‘A Korean Cinderella’ lands today for one night

As the kind Konji tries to overcome the bullying of her mean and abusive stepmother and stepsister Patji, a magical turtle, an ox, and a dancing prince come to the rescue.

Wait a minute, haven’t we all read about Cinderella? Certainly, but this is something else. It’s “A Korean Cinderella,” a play written by Alvin Chan and based on Korea’s version of the classic European tale.

“It’s just going to be one of the best experiences for families,” said Aubrey Hawk, public relations for the Honolulu Theatre for Youth.

While children will be laughing and enjoying it at one level, parents will also be laughing but “getting it” at a whole different level, she said.

“The conversations that happen on their way home, in the car, are just priceless,” Hawk said.

After a completely sold-out performances on Oahu — including a sold-out extended run — HTY is bringing the hit show to Neighbor Islands, and this week it’s Kauai’s turn.

There will be only one performance on the Garden Isle, and it’s this evening.

Chan, who is also an actor in the play, turns the Korean tale of “Konji and Patji” into something completely new, Hawk said.

He adapted the Korean classic by melting the modern crazy of K-pop with ancient Korean traditions, including drumming, dance and some pretty cool costumes, she said.

“It’s absolutely hilarious,” said Hawk, warning that some parents will hate the show, because the children won’t stop singing the songs afterwards.

“We’ve interwoven the colorful, flashy world of K-pop with traditional Korean costumes, musical instruments and dance. Audiences are in for a wild ride.” director Eric Johnson said in a press release.

HTY collaborated with Halla Huhm Dance Studio to create the traditional Korean movement and dance, while Honolulu disc jockey Max Louie and street dance artist Jonathan Sypert crafted the K-pop inspired aspects.

Costumes meld the time-honored with the tongue-in-cheek: A classical Korean hanbok gown is paired with the modern lady’s sun-savvy accoutrement, the ultra-long UV shield visor; K-pop’s purple hair, big white sunglasses and bling-encrusted accessories share the stage with ancient drums and bamboo buckets.

HTY, founded in 1995, is Hawaii’s nonprofit professional theatre company providing theatre and drama education programs that make a difference in the lives of Hawaii’s young people and families.

“It’s the deal of the century,” said Hawk, adding that at $10 per person (all ages), “you can’t beat that.”

The show will be tonight at Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center in Puhi at 7:30.

Tickets can be ordered at www.htyweb.org or by calling HTY at (808) 839-9885. Tickets are also available at the door.

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