By next summer, travelers bound for Waikiki will have a new show to add to their list of evening diversions. Production executive Roy Tokujo is teaming with Réalisations of Montreal to produce a new show at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center that is slated to open early next summer.
The show will be staged on the fourth floor of the center, in a space currently undergoing $15 million in renovations that include raising the ceiling to a height of 50 feet to provide space for moving stages, rotating columns, riggings for acrobatic performances and video displays. The 760-seat theater also will feature catwalks so that performers can be suspended over the audience.
The space is being designed with an eye to versatility—each night, once the performances wrap, half of the seating will retract, making way for a nightclub able to accommodate crowds of up to 1,000. The nightclub is planned to be in the style of the MGM Grand's Studio 54, with high-tech videos, sound, lighting and acrobatic performances.
In the meantime, the lobby will have an ultra lounge styled
like Tabu, a
The show, currently in development, has a working name of
Waikiki Nei and will cover Hawaiian history from the monarchy to modern times.
It is being designed to be similar to Ulalena in terms of theatrical style and
cultural authenticity, and will be showcased in its own state-of-the-art
theater in Lahaina on the
Currently, the storyline for the show is still being
finalized. The creative team includes Roger Parent, a former producer of Cirque
du Soleil, who also created Ulalena. He will be working with Tokujo and with
such cultural resources as Kamehameha Schools to ensure that the show will be
authentic and entertaining. (Kamehameha Schools owns the center.) Performers
Ticket prices for the show are anticipated to be similar to those for Ulalena, ranging from $49 to $69 for adults and $29 to $49 for children 12 and younger. Tickets will be commissionable for travel agents, and there will be a sales staff dedicated to the show.
Renovations at the
In addition to creating a more upscale environment, the
focus has been on opening up the center to provide a feeling of more
spaciousness. One of the areas where this will be most noticeable is at the
Royal Grove, a spot that will be both a gathering space and a site featuring
free classes and performances. Care also has been taken to provide views from
above, both from restaurant seating areas and from other locales. For more
information, visit www.shopwaikiki.com.