Yall better practice at least one catchphrase for seeing the new stage show in Surfside Beach, S.C.
The audience exclaims Ah-LOHHHHHHHH-ha! many times during Aloha Yall at The Grand Theatre, in the same building where The Carolina Opry and local Legends in Concert shows began and blossomed.
This Polynesian luau show gives guests a cultural, colorful, cheerful taste of five islands in two hours: Hawaii, Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga and New Zealand.
The cast sings, dances and chants with a three- or four-piece band shifting between guitars and percussion, including taps for a resonating boom resembling a marching bands bass drum.
The cast delivered a variety of routines that express the look and feel of life and some heritage and history in the South Pacific. All in bare feet, the performers shook and rolled their hips, giving their grass skirts a workout of their own.
During Blue Hawaii, as the smiling women take turns with their hulas, the singers words remind the listener to keep your eyes on the hands, because they tell the story of the song. The pace slows even more for The Hawaiian Wedding Song, to which the bass guitarist lends his vocals.
The men and women in the show do some group numbers by gender and others by partnering up.
The spirit of the late Don Ho bounces between both sides of the theater for a sing-along to Tiny Bubbles, in a Myrtle Beach style: Tiny bubbles. In the wine. Make me happy. Make me feel fine.
After intermission, a native Samoan shows the steps of husking a coconut by piercing it and pushing down, then cracking it with a rock, a Little Rock, he said, injecting some humor in the laborious process.
Toward the end of the show, a performer does a fire dance, spinning batons lit on both ends to a rousing beat,.
The occasional Aloha chant requests occupied just a small part of the audience participation: People of all ages might receive an invitation to hop on stage for a group hula, begun with hands on hips, and rotating the body forward, to the sides and back.
If a lone man is asked to stay on stage after the group number, he ought to be in good hands, by simply following the lead lady dancers motions, even as her hula crouches lower and lower with the bend of her knees.
Jason Wright, the Aloha Yall show manager, said the entire cast is from Polynesia or of such descent.
These are all people we flew in, he said. Some have been dancing luaus for 40 years.
Wright said these individuals have done many shows in their homeland and that hes simply helping them bring their show here.
A Hartsville, S.C., native who once lived in Maui, Hawaii, where his grandfather was born and raised, Wright remembered always enjoying childhood Grand Strand getaways from west of Darlington. This new shows name represents his two worlds colliding since he has again settled on the Strand: Aloha Yall.