Play Review: ‘If You Love Me’ entertains, educates

Play+Review%3A+%27If+You+Love+Me%27+entertains%2C+educates

Photo by Kalani Ruidas

Senior Rachel Bega relaxes backstage after her opening night performance in 'If You Love Me," a Maui OnStage production about dealing with abusive relationships. The play is presented in conjunction with the Talking Stories and Women Helping Women organizations.

By Kalani Ruidas, Features co-editor

Senior Rachel Bega charmed the audience with her singing, dancing and acting last night at the opening of If You Love Me.

If You Love Me is a local play written by Keali’iwahine Hokoana, the mother of junior Kapa’ia’okumukahi Gormley. It tells the story of college student, Lily (Bega), and the complications that take place once she is trapped in an abusive relationship.

Lily is attending the University of Hawai’i Maui Campus and competing in a local talent competition called Ka Hoku o Hawai’i. In order to support her dreams and education, Lily’s mother rents out the garage to another UHMC student named Jason. Lily becomes closely acquainted with Jason, causing tension between her and her boyfriend, Rick. When Rick becomes controlling and manipulative, Lily’s mother, best friend Tara and Jason try to help her in realizing the weight of the situation. Unfortunately, their advice falls upon deaf ears.

Although the overall message of the show was a serious one, there were a healthy amount of jokes and references to the local lifestyle woven throughout the dialogue. It helped audience members to relate personally with what was happening.

The actors played their roles exceptionally, capturing all the intensity of the serious scenes and playfulness of those that were more lighthearted. Bega’s varied talents were showcased when she sang four numbers and danced a hula.

This play was educational, yet entertaining. It brought to light the many ways abuse can be manifested in an emotional and thought-provoking way. At the end of the show, there was a short discussion session about domestic violence and what to do in real-life situations.

If You Love Me is showing at the Historic Iao Theater tonight, Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m., tomorrow, Oct. 16 at 3:00 p.m., and there is a special matinee performance on Monday, Oct. 17, at 10:30 a.m. Tickets are still available at the door for $15.

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