[This Treatment will be worked on soon and shortened]

No, this is not about Pele the soccer player.  And the reason this is as long as it is, you're going to read exactly how it came about that I wrote the “book” to this musical.   

Place: the Hawaiian Islands.  I was on Oahu, the big island, performing in a show and befriended two native performers, Robert and Roland Cazimero, known famously as The Cazimero Brothers.  While there, I became fascinated by the legend of Pele, the fire goddess.  It was early in my writing career, so I asked Ala - the White Witch and dancer in their act - if I could write the story.  “You have to get permission, first”, she said.  “From whom?”, I asked.  She said, “Pele.”  I smiled politely but knew she wasn’t kidding. 

“And how does one do that?”, I asked.  “We must go to her and offer gifts.  If she likes you, she will give us a sign.”  Believe me, I had no idea what I was getting into.     

The word native Hawaiians use when referring to people from the mainland is “Howlie”, and if I was a “Howlie”, what was about to happen would have never taken place.  The times I spent traveling with Ala, I would say something like “Look, it’s raining; we’re being blessed.”  She’d look at me and say only someone who has been on these islands before could know such things.  She was certain I was a native Hawaiian in another life.   

“Gin - if you want to win Pele’s favor”, she said.  So we bought bottles of Gin and began to wrap them in the custom be-fitting the occasion.  They taught me how. 

This was 1979 and we were at the top of Haleakala when the Brothers Cazimero, Ala, me…and I really can’t recall who else was there but there were others who had ancient instruments that they had taken with them to play at the ceremony. 

As we climbed over the wooden barriers, which were obviously meant to keep people out, like tourists - not one guard made an attempt to stop us.  They knew we were natives, not “people”. 

To make things more frightening and mysterious, we sat on the very lip of the crater.  I mean think about it…a little extra trembling and along with the dry dirt under us, we’d all fall into the fiery pit.

They began to sing and chant and I became anxious and nervous.   Then I watched as they each took a moment to throw the Gin bottle into the crater, which was, by this time, beginning to steam. 

At a strategic point in the ceremony (I was told beforehand to wait for Ala’s signal), it was to be my turn.  Then all of a sudden Ala looked at me and nodded.  I threw my bottle over the edge.  Now I know you won’t believe this part so I need to regress. 

As the others threw their bottle into the crater, on every occasion the bottle would go directly to the bottom and disappeared into the lava, which was to be expected.  As my bottle went into the crater, it also fell to the bottom but…seconds later it came back up and floated in midair in front of us for all to see.  Even if it was just a few seconds, it was clear Pele was flirting with us.  Me, actually.   

The day I left for the states, Ala gave me all the books and pamphlets I would need to start the arduous task of choosing, out of the myriad of stories involving the fire goddess, which story to use for the musical. 

But I was in luck.  Roland and Robert had already composed and recorded at least a dozen songs about Pele, which were being performed in the concert version at the time and had already been released on an album. 

So the storyline was easy for me: the love triangle between Pele, her younger sister Hiiaka and Prince Lohiau.  

Two natures of the flame which cannot exist without the other: the red - yellow (Pele) and the blue-white (Hiiaka).  Look deeply into any flame and you will see Pele cradling her younger sister Hiiaka - separate yet in harmony.   

MUSIC…A mysterious drumbeat draws Pele to an island.  The player of the drum is Prince Lohiau.  As Pele comes closer and closer to the village, she sings I AM PELE.  The crowd parts and watches Pele as she climbs up the 50 foot stairs to Lohiau.  They fall in love at first sight. 

After three nights of passion, she leaves him.  His manhood injured beyond repair, he hangs himself and is laid to rest by the villagers in a hidden cave, high atop a precipice.  

Meanwhile, in the crater, Pele’s seven sisters think she is dead, since her body has not moved for such a long while.  They summon Pele’s favorite, Hiiaka.  She will know what to do. 

Hiiaka watches as Pele’s spirit dances over her body, looking for a way in.  Hiiaka assures the others that Pele is here and then SINGS Pele’s spirit into the body.  Seconds later, “Pele breathes!” exclaims the seven sisters. 

