‘Hope’ is alive and well

  • Bill Buley/The Garden Island

    Lance Kerwin, left, plays the Reverend James, while Jason Hoyle plays Youssef in a scene from Hope Station.

  • Bill Buley/The Garden Island

    Sophia Ross, left, plays Lady Ann Rockefeller, while Jennifer Plunkett plays Viola while rehearsing a scene from “Hope Station” at Calvary Chapel Lihue.

If you have your cell phone handy, call 245-9673.

That’s the number for Calvary Chapel Lihue. Tell them you want tickets for “Hope Station.” And pray it’s not too late because you don’t want to miss this wonderful tale of a Christmas miracle.

The musical drama opened last week and has its final performances tonight and Saturday, both at 7 at the church, 3-3100 Kuhio Highway. It’s excellent. The story, the songs, the stage are of the finest you’ll see this holiday season. In two hours, you will get to know the main characters and in the end, after some ups and downs and around some unexpected turns, they will leave you smiling and going off perhaps with a brighter outlook on life.

If you’re looking for the spirit of Christmas, it’s here. And be prepared to sing along. Even the Grinch, or old Scrooge, couldn’t deny the warmth of this original script written by Sophia Ross, Katie Ancheta, Lance Kerwin and Bruce Baumgartner.

The setting is Christmas Eve at a Train Station in upstate New York, during World War II. After getting trapped inside by an avalanche, the passengers discover that everyone has a story. It’s a story that slowly unfolds and comes to life in words, music and dance.

There are many strong performances, but we can only mention a few here.

Let’s start with Pastor Bruce Bumgartner, who plays Solly, the train station master. He’s the anchor, the rock, through the joy, the despair, the anger, the doubts and the final message of his faith. Closing scene (we won’t ruin it for you) is a delight. It’s lights out good.

Sophia Ross plays Lady Ann Rockefeller. She has a strong stage presence, wonderful expressions and makes you want to be mad at her and yet like her at the same time.

Jennifer Plunkett as Viola is fresh and fun and innocent. She has an energy and enthusiasm that quickly connects with the audience and she becomes a favorite.

Lance Kerwin plays Reverend James. A man of faith, yet he seems to have doubts and fears, too, until the end, when he rises to the moment and shares how he came to trust in God.

As we said, everyone stands out. Woodie Ross, as Adam, nearly steals the ending. Anwar Ali comes across well as the soldier angered by what he endured in war and questions why a loving God allows it to happen. Jason Hoyle’s performance as Youssef is solid and when he leads the singing of “Hallelujah,” it’s beautiful.

This plays delivers a Christmas miracle, on and off stage.

The bad news: There is limited seating, perhaps 150. So it will sell out. Hurry and you might get a ticket, which are $7 each and are available at the Word4word Resource Center, Bandwagon Music Studios, Scotty’s Music in Lihue, and Kauai Music &Sound in Kapaa, and all Lifeway Pharmacies. Money supports the church ministries.

It will be the best $7 you’ve ever spent.


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