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Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi Hōʻike 2018 will tell the story behind the election of 1874 between King Kalākaua and Queen Emma through a rock opera.

KS Hawai'i Hō'ike shares story of 1874 election through rock opera

Feb. 22, 2018

Contributed by Shaundor Chillingworth

Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi’s upcoming Hōʻike, “Kū I Ka Mana,” will share the drama and political intrigue behind the election of 1874 between King David Kalākaua and Queen Emma Rooke, after the death of King William Charles Lunalilo left the Kingdom of Hawai‘i without an appointed successor to the throne.

Two shows are open to the public on March 15 and 16 at 6:00 p.m. in Koaiʻa Gymnasium on the KS Hawaiʻi campus. Tickets are $5 and available for purchase online through the Pauahi Foundation, at the door on the night of the performance, or at the high school office or Student Activities Center after school from 3 to 4 p.m. on school days.

Funds raised from Hōʻike assist students with travel costs for participation in worldwide events, including an upcoming performance at the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland, where the KSH Hōʻike A Haʻi Performing Arts Program has been invited to participate again.  

“Kū I Ka Mana” dramatizes in music and dance the events leading up to the election of 1874. In the running are Queen Emma (played by senior Leiana Clark), beloved by the people, and the charismatic David Kalākaua (played by senior Jameson Sato). 

In this telling, Bernice Pauahi Bishop also considers being part of the election, having second thoughts about refusing the crown when it was offered to her by Lot (Kamehameha V) before his death. The results of the election would have lasting repercussions on the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi, setting the stage for many of the events that have shaped the history of the state.

“Kū I Ka Mana” will be presented as a rock opera in two acts with libretto by Theater Kumu Eric Stack and music by Choir Director Herb Mahelona. The entire production is designed around a steampunk theme in keeping with the genre of music. The production will be presented in English and Hawaiian.

Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i High School presents its Hōʻike annually in the spring as an all-school event. All high school students participate in the production as actors, dancers, musicians, or crew.  This year, the production will also feature the KSH Elementary School Keiki Choir and the Māmalahoe Chapter of the Kamehameha Alumni Chorus.

All Hōʻike productions focus on some aspect of Hawaiian history or culture presented to the public with the goal to educate our haumāna and to share with the community.  It is a unique opportunity to celebrate Hawaiian culture, history and language, and to instill pride and appreciation for things Hawaiian.

Visit the Ho‘ike A Ha‘i Performing Arts website for more about the show and additional credits of how the show comes together.

The official poster for "Kū I Ka Mana" was designed by Choir Director Herb Mahelona and features Leiana Clark (left) and Jameson Sato (right).

Sato also played the lead in last year's Hōʻike, coincidentally, as Leleiōhoku, King Kalākauaʻs brother.

Rehearsals for the production are underway.

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