Representative Marilyn Lee has one talented son. Tom. The puppet master. Tom Lee, raised in Mililani, is the director of a New York puppet production that is finally coming to Kaua'i, O'ahu, Maui and the Big Island in March. The play is based on the legendary and tragic story of Kaluaiko'olau.
Haven't heard of this story? Here's a synopsis from the show's website:
"Kaluaiko’olau (hereafter Ko’olau) was a native Hawaiian from Waimea, Kaua’i. A well-respected paniolo (cowboy), Ko'olau learned that he contracted Hansen’s Disease (leprosy) in 1892, a diagnosis which meant exile to Kalaupapa, the leper colony on Moloka'i. Vowing never to be separated from his wife and child, Ko’olau took the family to the isolated valley of Kalalau on Kaua'i's rugged Na Pali coast. Here they lived until a deputy sheriff from Waimea, Louis Stoltz, attempted to arrest him. Ko’olau shot the man and two soldiers of the Provisional Government army sent to capture him, eluding fierce bombardment by the government forces. The family lived in secret in Kalalau for years until first Kaleimanu, and then Ko’olau died of their disease. Pi’ilani buried both of them in secret and returned to her home in Kekaha. In 1906, Pi’ilani recorded her story in the Hawaiian language with Kahikina Kelekona (John Sheldon). The volume was entitled "Ka Moolelo Oiaio O Kaluaikoolau" (The True Story of Kaluaiko'olau)."
Visit www.koolaupuppetplay.com for more information about Tom, the play and show dates. And be sure to say hello to Rep. Marilyn Lee if you see her at a showing. She'll probably tell you how proud she is of her son and his artistic skills. And we're sure that he gets it from his mama.