Aloha. It means “goodbye.” Or does it?
According to the Naomi Iizuka play “Aloha Say the Pretty Girls,” presented by the Glendale Community College Theatre Arts Department, the word may have a slightly different meaning. It means “welcome home.” I think.
For the most part, it seems this witty but sometimes confusing comedy involves complicated characters with complicated issues all trying to find some kind of meaning in their lives. In attempting to come full circle, they face surprises and twists in the oddest of settings, including New York City, Hawaii, Alaska and Borneo.
The play opens with Viviane and Will, played by Benjamin Magallanes Jr., and Anais Thomassian. Their crash-course relationship, which abruptly comes to an end much to Vivian’s surprise, begins the ball rolling in a series of side plots which all intertwine and connect in the end through both the characters and the story line.
Entertaining enough, the play offers some highly interesting personalities like Richard, played by Tony Gonzalez, the overly excited, tense entrepreneur who just cannot seem to calm down for more than two seconds at a time. And then there is Joy, played by Emily Apcar, who truly doesn’t have it lucky in love. Lastly, but certainly not least, there is Martin the dog, played by Travis Riner, who surprisingly enough, goes through some amazing transitions. If eating Pedigree really does work wonders, by the end of the play, most people will find this dog has really had his fair share.
Tied together by a string of loose connections, this play can thank the actors for putting on a show worth the watch. Everyone truly does seem to have their part down and by doing so offers a lot of laughs, but the plot seems to spoil the show. If the play is really counting on metaphors to carry the audience through the story line, then it isn’t quite doing its job. A Komodo dragon is an ongoing symbol throughout the play, but it’s very difficult to actually pinpoint the reason for the continuous reference.
Honestly, if anyone has to struggle through the meaning of a plot, there is something wrong. While the play does offer unique characters with sly comments, comedic remarks, and even entertaining dance skills, the plot, or lack of plot, detracts.
So what does “aloha” mean? Don’t count on the plot to tell you.