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Article Source: Copyright © 2012 by Fodor’s Travel, a division of Random House Inc. All rights reserved.
Hawaii's top illusionist, John Hirokawa, displays mystifying sleight of hand in this highly entertaining show, which incorporates contemporary hula and Island music into its acts. It's held in the Holiday Inn Waikiki's $7.5 million showroom. Reservations are required for dinner and the show, which is priced at $139. Walk-ups are permitted if you just want the entertainment for $55. www.magicofpolynesia.com.
This is the only troupe that presents plays written by local playwrights. It stages five or six productions a year in a 100-seat auditorium that's perfect for getting up close and personal with the cast. www.kumukahua.org.
Eclectic programs—everything from musical theater to Kabuki to Chinese opera—are offered at this space at the Manoa campus of the University of Hawaii. The theater, which opened in 1963, was designed by internationally renowned architect I.M. Pei. www.hawaii.edu/kennedy.
For two decades, the Honolulu Zoo Society has sponsored hour-long evening concerts called the "Wildest Show in Town." They're held at 6 pm on Wednesday from June to August. Listen to local legends play everything from Hawaiian to jazz to Latin music. At just $3 admission, this is one of the best deals in town. Take a brisk walk through the zoo, or join in the family activities. This is an alcohol-free event, and there's a food for those who haven't brought their own picnic supplies. www.honoluluzoo.org.
Hawaii's oldest and best-known gay-friendly nightspot offers panoramic views of Diamond Head by day and high-energy club music by night. Check out the soundproof, glassed-in dance floor. Patrons have included Elton John, Adam Lambert, and Dolly Parton. www.hulas.com.
This group stages delightful productions from September through May. Founded in 1955, it's one of the oldest children's theaters in the country, serving more than 5 million people through school and family performances and drama-education programs. www.htyweb.org.
Art, international, classic, and silent films are screened at the intimate 280-seat Doris Duke Theatre. Although small, the theater is still classy and comfortable. It also has a great sound system. www.honoluluacademy.org.
This beautifully restored theater, built in the 1920s in a Beaux-Arts style, hosts a wide variety of events, including international theatrical productions and touring acts, festivals, and films. It's easily the loveliest theater in Hawaii. Tours cost $10 and are offered Tuesday at 11 am. Admission for performances varies. www.hawaiitheatre.com.
Better known as "HOT," the Hawaii Opera Theatre has been known to turn the opera-challenged into opera lovers since 1960. All operas are sung in their original language with projected English translation. Tickets range from $29 to $120. www.hawaiiopera.org.
Rain or shine, on the first Friday of every month, the downtown Honolulu and Chinatown districts come alive after dark with a lively street party. Art galleries and restaurants open late, and local musicians and DJs provide the soundtrack for the evening. Check the website for featured artists and musicians. www.firstfridayhawaii.com.