A Christmas treat; KDEN presents ‘Amahl and the Night Visitors’

  • Courtesy photo Amahl, played by Anna Braun, asks questions of the Kings Melchior (Stephen Bond), Balthazar (Dick Hershberger) and Kaspar (Joel Kelley).

  • Courtesy photo Amahl, played by Anna Braun, and his mother, played by Sherri Thal, share a moment.

Kilauea Drama & Entertainment Network is preparing a musical treat for this Christmas season.

Gian Carlo Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors” opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday for a two-weekend run. Additional shows are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Jan. 3-4, 2020, with a single matinee slated for 2:30 p.m. Jan. 5, 2020. All shows will be presented in the Kilauea Theater at Kilauea Military Camp in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

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“Amahl and the Night Visitors” is an opera in one act commissioned by NBC and first performed Dec. 24, 1951, by the NBC Opera Theatre. It was broadcast live on television as the debut production of the Hallmark Hall of Fame. It was the first opera specifically composed for television in America.

Amahl, a crippled boy, and his mother live outside Bethlehem. Amahl is known for telling tall tales, much to the exasperation of his mother. Late one night there is a knock at the door. It is the Three Kings looking for a place to rest their heads on the way to see the newborn Child.

The Kings are welcomed into the house, and Amahl is sent to bring the neighbors and have them bring food, as he and his mother have nothing to offer the Kings. The shepherds bring food and offer a dance as entertainment. The shepherds leave and the Kings, Amahl and his mother settle in for the night.

Mother awakens and sees the gold the Kings brought with them. She knows the gold could solve her problems. As she tries to take a handful, the Kings’ page wakes and catches her in the act. Amahl tries to defend his mother. One of the Kings says she can keep the gold, as the Child won’t need it to build His Kingdom.

Amahl tells the Kings he would like to give his crutch. When he goes to give it to the Kings, he can miraculously walk. With permission from his mother, he leaves with the Kings to see the Child and give his crutch in thanks for being healed.

Sherri Thal plays Amahl’s mother and Anna Braun takes on the role of Amahl. The Three Kings are portrayed by Joel Kelley (Kaspar), Stephen Bond (Melchior) and Dick Hershberger (Balthazar). Karl Halemano is the page. Arlene Araki, Mia Boyer, Al Braun, Deb Campbell, Susie Halemano, Sam Hall and Ariana Kelley are the shepherds.

The show is directed by Suzi Bond, with vocal direction by Melanie Oldfather. Armando Mendoza will conduct the live orchestra. Murphy Bierman is stage manager and playing a shepherd. Set design is by Jonathan Sudler.

Tickets are $15 general, $12 for seniors 60-plus and students and $10 for children 12 and younger.

Tickets are available at Kilauea General Store, Keaau Natural Foods, Basically Books and The Most Irresistible Shop. They also will be available at the door.

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For more information, call 982-7344 or email kden73@aol.com.

“Amahl and the Night Visitors” is presented by arrangement with G.Schrimer Inc., publisher and copyright owner.

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