From my perspective the luau we attended in Kauai on Friday, May 30, 2013 was the best we ever attended.
We felt like expert luau attenders because we have had the privilege of going to several luaus on other islands over the years. The last luau we attended we decided would be our last. From our perspective it was a waste of money. We spent most of our time standing in long lines. If I had just won the lottery in Florida, I would have a different perspective on the price of luaus. However, from the perspective of my budget, luaus are ALWAYS EXPENSIVE, and the food in every other luau tasted just ok to #@%#@% from my Midwestern taste buds’ perspective! (Did I say that out loud?) Not only that, luaus are always buffets which from the perspective of a husband who hates people dishing food out of the same bowls was an experience to be endured and not enjoyed. My mother and cousin Hal would have a different perspective on the buffet style service. The luau shows have been good, we usually had a back row seat which gave us a distant, and somewhat blurry perspective. Nonetheless, this was Vince’s sister, Cindy’s, first trip to Hawaii, and we felt she should experience an Hawaiian luau from her own perspective.
From the moment we drove in, we knew this one would be different.
No, it wasn’t cheap! It wasn’t at a hotel, however. First of all, there was no line, and beautiful people greeted us at every turn. The requisite picture-taking took seconds, and again more smiling, gorgeous, hardbodied people appeared to pose with us. We then entered the huge permanent tent structure where a polite and friendly usher escorted us to our assigned table, which was about 6 feet from center stage. Our perspective would be excellent for the entire show. All of us at our table happened to be from CA.
We were free to play until the show started. From the perspective of a child this would make going to dinner a great experience. As an adult, I didn’t come in from all the activities outside until they rang the dinner bell three times. Outside of the tent were opportunities to play original Hawaiian games. Cindy and I both tried bowling. You had to throw a wooden disk between the same color pegs stuck into the ground about 10 feet in front of us. The two girls demonstrated, then we were on our own. We both bowled 150/300. Not bad for 2 disks! It’s all a matter of perspective! My worst score in regular bowling was 9/300. (Don’t ask!)
We didn’t take time to try any other games, but walked around to the different vendors. Soon the show started – BEFORE the dinner. In fact it kept going while the dinner salad and bread was served. Singing and dancing continued while each group went to one of the four smoothly running buffet lines. Yes, we still had to go through a buffet! There was a brief intermission after everyone had received their food, and then the main attraction, the history of Hawaii’s settlement, started two hours after we arrived. We hadn’t even realized that two hours had elapsed. Our perspective would have been much different if the pre-food show hadn’t been so interactive. Vince even took me to center stage to dance with full house of romantics.
The Playbill had the gist of the story. I’ll summarize it for you.
A Polynesian father tells his daughter, Orama, that he and her fiancé were going with the other island men to Hawaii to seek a better life. The long canoe trip would be long and dangerous across open waters with nothing to guide them, but the stars. He prays to Akua for safe traveling and to watch over his daughter.
Devastated, Orama has a dream shown to her by Ka Uhane o Ke Kai. In the dream she reunites with her love, Ari, and they have a child.
The arduous journey brings the island men safely to Hawaii. Ari, in the meantime, has a dream of dragon ladies, a fire goddess, and her lover. (I think he was working too hard.) The industrious men produce abundant crops and find plentiful fish in the new land of Hawaii.
Father sends for his daughter, who arrives safely, marries, and has her dream child.
This story is skillfully set to ORIGINAL music with dancing in beautiful costumes. The dancers are both young and old, and up close and personal. Very personal! (but modest, too) Even from our perspectives as haoles, the musical story clearly explained how amazing it was that Polynesians discovered and settled Hawaii thousands of years ago. The pictures aren’t nearly as clear, but from my perspective as a experimental photographer I think they are more than cool, so I’m including them. Don’t look for any explanations!!! :)
After the end of the production, the actors posed with anyone in the audience who wanted to take a picture with them. We tried taking one of Cindy, but we weren’t ready with the flash, and after two tries without one, Cindy grabbed her disposable camera, and we tried that. I hope it comes out!
Now for some different perspectives. Neither Cindy or Vince are known for their overwhelming enthusiastic endorsements. Both come out of the luau showering praises all over the parking lot, and in the car all the way home. It was “wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!” Cindy exclaimed.
“It was the best luau ever – BY FAR!” Vince raved.
If you are ever in Kauai be sure to go to the LUAU KALAMAKU. You won’t regret it. It’s the highlight of our trip. I hope you enjoyed it as well, complete with totally weird pictures. :)
Here are some pictures of the grounds we took on a different day.
If you would like to visit Hawaii, and want a rent a two bedroom resort suite with an ocean view, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.