KPAC musical opens Friday

LIHUE — Kauai Performing Arts Center is giving audiences a show that they will never see coming.

“Nice Work If You Can Get It!” is the newest production slated to hit the stage for KPAC, a group of young performers who will sing, dance and bring back the memories of old times with this Prohibition-era, romantic-comedy.

“It has its moments where you start laughing but then you just can’t stop. At times, it can be a bit mature but it’s definitely for all audiences; it’s a really fun show,” said Kane Casillas, who plays the lead male role of Jimmy Winter.

The play is focused on Winter and his love affair with Billie, a bootlegger played by female lead Nialani Green. Billie isn’t all that interested in love, but is interested in taking advantage of Winter and his huge Long Island beach house that he never uses where she can store her stolen liquor.

“It turns into this huge merry-go-round with all these characters ending up as couples,” said director Dennis McGraw.

He said this play is special for a few reasons. Not only is there live music featuring piano and trombone with strong performances from Casillas and Green, but the score of the play is what will grab the audience’s attention in a nostalgic way.

“The music is (George) Gershwin. And I don’t think it’s never been done on this island before,” McGraw said. “It’s iconic music; some of the greatest music ever written. Gershwin Trust hired Joe DiPietro to write a new book and said that if he writes it, he can use whatever music he wants except for a couple songs. But he picked some of the greatest hits for it.”

A romantic-comedy farce, as McGraw describes it, the play is a quick-moving, comedic showcase.

“It’s a pretty different show from previous ones we’ve put on as well, so it’ll be fun to see how it goes,” Casillas said.

Green, who will give solo performances, said songs from the play will leave audiences thinking of old times.

“The songs are really catchy and fun to sing. ‘Will You Remember Me’ is my favorite song because it’s the slowest one,” she said.

Upon hearing Green’s favorite song selection, Casillas chuckled and said, “Of course you picked that one, you sap.”

“Nice Work If You Can Get It!” will grace the stage of the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday. Shows are also scheduled April 27 and 29 at 7 p.m. and April 30 at 2 p.m.

Admission is $12 for adults and $10 for students. Tickets are available at the door or from cast members.

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