BullDog Directs ‘Ala Wai’ Comedy

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - September 05, 2007
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Mililani’s BullDog directs ‘Ala Wai’ at Kumu Kahua Theater through Sept. 23.
Mililani’s BullDog directs ‘Ala Wai’ at Kumu Kahua Theater through Sept. 23.

BullDog loves the stage - whether he’s on it or not - and this fall finds him directing the comedy Ala Wai, playing now through Sept. 23 at Kumu Kahua Theater.

“As a director it’s part of my job to make decisions on all aspects of the play including the set, the lights, and the playwright,” noted BullDog, who lives in Mililani with his wife Nara and 1-year-old daughter Maria Lei. As for his own name, his mother nicknamed him when he was 12 (because he is short and stocky like a bulldog - and was into rapping).

Though he loves to get his hands dirty backstage, acting is truly his first love, as he discovered in a Leeward Community College drama class in 1993 when his teacher encouraged him to audition.

He’s been in the state Department of Health’s Start Living Healthy commercial, where his shoulder is prominently featured as someone wipes a burger on it.

He’s also done commercials for Hawaiian Airlines, Cutter and Bank of Hawaii, in which he portrayed a bank clerk with the line, “Does anyone NOT have a Bank of Hawaii checking account?”

After eight years as a company actor for Honolulu Theater for Youth, BullDog now hopes to move more into television and film. He played Rudy, who fights with Augie T.‘s Bobby in the 2005 showing of The Sand Island Drive-In Anthem, adapted from a Cedric Yamanaka story by Ryan Kawamoto.

BullDog was involved in the Lee Cataluna play Hoolawe: Give and Take. Eric Byler cast him as Keet in the 1995 drama Kealoha: The Beloved.

Entertainment is already in his blood, as his grandparents were musicians, his parents sang and danced, and his older brother Dean, a Wahiawa resident, directs marketing for HTY.

The play Ala Wai, meanwhile is about two friends, Bertram and Ernesto. Bertram is stung by a Portuguese man of war, which grants him the super power to clarify and clean the murky canal water with his urine.

The fast-paced pidgin comedy was written by Bryan Hiroshi Wake. BullDog was part of the play’s first reading, and he has worked with nearly all of the cast in previous gigs. They are Jarod Bailon, Daryl Bonilla, Eddy Gudoy, Ron Encarnation, Denise Aiko-Chinen, D. Tafai Silipa and Eve Yeung.

Costumes are done by Nara Cardenas, set design by Bart McGreehon, and lighting design by Gerald Kawaoka.

For ticket information, call 536-4441.

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