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An ever-changing entertainment scene

The decision was difficult to make, but in a recent Facebook post, Kahilu Theatre Executive Director Sara Neely announced the venue would be canceling its four-show run of “Matilda the Musical.”

“The show, with a lot of too-young-to-be-vaccinated children in the cast (included) children who leave the bubble to return to school this week,” Neely noted. “Unvaccinated people in Hawaii County are at very high risk for COVID-19 infections. New cases are the highest they have ever been here; they reached 69 yesterday, a 9% increase from the day before… so, we had to cancel a remarkable show.”


Matilda was to have premiered in 2020, but pandemic restrictions shut the theater down for 14 months.

A few days after Neely’s social media post, the theater canceled its August music events and further clarified its decision on the venue’s website.

“We no longer feel confident that the measures we have been taking to protect you when you come to the theater are adequate to ensure your safety. And for that reason, the leadership of our organization decided it would be best to shut down all in-person performances at the theatre for August. We were not shut down by any authority. We simply made a proactive decision to take what we think is the responsible course of action.” The sad news for the cast and crew came during the launch of the theater’s 41st season.

Hilo’s Palace Theater recently finished a successful three-week run of the musical “Beauty and the Beast,” but it too went through many hurdles before offering it to the public.

“It was a difficult production, to begin with, and then having an original cast of 10 and a 50 children chorus made it close to impossible,” said director Larry Reitzer. “Doing a show with actors wearing masks was incredibly

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