discussion with
members of the cast and crew will follow the performance on June 2.
The five week-long run is sponsored in part by HMSA, the most experienced health plan covering more than half of Hawaiʻi’s population and proudly serving its members for 85 years, and CVS/Longs Drugs, the trusted pharmacy that has become a community mainstay with its popular Sunday newspaper ads featuring the latest specials. In addition to sponsorship support, authentic Longs Drugs displays and uniforms have been donated for use in the production, and both HMSA and CVS/Longs will host tables at the theatre to engage with audiences during matinee intermissions and offer take-home swag.
“HMSA has been serving the people of Hawaii for 85 years and is proud to support Kumu Kahua Theatre and this local production featuring local talent,” said Dr. Stefanie Park, chief medical officer, HMSA. “This play embodies the relationships built between two longtime Hawaii brands and our local community.”
Community is also reflected in the nonprofit theatre’s care measures for its guests, artists, and staff. While masks are no longer required at Kumu Kahua, they are strongly recommended. The theatre is a mask-friendly venue and encourages everyone’s continued awareness and malama. It has also invested in community safety, with dedicated security services provided during presentations and rehearsals of the play.
Patrons are encouraged to reserve seats as soon as possible at www.kumukahua.org or by contacting the theatre box office at (808) 536-4441. Tickets prices range from $5-$25, with showtimes offered at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Fridays, and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. on Sundays.
Kumu Kahua productions are supported in part by the NME Fund of the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation, the Island Insurance Foundation, The State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, through appropriations from the Legislature of the State of Hawaiʻi, The AAPI Community Fund, The Richard Aadland Fund, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, The John R. Halligan Charitable Fund, Spectrum/Charter Communications, ABC Stores, the Gloria Kosasa Gainsley Fund, Hawaiʻi Public Radio, H. Hawaii Media, Simply Storage, The Kim Coco Fund for Justice of the Iwamoto Family Foundation, Vacations Hawaiʻi, Zippy’s Restaurants, Highway Inn, Generations Magazine, CVS/Longs Drugs, HMSA, Hawaiian Electric, Edric Sakamoto, Ron and Rachel Heller, Leonard and Charlotte Chow, and other foundations, businesses, and loyal patrons.