For the first time since 1967, authentic Kabuki performers from Japan will bring a series of performances to Hawaii.

There will be seven performances in all from March 2 to 8 at the University of Hawaii Manoa's Kennedy Theater and the Hawaii Convention Center.

Kabuki is a traditional form of Japanese theater dating to the 17th century Edo period. A combination of live folk music, dance, dramatic movements, and extravagant makeup and costumes convey story and themes. Kabuki is usually performed on a special stage that incorporates revolving platforms and trapdoors, allowing for quick changes in scenery and theatrical entrances.

The Honolulu program will feature well-known Kabuki actor Shikan Nakamura VIII, part of a long line of Kabuki actors, who will be joined by his sons in a performance of "Renjishi," a tale of a lion raising its two cubs.

The Kabuki performances next March are part of the schedule of events for the 25th Annual Honolulu Festival, taking place March 6 to 8. The festival's mission is to enhance cross-cultural understanding and harmony throughout the Pan-Pacific region.

"Having Kabuki theater performed in Hawaii is a treasured honor for the Honolulu Festival and will be a joy for anyone who appreciates the importance of perpetuating cultural tradition with today's generation," Tatsuo Watanabe, director of the Honolulu Festival Foundation, said in a statement. "After a 52-year absence, we are thrilled to welcome Kabuki back to Hawaii."

Tickets prices range from $80 to $100 plus taxes and fees.

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