Top 10 things to do on Big Island for June 20-26: ‘The Gin Game,’ ‘Fun Home,’ Ladies That Rock, The Summer Slide, Over the Rainbow Drag Brunch and more

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Get ready for a week filled with theatre, music, comedy and just plain fun.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning play “The Gin Game” hits the Aloha Theatre stage in Kainaliu. This timeless classic confronts audiences with aging and mortality as it tells the story of kūpuna Fonsia Dorsey and Weller Martin who bond over a game of gin.

Just in time for Pride Month, the Tony Award-winning and Pulitzer Prize-nominated “Fun Home” gives audiences in Waimea the chance to explore themes of identity, family and acceptance as they delve into the life of out lesbian Alison Bechdel, set to a score featuring music ranging from exuberant 1970s pop to aching melodies and dissonant harmonies.

Pride also wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Oz. So follow the Yellow Brick Road to MyBar Kona and join Palehua and friends for a special Over the Rainbow Drag Brunch event appropriate for any ruby red slippers.

Don’t miss the second jam session of the Ladies That Rock Summer, featuring music, comedy, poetry and much more at The Venue, one of the newest and hottest spots for entertainment in downtown Hilo.

Bring your keiki to The Summer Slide resource fair at Pāhoa Elementary School to enjoy water slides and much more while fighting back against that sneaky habit of students losing their hard-earned progress from the previous school year during summer break.


Here is our top 10 things to do on the Big Island for June 20-26.

No. 1 — “The Gin Game” (Kainaliu, June 21-23)

Screenshot of image from Aloha Theatre website

When: 7:30 p.m. June 21-22; 2:30 p.m. June 23

Location: Aloha Theatre, 79-7384 Hawaiʻi Belt Road

This 1978 Pulitzer Prize-winning show is being presented as a benefit for the Aloha Performing Arts Center. Seasoned actors and veterans of the Aloha Theatre stage Kerry Matsumoto and John Holliday are producing and starring in this timeless classic, written by D.L. Coburn.


Set in a retirement home, where senior citizens Fonsia Dorsey and Weller Martin meet and bond over a sometimes friendly, sometimes antagonistic game of gin, Coburn’s script is poignant and humorous as audiences are treated to unfolding memories along with the confrontation of aging and mortality.

The play is probably not appropriate for children as there is occasional adult language. Tickets, which are $30 or $25 for adults 65 and older, are available online.

No. 2 — “Fun Home” (Waimea, June 22-23)

Image from Kahilu Theatre website

When: 7 p.m. June 22; 3 p.m. June 23

Location: Kahilu Theatre, 67-1186 Lindsey Road


The Tony Award-winning and Pulitzer Prize-nominated Broadway musical, based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel, is the 2024 Kahilu Youth Troupe production. It delves into the life of 43-year-old graphic novelist and out lesbian Alison Bechdel. Alison reflects on her journey of self-discovery and the hidden truths of her brilliant but volatile father’s life and death.

The musical’s score masterfully weaves together past and present, with music ranging from exuberant 1970s pop to aching melodies and dissonant harmonies of characters longing to be known. It is the story of a daughter and father, of coming out and coming to terms with a life shaped by a family’s secrets, using a unique non-linear narrative to explore themes of identity, family and acceptance.

Join Kahilu for a theatrical event that will captivate hearts and minds. For more information or to purchase tickets, which start at just $25, click here.

No. 3 — Ladies That Rock Summer Jam No. 2 (Hilo, June 21)

Crop from Facebook image

When: 6 to 10 p.m.

Location: The Venue, Suite No. 5, 811 Laukapu St.

The first jam was a blast; every seat in the house was filled for an incredible night of fun and talent. This second installment once again will feature music, comedy, poetry and much more. There will also be prizes, raffles and a silent auction to help raise funds to keep the event going strong, and be sure to bring some cash to tip the ladies.

The show is free to attend, but donations will be accepted at the door. Seating is limited to 60, so be sure to RSVP! You must be 21 or older with a valid ID to attend; bring your own beer and/or wine.

Mark yourself “Going” on the Facebook event page and get something special when you arrive. For more information or questions, call event organizer Sean Wailin O’Phelan at 808-345-0398.

No. 4 — Improv classes (Hilo, beginning June 24)

Crop from Facebook image

When: 6 to 8 p.m.

Location: Hilo Town Market, 69 Waianuenue Ave.

Improv comedy is all about creating memorable moments and spreading joy. If you’re ready to take the stage, make people laugh and be part of an incredible comedy community, this workshop is for you.

