This month, a new luau and dinner show was unveiled at The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua. Like other luau, the night begins with a flower lei greeting and Hawaiian activities, such as ukulele and hula lessons, before the dinner and show begins. But unlike other luau shows, this one has an aerialist; long, flowing fabrics; and a 30-foot parachute in its dances.
“The theatrical side allows me to create exciting, creative, dramatic interpretations and presentations of a Hawaiian story,” said Pono Murray, creator of “Tales of the Kapa Moe.” Murray is a cultural practitioner and kumu hula (hula teacher).
The show begins with a storyteller, who has gathered everyone around him to tell a tale. When one child shows disinterest, he places her under a spell that sends her to sleep. He then gently puts a kapa moe (blanket) on top of her and she goes on to dream of various Hawaiian stories and legends of her ancestors.
“There’s a chant in Hawaiian protocol that talks about inspiration being received [when you sleep], and that is when our ancestors received a spark of inspiration,” he says.
The different tales of the kapa moe include the creation of the Islands, representations of the goddess Pele and other Hawaiian deities and a fire dancer finale. When the child finally awakens, she has a better understanding and respect for these stories.
“This is definitely a feast for the senses,” said Murray, who wrote six of the show’s 12 songs. “You have the feast of the eyes, of the heart, of the soul.”
Aside from the show, there is another feast — the food, which Murray describes as being “over the top,” with 25 dishes. The gourmet dinner includes roasted pork, braised beef short ribs, huli huli chicken, macadamia nut crusted fish, garlic butter shrimp, five choices of poke and handcrafted cocktails.
The dinner show is held Tuesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tickets start at $149.
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