Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, May 18, 2001

Stage Scene
Ex-Islanders return for 'Don't Forget Me'

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Editor

Mark Pinkosh takes on three very different Hollywood-industry roles in "Don't Forget Me," the Starving Artists Theatre Company production that will premiere Wednesday at The ARTS at Marks Garage.

"Don't Forget Me"
• A Starving Artists Theatre Company production, written and directed by Godfrey Hamilton
• 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through May 26; 4 p.m. May 27
• The ARTS at Marks Garage
• $20; $18 advance, $15 students and seniors (at the Hawai'i Theatre box office)
• 528-0506

"Don't Forget Me," a new one-man play produced by the Starving Artists Theatre Company, marks the return to Hawai'i of actor Mark Pinkosh and his partner in life and in art, playwright-director Godfrey Hamilton.

The comedy, opening Wednesday at The ARTS at Marks Garage in Chinatown, is about love and ambition in Hollywood as seen through the eyes of three industry "types." The title, perhaps coincidentally, sounds like a plea from the former Islanders, who are thrilled to be back in the theatrical mainstream but wonder if folks here still remember them.

"Hawai'i continues to be our inspiration," said Hamilton, who said that "Don't Forget Me," which he wrote, is launching its U.S. tour in the Islands.

"We miss home, but we take the rhythm of the Islands wherever we go," he said. "The poetry of the landscape comes through in the writing."

Hamilton said that while SATCo is based in Los Angeles and frequents stages in Britain and Europe, where it has won honors and awards, the Islands still beckon.

"We look for any excuse to come back," Pinkosh said. "So it's nice to open a tour in Hawai'i. It's energizing."

The play typifies the kind of on-the-edge theater SATCo has nurtured since it was based at the Mid-Pacific Institute campus and in subsequent visiting productions at Manoa Valley Theatre. It is minimalist, this time with Pinkosh playing three roles; it is easily mobile, because there are no costumes or sets; and its alternative themes attract a discriminating audience eager to explore non-traditional (read: hip) theater.

Hamilton said "Don't Forget Me" is a montage of three types he has recognized since becoming immersed in the Los Angeles fabric of competitiveness and ambition: the very jaded and cynical producer, the young and hopeful actor filled with dreams and an 83-year-old actress from the heyday of the Hollywood glamour era who has seen all and done all.

Pinkosh, who is accustomed to portraying multiple characters in a single evening, welcomes the challenge.

"It's amazing how you get to know some of these people," Pinkosh said of his characters. Because he has done five films, he said he has an inkling or two about producers.

"But I'm the king of the cutting room floor," Pinkosh said. "I had nice roles in four of the movies, but never really was in it because of editing; but I made some good money and learned a lot."

One instance of his screen experience: He was in Jim Carrey's "Man in the Moon," the biography of comedian Andy Kaufman, and he "even had some nice scenes — but in the end, there's only a quick shot."

A similar fate awaited him when he did the Sigourney Weaver-Jennifer Love Hewitt comedy, "Heartbreakers," emerging as a victim of the cutting room.

As for being that hopeful, optimistic young actor, Pinkosh said that that has been his life. "We carry this hopeful perspective throughout our lives," he said. Except, he said, that he'll be 40 this year and he has been acting since he was a teenager.

Playing an elderly woman, of course, is the ultimate stretch. And, Pinkosh said, in his day-to-day meanderings in Los Angeles, he met actress Julie Adams, who once appeared in a white bathing suit in the cult horror film, "The Creature From the Black Lagoon," and with whom he's socialized, and can draw from her experiences as a Hollywood old-timer.

What the two miss the most about Hawai'i is the opportunity to do pidgin stuff. It doesn't go in Glasgow.

"I'm dying to do 'Haole Boy II,'" Pinkosh said of a sequel to his laugh-loaded take on Island-style growing up.

"You should hear Mark do his Auntie Eleanor standing in the line at the post office," Hamilton said of one of Pinkosh's signature creations, complete with the motor mouth.

"The most we can do with pidgin now is e-mail to friends," Pinkosh said.

SATCo will present "Don't Forget Me" to 16 or 17 cities on its tour this year, including some in Ireland and other parts of the United Kingdom, and also to U.S. cities in Washington state to Maine.

"We've found a new audience in the college and university circuit," Hamilton said. "We are doing things that the kids can sink their teeth into."