Experience a 6-week workshop taught by Keli Semelsberger, founder of Big Island Comedy Theater. Recapture your playful spirit and learn collaborative play in a series of warm-ups, exercises and games.

Cost for the entire workshop is $120, with a $20 deposit. To register, click here.

No. 5 — Bluegrass at The Oasis (Kalapana, June 23)

Crop from Facebook image

When: Noon to 5 p.m.

Location: 12-4575 Pāhoa-Kalapana Road

Bring your acoustic stringed instrument, lunch and drinks if you want ’em, chairs to sit on, a jacket in case it gets cold and friends, plenty of friends, because every picker needs a grinner! ust $5 admission; free for keiki 12 and younger and members of Bluegrass Hawai‘i.

If you’re an acoustic musician and you’ve always wanted to learn how to play bluegrass music, come join this jam in Puna. You’ll be so glad ya did.

For more information, contact Caroline Wright with Bluegrass Hawai‘i via email at or by calling 808-206-3459.

No. 6 — Make Music Hawai‘i Day keiki event (Kailua-Kona, June 21)

Image from Facebook

When: 4 to 6 p.m.

Location: Keauhou Shopping Center, 78-6831 Ali’i Drive

Make Music Day is a worldwide music celebration observed each year on June 21st in more than 1,000 cities and 120 countries around the world. Every kind of musician — young and old, amateur and professional, of every musical persuasion — pours onto streets, parks, plazas and porches to share their music with friends, neighbors and strangers.

June’s KidX Club event celebrates “Make Music Hawaiʻi Day.” Join the club and Keauhou Shopping Center from 4 to 6 p.m. in the courtyard for music-themed crafts, with hula to follow at 6 p.m.

KidX Club is for keiki between the ages of 4 and 11. Available while supplies last. No need to register. For more information about the club or Make Music Day event, contact the shopping center at 808-322-3000 or by emailing

No. 7 — Whatever, Heather live (Hilo, June 22)

Crop from Facebook image

When: 8 to 11 p.m.

Location: Hilo Town Tavern, 168 Keawe St.

Are you ready for some face-melting, live rock and roll? How about some great music from the 1970s to today? This band has just what you’re looking for and it’s performing right in downtown Hilo.

Come early and grab some ono grinds, a drink and get ready for world-class vocalist Shaye Fenholt Leeper and the band, who are guaranteed to rock your world. Not convinced yet? Check out their music on Facebook and Instagram. You can also watch their promo video on Facebook.

For more information about possible cover charge or food and drink options, contact the Tavern at 808-935-2171.

No. 8 — Solstice Fest Night Market (Hōlualoa, June 21)

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When: 2 to 8 p.m.

Location: Buddha’s Cup Farm, 78-1377 Bishop Road

The Big Island community is invited to celebrate the summer solstice with live entertainment, a drum circle, more than 20 vendors and more.

Come by the farm for some summer fun. Free to attend.

For more information about Buddha’s Cup Farm and its award-winning, pure 100% Kona coffees made using biodynamic farming, click here. If you have questions about the Solstice Fest Night Market, email to or call 808-322-671.

No. 9 — Over the Rainbow Drag Brunch (Kailua-Kona, June 23)

Crop from Facebook image

When: 1 p.m.

Location: MyBar Kona, 74-5606 Luhia St.

What a fun Drag Brunch that Palehua and friends have in store for Pride Month. It’s a journey to Oz in all her forms, so follow the Yellow Brick Road to Kona for this event that promises an experience appropriate for any ruby red slippers.

Hosted by Palehua with DJ Gilly Tina. Other friends who will make their way to the Emerald City that day are D’Lylah Synn, Hayzel Nuttz, Jamie Sinn, Karizma Mirage, Mami Nani, Narci Sisthiq, Natalia Rose, Ruby Moon and Scarlet McQueen. An ala carte menu will be available.

For tickets or more information, visit the MyBar Kona website, email to, or call 808-331-8789.

No. 10 — The Summer Slide (Pāhoa, June 22)

Crop from Facebook image

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Location: Pāhoa Elementary School, 15-3030 Pāhoa Village Road

This family fun and resource fair is aimed at fighting back against that sneaky habit of students losing their hard-earned progress from the previous school year during summer break.

Attendees can participate in a variety of engaging, play-based math and reading activities; arts and crafts; beach sports; jump, splash and play on inflatable water slides; and connect with a number of local community partners that provide support and programs for families.

Wear a swimsuit and come for fun, local food and playful learning. Plus, there will be books, popsicles and popcorn for all and a Keiki Corner with activities and resources for young children and their families.

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