Talented musician, actor and producer Eric Gilliom performed seven comedic “White Hawaiian” theatrical shows on Maui — all sold out — but then COVID-19 hit and the show went on hiatus in February 2022.
Now, after consulting with the show’s co-writer Brian Kohne, producer of the comedy film “Get A Job”, Gilliom is back, starting a series of his family autobiographical show, this time at the ProArts Playhouse in Kīhei.
The show celebrates a century of exotic Gilliom family show business history and weaves love, war and dreams of Broadway stardom into a musical with dance.
It’s in the genre of one-man shows performed by Broadway actor John Laguizamo with humorous ideas and family background.
Gilliom’s show was reviewed by Maui Curtain Calls, listing “White Hawaiian” as one of the top three events visitors should see in Maui.
It’s an adventure through Hawaii’s history, with Gilliom acting as several family members, many of whom are artists themselves. Family members include his Canadian boxer great-grandfather, who was “Shanghaied” in Hawaiʻi, and his grandmother, Napua Wood, a Hawaiian actress who appeared in more than 200 films during the same era as the comedian “Hilo Hattie”.
Yes, he plays his grandmother.
“It’s all under the umbrella of comedy and laughter,” Gilliom said. “I don’t dress like that in public.”
It’s not the first time he’s provided comic relief with panache. He reprized his role as alien Dr. Frank-N-Furter on the “Rocky Horror Show” with success at the ʻĪao Theater and later on an outdoor stage in front of thousands at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.
Gilliom is also the lead singer of Mick Fleetwood’s Island Rumors Band.
A graduate of DePaul University’s Goodman School of Drama, Gilliom performed as an ensemble singer in “Tribute to Jerome Robbins’ Broadway” and had a lead role in the Broadway musical “Carrie.”
The music for his “White Hawaiian” ranges from “The Cockeyed Mayor From Kaunakakai” to “Kuʻu Home O Kahaluʻu”, which takes the audience back to sweeter times and a good laugh.
Gilliom said he hoped to find a permanent home on Maui for the show.
“White Hawaiian” has a three-month residency at ProArts Playhouse with shows July 8, 9, 10; August 12, 13, 14 and Sept 16, 17, 18. Friday and Saturday shows start at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday show at 2 p.m. For more information about the show, including tickets, go to the ProArts Playhouse website. For more details on Gilliom, visit its website.