Cast from pidgin’ English play remakes classic song for a YouTube audience

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Updated: Jun. 3, 2020 at 5:00 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A video of a 2012 rehearsal of the song “Magic of Da Mind” shows costumed cast members singing and dancing on the Kennedy Theatre stage.

Fast forward to a 2020 remake and the platform is a virtual version.

“It was as if we were doing it all over again. We’re backstage but through our video cameras,” said Nolan Hong, of Pop Creative Media.

Songwriter Roslyn Catracchia was blown away by the finished product. Dozens of actors and singers from the late Lisa Matsumoto’s pidgin’ English plays haven’t performed together in decades.

“I cried. It was bigger than I thought it would be. It was more meaningful,” songwriter Roslyn Catracchia said. “I couldn’t believe that they remembered their cutoffs. I mean, we didn’t have a rehearsal in the same room.”

More than 50 performers were involved. Some of them live on the mainland.

Hong and his wife, Jamie, coached the cast members through how to record their parts in their homes.

“What they had to do was film themselves where they were singing the song with the song in their earpiece,” he said. “It sounded like they were singing to nothing, a cappella. It was really uncomfortable for them.”

The Hongs and Catracchia spent hours editing the piece.

The online chorus honors this year’s graduating class, but it carries a broader message.

"It's all about the magic of the mind. What can we do that's good? What's positive that we can do right now that's good?" Catracchia said.

The video was a chance for cast members to catch up. A Zoom chat lasted hours.

“Every time someone would pop up, Bing! Oh, my gosh! Tears flowing. ‘I haven’t seen you forever.’ It was just like a great reunion,” Hong said.

“Magic of Da Mind” might just be the start.

“There’s so many different songs and iconic scenes and characters from all of these plays that I think we could do something really fun and unique for a Round Two,” Hong said.

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