A staged reading of “Yamaguchi Store” will take place on Saturday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.) at Inner-City Arts at The Rosenthal Center, 720 Kohler St., Los Angeles.

Shanti Noelani Reinhardt

Experience the magic of live theater as a talented group of local actors bring this authentic and unique mo’olelo of Hawai’i to life. Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind event happening right in the heart of Los Angeles. Get ready for an unforgettable evening filled with culture, laughter, tears, and, of course, aloha.

The evening will also be a fundraising event for the families affected by the Maui wildfires. Tickets for the event are free; donations will be “whatever can, if can.” No donation is too small. All proceeds from the evening will be directly donated to Maui Rapid Response in an effort to kōkua, kāko’o and mālama West Maui and her people. Maui Rapid Response is an ahupuaʻa-based disaster response team made up of individuals from the Maui community and a number of nonprofit and direct-aid organizations.

“Yamaguchi Store” is a play with dialogue entirely in Pidgin and set in Kaua’i. Written and directed by local playwright Shanti Noelani Reinhardt, it seamlessly braids together a family’s mo’olelo spanning three time periods — 1909, 1924 and 1973 — as they try to “kala the hala” that has been plaguing the family as it is passed down from generation to generation.

Filled with quick-witted local humor that lovingly cuts to the bone, the play floats on an ocean of generational trauma and pain. “Yamaguchi Store” is as epic as it is intimate.

Reinhardt was raised in the old Hawaiian tradition of “hanai” by a Filipino/Hawaiian family on the island of Kaua’i, which is when a family raises someone else’s child. There is no legal adoption involved; it is done purely out of love. Pidgin English is her first language, and she was inspired to write about her experiences growing up local.

She wanted to give back and honor the voices of the people who taught her the deepest meaning of the word “aloha.”

Her play “Kill ’Em With Aloha; Or, Da Big Mouth Pidgin English Play” (finalist, 2020 and 2021 Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference) was under option to CBS Television Studios and is currently in development with producer Lynnette Ramirez and Anonymous Content Productions.

Cast: Emily Kuroda, Kaliko Kauahi, Keiko Agena, Akemi Look, Boni Alvarez, Tui Asau, Ashlyn Ani, Kelsey Chock, Jolene Kim, Eddie Kaulukukui, Chloe Madriaga. The play reunites Kuroda and Agena, who played mother and daughter on the TV series “Gilmore Girls.”

Presented by Anonymous Content, Lynnette Ramirez, The Realist & The Dreamer, and Inner-City Arts. The event is no longer available online. For inquiries, call (213) 627-9621 or email info@inner-cityarts.org

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