Actor realizing dream in 'White Christmas'
By Dave Dondoneau
Kyle Malis is a homegrown stage talent, a 21-year-old aspiring actor who caught the acting bug 10 years ago when he showed up at Diamond Head Theatre to take part in its Musical Theatre Experience summer program.
"A year later I auditioned for Shooting Stars," the Hawaii Kai resident said. "It didn't take me long to figure out how much I loved being on stage. I've been involved with DHT ever since."
Malis' goal is to someday perform on Broadway or with TV and movies; he spends his days now working at the Disney Store at Ala Moana Center to save up funds for an eventual move to New York.
Meantime, he's content with stepping into the spotlight to co-star in Diamond Head Theatre's production of "White Christmas," a family-oriented holiday musical that runs tonight through Dec. 20.
It's his third lead role at DHT, having grabbed a Pookela Award for his role as Aladdin Jr. in "Aladdin." He also played Robert Martin in "The Drowsy Chaperone" and has had supporting roles in other productions.
For "White Christmas," Malis plays Phil Davis, one of two Army buddies who return home from World War II to form a successful song-and-dance team that runs into trouble. Josh Varde-Laguana, Nicole Sullivan and Kathryn Lee also star.
If you go, be warned that it will "snow" (well, with bubbles) on audience members to give the production a white Christmas feel.
Malis took some time to answer a few questions about his acting and the DHT production:
Q. What has been the most difficult part of the production?
A. The tapping. I had six years of tap training through the Diamond Head Theatre Shooting Stars. However, that was about three years ago, and I got a little rusty. Thankfully Diamond Head is full of tappers. I don't have to look very far for help with the choreography.
Q. This a pretty big musical production, but there are only 30 cast members. How many numbers do you sing and dance in?
A. I sing in over 10 numbers, but I'm only dancing in five.
Q. How big is Christmas around the Malis household?
A. Right now? Really big. My younger brother, father and mother are all involved with this production. My dad, brother and I are in the cast, and my mother is on the deck crew. It's a big family Christmas show. As for Christmas itself, my family usually makes a big deal about it, especially selecting and decorating the tree.
Q. "White Christmas" seems to be about friends keeping together and how keeping the faith pays off. What do you like about it?
A. There are so many things about the show that I love. My favorite aspect is the relationship between Phil Davis and Bob Wallace. The importance of unconditional friendship between the two of them is something to be honored.
Q. What do think the audience will take away from this production?
A. I believe they will take away a strong sense of the Christmas miracle from this show. "White Christmas" is a story about hope and the love of people you meet in your life. They'll leave the theater feeling moved to see what people can do for each other. There's something about Christmas that brings people together, and this production will do just that.