N2 Dance Presents ‘Anianiokalā’ on May 10 & 11
N2 Dance invites the community to its new musical production Anianiokalā (a.k.a. “Annie”) at the historic Palace Theater in Hilo. The production showcases 65 local dancers, singers and actors from the young to the young-at-heart. Show times are 7 p.m. on Friday, May 10, and 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 11.
Anianiokalā will take the audience on a nostalgic journey to 1930s Hilo, Hawai‘i. The storyline is similar to the 1982 movie “Annie.” Annie (Tatianna Vares-Kanaele) is a spunky orphan with an irresistible personality who yearns to find her long-lost parents. A strong-willed child, Annie repeatedly tries to escape from the dreary orphanage run by Miss Wahanui Hannigan (Lacey Ray), an overworked and unkind drama queen.
Annie’s best friends Mele (Ziona Launiu), Tommy (Sam Patterson) and Pepper (Caroline Hauanio) help her escape in Ms. Bundles’ (Martha Derr) truck and later save her from kidnappers. Billionaire “Daddy” Warbucks (Dakota Hill) and his private secretary Grace Chang (Mia Tulang) take in Annie for a week in an attempt to boost Warbucks’ image. However, they fall in love with Annie and decide to adopt her.
Warbucks is heartbroken when Annie tells him she’s looking for her birth parents, but he tries to find them by offering a $50,000 reward on the local radio station. Kolohe “Rooster” Hannigan (Kekuahiwi Woods) and Lily St. Regis ‘Aihue (Maya Polloi) pretend to be Annie’s parents to win the reward money. The story ends with Annie finding her true parents at Warbucks’ mansion on Reeds Island.
The musical is presented through acting, singing, and dancing (hip-hop, jazz, musical theater, hula). One of the unique pieces is “Zoot Suit Swag,” a hip-hop piece performed by N2 Dance Company members Kekala Mantree, Emmy Okinaka, Maya Polloi, Lacey Ray, Mia Tulang, and Zarah Paresa. Choreographed by Kekuahiwi Woods, the piece blends the rhythm and look of the 1930s with a cool hip-hop vibe.
N2 Dance Company members are multi-talented performers and will appear throughout the show as actors, singers, dancers, and/or choreographers. Company members have excelled and won numerous awards at state and national dance and vocal competitions. During each performance, theater-goers can find the perfect gift for Mother’s Day at the silent auction and purchase baked goods from the concession in the lobby. Net proceeds from Anianiokalā help cover travel costs and fees for company members to participate in the upcoming JUMP dance convention and the Regional Spotlight Dance and Vocal Competition in Honolulu.
Tickets can be purchased at the Palace Theater box office and Kea‘au Natural Foods. Tickets are $10 for pre-sale general admission and $15 at the door.
Started in 2001 by Maika and Angela Woods, N2 Dance is a performing arts school specializing in hip-hop, b-boy, jazz, voice, and acting. N2 is an abbreviation for the performance compound No-Limits and Na‘au (heart and soul). Classes are held at the YWCA of Hawai‘i Island. For more information, go online.