Ready to be entertained? If so, mark your calendars now: There will be plenty of entertainment to go around at the Historic Iao Theater on the evening of Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018. That’s when a group of RAM members will take the stage to play, sing, dance and joke their way into the winner’s circle at the sixth annual RAM’s Got Talent competition.
The fundraising event was conceived six years ago during the Hawaii Association of Realtors® Leadership Academy by four of its attendees: Marion Haller and Lisa Teichner of KW Island Living, Dave Futch of Coldwell Banker Island Properties and Tara Garcia of Maui Showcase Properties. Since then, RAM’s Got Talent has drawn a talented pool of contenders—including musicians, singers, dancers and comics—to the Historic Iao Theater stage every year.
And the fun begins long before the curtain rises. In addition to a pre-show party (there’s a post-show party, too), guests will be greeted by a team of interviewers on the red carpet; there will also be “cigarette guys and gals” selling fun trinkets to add to the glitzy, Hollywood-esque ambience. Audience members will also be treated to a special performance by last year’s winner, Moana Andersen of Equity One Real Estate, as well as toe-tapping tunes by the Natalie Nicole Band.
Last year, Andersen won the top prize of the night. Accompanied by Savannah Hoke, she impressed the panel of judges with her multi-instrumental performance of Helen Desha Beamer’s “Kimo Hula” and piano performances of Carl Phillipe Emmanuel Bach’s “Allegro” and “Solfeggietto.”
Phil Smith of Fine Island Properties took home the second place trophy for his saxophone performance of Louie Prima’s “Jump Jive and Wail.” The third place winner was Bob Wills of Coldwell Banker Island Properties, who dazzled the crowd with his renditions of Frank Sinatra’s “Wee Small Hours in the Morning” and “It Had to be You.” The “Audience Favorite” award was given to Chris Bakeman of Fine Island Properties for her side-splitting stand-up comedy act.
But the real winners of the annual event are the beneficiaries of RAM’s Got Talent: Maui OnStage and RAM’s Presidential Scholarship Fund. Since 1989, RAM’s Presidential Scholarship Fund has awarded more than $620,000 in scholarships to college-bound high school seniors throughout Maui County, as well as past recipients of the scholarship. Funds for the scholarship program are raised through events like RAM’s Installation Luncheon, RAM’s Big Deal fundraiser and the “RAM’s Got Talent” show.
The second beneficiary, Maui OnStage, is a community-based theatrical organization that has occupied the Historic Iao Theater since 1984. Maui OnStage has played a pivotal role in keeping the theater thriving over the years and has been recognized as one of the longest-running theater companies in the United States. Since its inception in 2013, RAM’s Got Talent has raised close to $25,000 for Maui OnStage.
“Every year, RAM’s Got Talent gets better and the contestants are even more entertaining and fun,” said Haller, who is serving as the event chairperson for the second year in a row. “We are amazed that this keeps happening, but people keep stepping up to help us make a fabulous show to raise money for students and the Iao Theater. This year we have several bands competing, so that will be something very new. It is such a fun and delightful evening and the judges this year will make it especially fun. Don’t miss it.”
It’s too late to sign up to compete this year, but the RAM’s Got Talent committee encourages contestants of all stripes to put their talent on display at next year’s event. All RAM members and affiliates are eligible to perform. If you’d like to participate on any level—as a contestant, volunteer or sponsor—visit www.ramsgottalent.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The show begins at 7 p.m. and tickets are on sale now. Ticket prices range from $20 to $40 per person; tickets for the pre- and post-show parties are $30 per person. To reserve your seat or to purchase tickets for the pre- and post-show parties, visit www.ramsgottalent.com/buytickets.