Maui Arts & Entertainment

‘White Hawaiian’ coming to ProArts, highlights many talents of Maui’s Eric Gilliom

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Eric Gilliom performs in “White Hawaiian,” which is coming soon to ProArts Playhouse in South Maui. PC: Eric Gilliom website

Talented musician, actor and producer Eric Gilliom has performed seven comedic “White Hawaiian” theatrical shows on Maui — all of them sold out — but then COVID-19 hit and the show paused in February 2022.

Now, after consulting with show co-writer Brian Kohne, producer of comedic film “Get A Job,” Gilliom is back, beginning a run of his family autobiographical show, this time at the ProArts Playhouse in Kīhei.

The show celebrates a century of Gilliomʻs exotic family show-business history and weaves love, war and dreams of Broadway stardom into a musical comedy with dance.

It’s in the genre of one-man shows performed by Broadway actor John Laguizamo with humorous insights and family history.

Gilliom’s show was reviewed by Maui Curtain Calls, listing “White Hawaiian” among the top three events visitors should see when on Maui.

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It’s a romp through Hawaiʻi’s history, with Gilliom acting as several family members, many of them entertainers themselves. Family members include his Canadian boxer great-grandfather, who was “Shanghaied” to Hawaiʻi, and his grandmother, Napua Wood, a Hawaiian actress who appeared in more than 200 films in the same era as comedian “Hilo Hattie.”

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Yes, he plays his grandma.

“It’s all in the umbrella of comedy and laughing,” Gilliom said. “I’m not dressing up in public like this.”

This is not the first time he’s provided comic relief with panache. He’s reprised his role as the gender-bending extraterrestrial Dr. Frank-N-Furter in the “Rocky Horror Show” successfully at ʻĪao Theatre and later on an outdoor stage to thousands at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

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Gilliom also the lead singer in Mick Fleetwood’s Island Rumours Band.

A graduate of DePaul University’s Goodman School of Drama, Gilliom performed as an ensemble singer in the “Tribute to Jerome Robbins’ Broadway” and a lead role in the musical “Carrie” on Broadway.

The music for his “White Hawaiian” ranges from “The Cockeyed Mayor From Kaunakakai” to “Kuʻu Home O Kahaluʻu,” which takes the audience back to gentler times and a good laugh.

Gilliom said he’s hoping to find a permanent home on Maui for the show.

“White Hawaiian” has a three-month residency at ProArts Playhouse with shows on July 8, 9, 10; Aug. 12, 13, 14 and Sept. 16, 17, 18. Friday and Saturday shows start at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday show start at 2 p.m. For information on the show, including tickets, go to the ProArts Playhouse website. For details on Gilliom, visit his website.


Gary Kubota
Gary Kubota, an associate writer with MauiNow.com, has worked as a staff news writer with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and The Maui News. He lives on Maui. He’s also been an editor/business manager with the Lahaina News. He’s received national and regional journalism awards — a National Press Club Citation of Merit and Walter Cronkite Best In The West, among them.
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