‘Carnival’ comes to town

For the first time in eight years, Kauai Community College is bringing a musical to its performing arts center.

“Carnival” takes the audience to France in the 1920s and follows the coming-of-age story of an orphan girl who joins the circus and finds romance. It’s the tale of people looking for love and searching for a sense of home, and of people who have been roughed up by life.

“These characters have a little bit of damage to their psyche, but I think we can all relate,” said Greg Shepherd, director.

Shepherd said he’s been waiting to produce this particular musical for just the right combination of voices and timing, and he thinks he’s hit gold.

“It’s a good musical for solid voices and it’s a real challenge for the actors,” Shepherd said. “Plus, it’s wholesome for families without insulting the audience’s intelligence.”

He said the musical is full of witty humor and the character development delivers the portrayal of real human beings with real problems and real lives to the stage.

“It’s been a challenge to create that chemistry of real life and of people’s interactions in this musical,” Shepherd said. “It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been fun for the most part.”

The last musical to grace the stage from KCC was “Man of La Mancha” in 2008.

“Musicals take a huge amount of time and effort with the orchestra and the voices, as well as the rest of the performance,” Shepherd said. “We had to wait until the right time.”

This time around, Shepherd said the cast is mostly KCC students, with a few from Island School in the mix. The orchestra is composed of members from KCC’s orchestra. High school students from around the island built the set through the college’s Construction Academy program.

The show will be at the Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 27 and 28 at 7 p.m. Curtain opens at 4 p.m. on May 22 and 29. Tickets are $15 for adults, $8 for keiki under 12 and can be purchased at Kmart, Scotty’s Music, KCC Bookstore, or Island Soap & Candleworks. Tickets are also available online at www.thecarnival.brownpapertickets.com and at the door.

Info: Rick Randolph at 652-3008 or at rsrandol@hawaii.edu.

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