KCC talent to shine at ‘Carnival’

The KCC Music Department is hard at work preparing for its upcoming production of the Broadway musical “Carnival” which will be performed on May 20, 21, 22, 27, 28 and 29 at the KCC Performing Arts Center.

This will be the very first production at the college with almost all the leading roles played by current and former KCC students.

Set in France in 1920, the show focuses on the backstage world of a down-at-heel traveling circus.

Kauai native and business major Daphne Sanchez plays Lili Daurier, a naive orphan from a tiny village who comes to the circus looking for something like home. Instead, she’s plunged into a world that ungently forces her to grow up. Sanchez’s lyric soprano voice has charmed audiences both here and in Japan where she’s a regular performer.

Beorn Chantara, who’s lived on Kauai for 18 of his 20 years, plays Paul Berthalet, a formerly world-famous dancer whose battle wounds in World War I have reduced him to being a circus puppeteer.

Chantara is also a violinist in the KCC orchestra. His rich baritone voice will stand him in good stead in his future career as a music educator.

Averie Soto and Jocelyn Slade, both Kauai natives and KCC alumnae, share the role of Rosalie, the paramour and long-suffering assistant to Marco, a skirt- chasing magician. This is Soto’s and Slade’s first leading role in a musical. Both bring fine voices and natural comic instincts to the part.

KCC Natural Science major Sterling Snyder plays Marco the Magnificent, the magician whose extracurricular activities mask a deeply insecure individual. Sterling’s resonant baritone voice fits the bill perfectly for songs like “A Sword, a Rose, and a Cape.”

Rounding out the leads is Island School sophomore Taj Gutierrez who plays Jacquot, the assistant puppeteer. Despite his youth Gutierrez has impressed Kauai audiences in several productions, and he hopes to pursue a career as an actor and director in New York or Los Angeles.

The great majority of the chorus consists of KCC students, and their stirring voices and vibrant energy fill the Performing Arts Center.

Several veterans of the local community theater stage will join the cast, including Richard Porto, Wil Welsh and Andy Melamed. Nelleke Pielaat and Dixie Prichard of the Garden Nile Belly Dancers bring sinuous grace to the choreography of the show.

A special attraction will be the circus performers of locally based Soul Fire Productions and the silk artists of Cocoon Aerial Dance troupe led by Quebec native Annabelle d’Artois. Both groups have dazzled audiences across the state for several years.

Tickets for the show go on sale in early May.

For more information, contact Greg Shepherd at 245-8269 or shep @ hawaii.edu.


Greg Shepherd is an Associate Professor of Music at Kauai Community College. ‘News from KCC’ appears monthly.


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