Pele tells her sisters of the adventure and wants those who truly love her to bring Lohiau back to her.  None volunteer, for they know better.  They know of the demons Pele will put in their way.  Only Hiiaka, the unselfish one, agrees.  Pele quickly warns Hiiaka that her lips must never meet his until Pele has had him first. 

Watching closely, Pele’s aunts and uncles and brother speak, saying that since Hiiaka has shown (an allegiance? Hawaiian word?), she should be given the Mana, the power to fight evil doers.  Infuriated by their intercession, Pele paces in a circle, yelling “Ungrateful!  Ungrateful!”  But rather than face humiliation, Pele reluctantly and grandly invokes the power to Hiiaka. 

Before Hiiaka sets out on her journey, Pele summons a traveling companion: Wahini-Omao, who, together, will help in the fight to kill demons (MUSIC/SONG) of every imaginable sort.   

Finally arriving in the village, Lohiau’s sister tells them he is dead and points to the treacherous cliff where his body has been taken.  Hiiaka and Wahini climb the cliff, find Lohiau’s the body in the cave and (MUSIC/ SONG) bring him back to life.       

On their way back, omnipresent Pele (HOLOGRAMS) watches their every step.  In fact, they meet Pele-Ula, the enchantress of the forest, who invites them to enjoy her hospitality   Pele-Ula announces that they will play….(???? something like bowling) and chooses Lohiau to represent the men and then insists that Hiiaka represent the women.  Lohiau consents, against Hiiaka’s better judgment, who intuits that something else is going on here that she can’t explain.

Being the proud peacock, Lohiau sings I’M THE ONE, clearly flirting with Pele-Ula and Hiiaka, who suppresses her feelings for him.  To everyone’s surprise but Pele-Ula, Lohiau is defeated in the game.  Pele-Ula insists they stay for entertainment.  Anticipating that something like this would happen, Hiiaka had already transported Lohiau and Wahini miles away and informs Pele-Ula that what she sees are not real people but mere empty shells.  Hearing this, Pele-Ula’s anger surfaces and Hiiaka makes a swift exit. 

On a beach, just outside Pele’s domain, Lohiau turns his affection to Wahini, who embraces his flirtations. 

On a terrace, just outside the crater, where they are waiting for an audience with Pele, Hiiaka prepares a wreath for Lohiau to wear to protect him. 

Meanwhile, inside the volcano, Pele is receiving Wahini first, who admits to Lohiau’s advances and is thrown into the molten lava for her disloyalty.  Pele’s jealousy (SONG) is aroused and accuses Hiiaka of infidelity as well.  But before being put to death, Lohiau, in front of Pele and the entire family, confesses his love (SONG) for Hiiaka.  She, in turn, rushes to him and kisses him on the lips!!!  Pele is furious and burns Lohiau to a crisp on the spot – we hear him scream and watch his body fall hundreds of feet into the molten lava. 

Simultaneously, Hiiaka - on a mountainside, - mourns Lohiau’s death as Pele, in her loneliness, mourns (SONG) for the love of Hiiaka and the wrong she has done her.  

In the far distance, the voice of Lohiau is again heard singing his love for Hiiaka and then appears in the flesh and joins Hiiaka (DUET).   He tells her how Pele’s brother intervened in his fall to the pit by stealing the spirit, only to replace it later.  Lohiau and Hiiaka walk off to start a new beginning. 

Pele, on the other hand – who is the flame in every women – wishes to remind everyone of her power and, with her sisters by her side, returns in force.  They reprise: I AM PELE as they float over the steaming crater.

With arms outstretched, slowly and methodically they beckon and entice the audience to follow them as they lower themselves into the red-hot pit.   


Polytechnic devices of every kind will be employed in this production; multi-leveled sets, projection, sound affects, mechanical monsters of gargantuan proportions; you name it - this is musical Odyssey. 

And I didn’t even tell you how Hiiaka and Wahini battle a real shark!