Feast at a Lu‘auKaua‘i
Like Broadway shows, each LU‘AU has its own signature. Menus may be similar, but the shows, performers, music and costumes are deliberately designed to be unique from one another.
The popular and long-running show at SMITH’S TROPICAL PARADISE is staged in a torch-lit amphitheater on the banks of the WAILUA RIVER. It features music and dance with stunning special effects, such as an exploding volcano.
LU‘AU KALAMAKU is staged as theater-in-the-round in a renovated carriage house on the grounds of KILOHANA PLANTATION Tuesday and Friday nights. The airy venue offers comfortable seating, and the food is prepared in the kitchens of the fine-dining restaurant, GAYLORD’S RESTAURANT & LOUNGE. The performance traces the story of an ancient Polynesian family’s epic journey across thousands of miles of open ocean from Tahiti to Hawai‘i. Aside from its sophisticated, avant-garde approach, this performance seeks to leave audiences with a deeper understanding of Hawai‘i’s historical and cultural foundation, starting with the brave seafaring explorers who paddled canoes across the ocean.
Producer and creator Haunani Asing Marston takes traditional themes and styles, and then adds innovative twists. The fire dance, for example, couples a dancer with a troupe of fairy-like performers in dazzling costumes who juggle illuminated poi balls in a dreamlike sequence. Another showstopper is a beautiful love song with exquisite lyrics bound to dazzle— and catch you up on the storyline if you’ve lost track (the performance is mostly in Hawaiian).
THE GRAND HYATT LUAU, held every Sunday and Thursday at the vast Grand Hyatt Kauai on the South Shore, is another winner. The show includes cocktails, musical entertainment and a scrumptious buffet on a riveting journey through Polynesia. Held on the oceanfront grounds of the Hyatt, the lu‘au’s breezy trade winds and drumming beats of Hawai‘i are enjoyable for all.