Despite being shut in by virus, cast of Hawaii musical reunites for video performance

Hawaii musical cast reunites online

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The cast of a Hawaii musical has reunited -- online -- to perform a song they believe will bring some hope in the uncertain times brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

The play was “A Timeless Princess,” which premiered last summer at Mamiya Theatre. Most of its cast have joined other groups that have been doing online performances, linked by their love of music -- and the internet.

“I just couldn’t believe my case members wanted to do it because it is hard -- we’re all far apart so we can’t get everyone together. But we did it!” said Ciana Pelekai, who portrayed Princess Kaiulani, the “timeless princess” of the musical.

The play closed in July. Since then, members of the cast have scattered around the country. Pelekai, a Waianae native, moved to Las Vegas.

Now that the pandemic is keeping everyone inside, the idea for a music video was hatched, with cast members performing their parts from wherever they were.

“We went it all out and then we got 30 or so people to say yes, and since everybody’s home, we could do it,” said the play’s executive producer and songwriter Denny Miyasato. “In a couple of days we could actually do this, get everybody to do everything.”

Miyasato said it only took a few days to get people involved, and then record the music and put the video together.

“Since we have the virus going around and we have social distancing, right now would be a good time, and so from there we just started planning it and then look, it came out great!” said Pelekai. “I like it!”

It brought everyone together, even if it was just on a screen.

“Even though it is in little squares in a computer, just the fact that we see everyone is okay, we reach out to each other,” said cast member and veteran Hawaii entertainer Cathy Foy.

The song chosen was “Lighthouse (Hale Kukui)”, which Miyasato wrote wrote for his dying mother.

“It’s a song ... talking about my mom and the value she had taught me, and her being the beacon,” said Miyasato.

“I just hope that the lyrics and words resonate with everyone, you know, taking care of the light and daring yourself to care,” said Foy.

The cast members, like others in the theater community, aren’t able to perform onstage because of stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines. It’s a situation that will last for the foreseeable future.

Until then, they’re glad they were able to get together virtually and send a message.

“For all of us to sing together as a cast with that song, it’s very meaningful for everyone out there that can’t be with family members, can’t be with friends because of all of this going on," said Pelekai.

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