Cirque composer prepares music for upcoming Waikiki show

Cirque du Soleil at the Outrigger Waikiki? Beachcomber is set to debut in December, and much of the preparation includes choreographing an original show with a unique musical score.

This week, the composer and musical director behind the upcoming production was in town. Evan Hurley is based in Los Angeles but was on island to begin the process of hiring local musicians for the show.

Hurley said he is halfway through the composing process, which he hasn’t done alone. By collaborating with local musicians such as ?ukulele artist Taimane and others, he said collaborating on interesting sounds from across the island chain has been a fun trial period.
(L-R) Simon Painter, Creative Director at Cirque du Soleil; Makanani Sal?, Executive Director of Honolulu Mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts; Eric Grilly, Cirque du Soleil President of Resident and Affiliate Shows; Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi; Jeff Wagoner, President and CEO of Outrigger Hospitality Group
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“These musicians are so brilliant that it’s really easy and a luxury for me to go in there, and on the fly, have them try things and experiment,” Hurley said.

The Cirque residency will take over the 20,000-square-foot theater on the fourth floor of the Outrigger. The hotel group announced the new show last April and has since worked to remodel their 800-seat space to host the show.

The music for the show will be intentional, Hurley said, in order “to make sure that when we are pushing the envelope that it’s done, appropriately, and even just still, it feels like a continuation of the musical traditions on the island.”

“We’re trying to really just incorporate those traditions in every end of the process of the music so that, you know, the people who know and care will notice those little for lack of a better word, ‘easter eggs,'” he said.

{ SOURCE: Hawaii Public Radio }