Ukulele virtuoso, songwriter and theatrical producer, Taimane Gardner, makes her debut at the Kahilu Theatre headlining her staged production of Elemental – A Musical and Theatrical Odyssey on Saturday, April 13 at 7 pm. Ticket info below.
Taimane is best known for her fierce and inventive style of playing the ‘ukulele but has also garnered recent praise for her ethereal vocals. Her attraction to the four-string island staple began at age 3, and by age 10, she regularly performed in public, busking in Waikiki every Friday night with her father holding down security duties and Waikiki Beach Boys (adults whose home & workplace was the beach) serving as her band. By age 13, Taimane landed a position in Don Ho’s show literally playing in the spotlight every week until Ho’s passing. Fast forward to today, and you have an artist who tours the world and has carved out a unique niche in music – merging a wide-array of genres, from Bach to rock, flamenco infernos to tribal hymns, summoning a seemingly limitless palette of emotions via an instrument previously viewed as a restricted device.
Elemental – A Musical & Theatrical Odyssey first debuted on Oahu at the Hawaii Theatre Center in 2016 drawing over 1,000 concertgoers and receiving rave reviews. The production brings to life Taimane’s vision of the elements (earth, water, air, fire, ether) and related spheres through music, dance, narration and costume. The show features two acts, the first being a concert-style performance featuring Taimane with her ‘Elemental’ band comprised of Jonathan Hearaux on percussion, Rachel Look on guitar and vocals, and Jake Staron on cello. Act one will also feature gravity defying aerial dance by Samadhi Hawaii’s Andrea Torres.
In the second act, Taimane presents Elemental via seven songs plus a closing number all written by Taimane for this show: Atlantis, Water, Fire, Air, Earth, Pluto, Ether, and Oh Nah. Each of the seven ‘Elemental’ songs is introduced by a spoken word piece written by Taimane and narrated by Kealoha. All but one segment feature costumed dance performances that include sensual tango, hula and contemporary movement by the Robena Collective comprised of Becky McGarvey, Nathaniel Whittaker and Rose Wolfe.
In ancient times, and continuing through today, many cultures view the elements as the building blocks of all things in the world and universe. In Taimane’s full staged production of Elemental – A Musical & Theatrical Odyssey, she captures the essence of the elements performing alongside a cast of over 14 musicians and dancers. Eight members of the original 2016 cast are performing in this Kahilu Theatre presentation of the show with Taimane playing a central role serving as artistic producer (program, casting, costuming, set design, etc.), songwriter, bandleader and star musician. Taimane’s latest album, entitled ‘Elemental’ and released on June 5 of last year, features the seven songs that comprise the second set of her theatrical show.
If You Go…
Taimane’s upcoming performance of Elemental – A Musical & Theatrical Odyssey takes place at the Kahilu Theatre Saturday, April 13 at 7 pm and is only the second time this show has ever been presented. Tickets are $65/$45/$25 and can be purchased at kahilutheatre.org, (808) 885-6868 or at the Kahilu Theatre Box Office located at 67-1186 Lindsey Road, Kamuela.
Photos: Steve Roby