To celebrate the sesquicentennial of Mark Twain’s 1866 visit to Hawaii, Maui’s Kathy Collins and Nevada’s McAvoy Layne will present “Twain Meets Tita” in a May barnstorming tour of the Sandwich Islands. This powerful show could well be subtitled, “Satire Meets Attitude.”
Employing wit, wisdom and humor, the Island Tita of 2016 will attempt to drag the Wild Humorist of the Pacific Slope into the 21st century. Where Twain’s price of land on Maui was as little as one dollar an acre, Tita insists that dollar today will get you “not even one bag sand.”
In honor of Mother’s Day, as an added attraction at no extra cost, Collins and Layne will read from “The Diaries of Adam & Eve,” in period dress (Twain’s period, not Adam’s).
“Twain Meets Tita” hits Kauai for a one night showing on Tuesday, May 3, at Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center.
In February, Collins and Layne tested the waters with a reception in Nevada.
“It was gratifying, heartwarming and encouraging,” Layne said when asked about how the tour came about.
Layne has portrayed Mark Twain for the past 28 years, in over 4,000 performances from Piper’s Opera House in Virginia City to Leningrad University in Russia. He is the ghost of Samuel Clemens in The Discovery Channel’s Cronkite Award-winning documentary, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and has received numerous awards for his portrayals, including the Nevada Award for Excellence in School and Library Service.
Collins began performing on stage at the age of 13 and started her broadcast career at 17.
“My happiest moments in high school were spent on stage and competing in speech tournaments,” Collins said.
Raised on Maui, she often calls on her pidgin-speaking alter ego, “Tita,” during her weekly storytelling sessions at Makena Resort and frequent appearances at schools and libraries.
When asked about why Collins loves performing, she says the audience has a lot to do with it.
“The opportunity to step out of my own skin and into someone else’s, even if it is just my alter ego, is always a thrill. But interaction with the audience is probably what excites me the most — when everyone in the house is laughing, crying, feeling together, myself included,” Collins added.
The enjoy and connection between these two will keep you entertained.
“Portraying Mark Twain with Kathy Collins is the most fun I’ve had in a white suit,” Layne said.
Tickets are $20 general, $10 for youth 12 and under.