HOLD THESE TRUTHS Opening Night in Honolulu, February 21

HOLD THESE TRUTHS Opening Night in Honolulu, February 21

Opening Night in Honolulu, Hawaii — such a thrill for all of us.  Thank you, Daniel Dae Kim and Honolulu Theatre For Youth, for bringing us here!

Despite the pouring rain outside, there’s so much excitement inside the theater.  Eric Johnson, Artistic Director of HTY, and Rebecca Dunning, Managing Director, take the stage with Daniel, who has an armful of gorgeous leis.  Eric welcomes us to the the theater, and Daniel announces some honored guests in the audience, presenting each of them with a lei:

Esther (Tosh) Furugori, sister of Gordon Hirabayashi and the last surviving Hirabayashi sibling;
Irene Hirano Inouye, former President and founding CEO of the Japanese American National Museum, President of the U.S. – Japan Council, and wife of the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye, to whom the production is dedicated;
Maya Suetoro-Ng, President Obama’s half-sister and author and educator in Hawaii;
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii…..

…..and the playwright—-that’s me!—-receives one too.

Tim and me celebrating Opening Night and his 60th Birthday

Lisa has done an amazing job re-staging the show for the HTY stage in such a short time.  And despite jetlag, the presence of all these distinguished guests, and only a few days of rehearsal, Joel outdoes himself in performance, giving a brilliant performance as Gordon Hirabayashi and 36 other characters, and as soon as he utters the last words of the play, the audience leaps to their feet and gives him a standing ovation in the true aloha spirit.  Spirits and praise are high, photos are taken, new friends are made, and then we all make our way to the reception hall where there is food and drink awaiting…..

…..and a birthday cake!  Yes, tonight is also my husband Tim’s 60th birthday, and I’ve got a cake waiting for him and instructions for everyone to sing him a Happy Birthday.  So he is properly surprised and slightly embarrassed and deeply touched, and we get two celebrations in one night that make this day more special than either of us could have possibly imagined, and one we will NEVER forget.

Lia Chang, our dear friend and faithful documentarian of our HOLD THESE TRUTHS journey in New York, unfortunately cannot join us in Honolulu, but she does do this wonderful article on Opening Night for us!

Aloha, we have arrived in the islands to share Gordon Hirabayashi’s story.

Tim’s 60th Birthday Cake

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