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Mai Tai

Avenel Performing Arts Center

Avenel, NJ

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cocktail hour: the show

Created by New York City-based company Ballets with a Twist, Cocktail Hour: The Show reinvents the cinematic excitement of classic entertainment through an original mix of choreography, music, and costume design. Combining the timeless American spirit with a 21st-century flair, this electrifying floorshow-to-stage experience brings the Mai Tai, Martini, Manhattan, and more to life in a series of sparkling vignettes.


"Classic entertainment and contemporary cool collide in a dazzling display..."

— Seven Days


About mai tai

(Photo on top)

The Choreography

"When I was a child, Polynesian theme restaurants, like Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic's, were all the rage. My mother and father would often bring me to one of these places for my birthday, treating me to coconut ice cream (served in an actual coconut!) and ordering Mai Tais for themselves.

There would usually be exotica or bossa nova music playing in the background."

— Artistic Director Marilyn Klaus


The Music

"This was my first dance cocktail adventure with Marilyn, and it was dedicated to her mother. A huge inspiration for the piece was my dad, who fought in the Philippines during World War II, and so became fascinated with musicals like Flower Drum Song and movies such as Hawaii — anything with Tahitian scenes"

— Composer Steve Gaboury


The Costumes

"The Mai Tai concept wasn't mine, but when I first saw it, I loved it! Combining animal print fabric with a seashell-style top and cocktail umbrella hair 'garnishes' was such a cool idea. I knew I could enhance the look without compromising it."

— Designer Catherine Zehr


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