By Marilyn Newsome
Well it had to happen sooner or later. We can’t imagine why no one has done it before with all the hula dancers, shell art, wood carving, Polynesian-influence hotels, and everything imaginable all over the Grand Strand hinting of the South Pacific, but we are finally getting a Polynesian theatre.
ALOHA Y’ALL will open on June 15 with a bang. There will be dancers representative of the cultures of the Polynesian Islands, from Hawaiian Wedding Dancers to Samoan Fire Knife Dancers. Owner Jason Wright and Chief Palota expect their performers to arrive from Maui this week, where they have held the Polynesian Village Luau for the last two years, ALOHA Y’ALL promises to be a vibrant, spiritual, energetic and overall beautiful experience. Chiefs from each of the cultures will participate in the dances and tell of the history behind them. The audience members will have the opportunity in the pre-show to learn the hula and to make flower leis, to weave leaves and just participate in general.
There will be a segment for children too that promises to be great fun. The whole show will transport you to Maui for a couple of hours from the time you walk in and are greeted with a smiling “Aloha” and a lei made of shells is placed around your neck to the time you leave and see your photo made with the cast, which you may purchase on the way out if you wish. Moderator for the show is Chief Palota who is also Wright’s partner in this adventure.
Mr. Wright is acquainted with the cultures and life of Hawaii and the Grand Strand as well. His grandfather moved to Maui in 1937 and lived there where he was married and started a family. Jason’s father was born and raised on Maui, but moved to Hartsville, S.C. where Jason grew up and kept his toes in the sand at Myrtle Beach as often as possible. His parents still have a home here and one in Hartsville so when Jason visited them here at Christmas and started to focus on the Polynesian influence all around, he decided to stay and open a theatre. The Grand Theatre in Surfside Beach, former home of Legends In Concert was available, he seized it, and the two places he loved most were brought together.
Home on Sundays to a church, the theatre will now house ALOHA Y’ALL Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and maybe a fourth night during the month of July. The word Polynesian comes from the Greek Poly meaning many and nesian meaning islands. Since there are over one thousand Polynesian islands, the focus will be on the cultures of Hawaii, Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga, and New Zealand. I have read that the cultures, religions, and languages are amazingly similar when one considers that these islands were so scatterd and the people so nomadic in settling them. We can now get a history lesson on that and enjoy a rollicking good time all in the same place at the same time.
State of the art lighting and sound production along with authentic costumes will lend this show true professionalism. A pre-show will start the whole thing off on a light note. They have had shows for honeymooners, seniors, children, and even hosted one divorce party. Chief Palota is featured on PGA Tour’s Facebook page, on US Weekly with actress Jennifer Love Hewitt, in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and on many TV shows.
Be sure you see ALOHA Y’ALL in Surfside Beach, Business 17 and 2nd Avenue S., or 301 Hwy 17 S. Doors open at 6:30 and the show runs until 9 p.m. beginning June 15. Call 800-25-ALOHA or 1-800-252-5642 ahead of time and get a $5 discount. The price is $29.99. Bring the whole family. For more information, visit the website: www.AlohaYall.com.