A retelling of one of humanity's earliest-surviving tales, still powerful and still relevant. Kevin Keaveney and Alison Maldonado use music and story-telling to bring this classic to spell-binding life
FINAL PERFORMANCE, Sunday, November 22
Parking lot at 340 Uluniu St. in Kailua
Lot opens at 5pm Show begins at 6pm
Sadly, we are saying goodbye to our home of the last three years, at 171 Hamakua Dr in Kailua. As a fledgling non-profit company, we struggled through these first years just trying to make the rent, and had finally built out the theater the way we wanted it. And then Covid-19 hit. Everyone has suffered in some way from this pandemic, and it's been no different for KOA. With no revenue coming in for the last 8 months and no way to pay the rent, the landlord finally decided to cut us loose. We are soldiering on, trying to produce an entire season of outdoor theater for all those starved for some live entertainment, and we hope to find a new home some time in 2021. We have truly been honored by the encouragement from our growing band of regular patrons, and we will need your support more than ever over the next year, as we try to raise the funds for a new venue. Stay tuned for fundraisers and the like, or shoot us an email if you've got an idea or anything else burning a hole in your pocket!
Directed by Miles Phillips
Starring Kevin Keaveney and Alison Maldonado
Running time is roughly 100 mins. A couple of instances of Profanity, but this show should be suitable for ages 13+
Parking lot opens at 5pm, show starts at 6pm
This play is presented as drive-in theater, and we encourage you to have dinner and a show in the comfort of your car!
Let's keep everyone safe so we can continue to present drive-in theater throughout the pandemic!
Director Miles Phillips congratulated cast members Kevin Keaveney and Alison Maldonado after their amazing Saturday night performance in the Kailua Onstage Arts (KOA) “drive-in theater” production of “An Iliad,” a contemporary retelling of the classic Greek epic, November 14 at Kailua Onstage Arts al Fresco (aka the Assaggio Restaurant Parking Garage) at 340 Uluniu Street in Kailua.
The show is Keaveney delivering a powerful 100-minute Po’okela Award-worthy monologue in which he narrates the story of the Trojan War up through – SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! -- the death of Hector, and voices numerous characters, young and old, men and women, along the way. Keaveney’s story-telling skills make it an engaging experience even for people who know how the Trojan War ended.
Playwrights Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare put a topical spin on the classic story by having the immortal narrative refer to post-Trojan War examples of mass warfare and civilian slaughter up through the present day. This adding of modern references could come across as “preachy,” or make the reworked story an exercise in politically correct agit-prop, but the script, Keaveney’s performance, and director Phillips’ insights into the material, prevent any such pollution. Bravo!
Maldonado enhances the story as the narrator’s muse – she sings, plays percussion, appears briefly as various secondary characters, and provides an assortment of sound effects. She is an asset from the moment she joins Keaveney on stage.
“An Iliad” is the second-in-a-row winner for KOA’s “drive-in theater” program. The bad news is the final show is tonight (November 15) – the “theater” opens at 5 p.m.
Grateful as I am to my theatre peers who’ve valiantly wrangled with internet challenges to bring productions to us, there is NOTHING so compelling as live performance.
KOA takes on the challenge— in spades.
Kevin Keaveney as simultaneous storyteller/characters makes the ancient tale of the Greeks’ taking of Troy as gripping today as when Homer told it... and perhaps more so. For Playwrights Peterson and O’Hare have woven in just enough relevance to our own lives, our own wars, to shake us from a reassuring distance.
The writers and performer peel back the layers of glory and valor to expose the hubris— and above all, Rage— that demon within us that drives warrior heroes beyond ferocity to monstrosity.
The power of the tale to shake us is in Kevin’s tour de force performance, supported by gifted fellow performer/ musician Alison Maldonado.
Much credit goes too, to director Miles Phillips’ skill and care in use of the arena “stage” and parked car audience. That care included personal attention to each of us in assuring use of the site and adjusting for sight lines.
On a personal note, I had the joy for more than a few years to teach as part of a mythology unit, the tales of the Iliad and Aeneid. They held the students in thrall. Bravo and mahalo for doing the same for us
~ Y'all have one more chance ... to watch Kailua Onstage Arts production of AN ILIAD!! It brought us so much joy to be able to see LIVE in-person theatre. Albeit from the comfort of our car and in a covered parking lot. But LIVE nonetheless.
Kevin Keaveney took us all on a roller coaster of emotions in this absolute tour-de-force performance. Practically a non-stop monologue for an hour and a half. Acting as his muse was the incandescent
Alison Maldonado lending music through her glorious voice or various musical instruments and sound effect. It was such a great concept!
I imagine life in Ancient Greece could be as turbulent as 2020 has been. Wars, famine, and dare I say, pestilence meant there was as much a craving to escape into a good story, then, as there is now. So, as my family listened to Kevin Keaveney tell the story of the Iliad, ensconced in our car, noshing on pizza; I imagined it was a similar experience to perhaps hearing Homer, chanting the saga in an Agora, while sitting on a bench noshing on flat bread and cheese.
The story of course is not really comforting, it is about war, betrayal, greed, even lust, but that is what hooks us isn’t it? Hooked we were! I am not skilled enough to tell you the subtleties that made this such an engaging show. Was it the direction by Miles Phillips which utilized the huge “stage” with ease? Or was it Alison Maldonado (who is truly one of my favorite Island performers), whose performance as The Muse, was haunting and beautiful, as she guides the story teller through his troubled prose. Of course, Kevin is amazing in making this material accessible, sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, and always thought provoking. Kudos also to Phillip Ikaika Foster, with a sound design that made us stay to listen to the closing music... Go see it!
To see a Master Class in action please go see this play and experience Kevin Keaveney bring to life the pain of all wars, not just the Greek tragedies. Alison Maldonado is the spirit and muse that provides the songs and sounds of the night... Acting at its finest. Don’t miss it.