Arabian Nights: The Porter's Tale

The Arts at Marks Garage

1159 Nuuanu Ave
Honolulu, HI 96813



In THE PORTER’S TALE, one story unfolds into another until, in a party, each of three one-eyed men tells his bizarre roller-coaster tale of how he lost his eye. Come hear! This is Islam’s ‘pulp fiction’, revealing the anonymous genius of the people of the sands. In Hawaii, responding to the Iraq War, Jeff Gere performed 10 Arabian Night tales over 18 months of sold-out shows (with Honolulu's top Middle Eastern dancer Willow Chang & 2 musicians). This is Jeff's favorite story (containing many moving tales. Shadow puppets animate three of them.)

Willow Chang adds dancing, music & drama, and Babatunji Heath adds percussion of all kinds. The show runs 90+ minutes.

Content Warning: Tales include violence, extreme characters, & poetry.

Sat March 17, The Arts @ Mark’s Garage (Pauahi St.,Chinatown) 7pm,

$15 pre-register Eventbrite, $20 @ door

$10 student @ the door

JEFF GERE was Oahu’s Drama Specialist (Parks Department) for 30 years. There, he produced the Talk Story Festival, Hawaii’s biggest storytelling celebration, Talk Story Radio & Story TV. Since retiring to end 2014, he's told tales with shadow puppets in China, India, Romania, Australia, & Taiwan. He continues after the show on a mainland tour. & YouTube.

BABATUNJI HEATH is a celebrated sound designer for Honolulu Theater for Youth & the rhythmic spine for the bands ‘Good Foot’ & ‘Kupa’aina’. 

Jeff & Tunji did an Arabian Nights tale in Hong Kong (’05).

WILLOW CHANG has taught & performed locally & internationally as a singer, costumer, producer, & dancer ( Arabian, Indian, Tango, modern). She & Jeff collaborated in the popular Arabian Nights series in Chinatown (2003-04).

Arabian Nights: Highlights (selected scenes from series, 2002-03, 5 minutes)

A commission by the Honolulu Museum of Art to celebrate & open the Doris Duke Islamic Museum. I added a flute player & drummer. The show was packed packed packed! They used a Humanities Grant to fund 3 more afternoon shows in their theater- I added a belly dancer. It was standing room only, turn away crowds for all shows! To warm up the 90 minute program, we did the show(s) in a swank Chinatown restaurant’s back-room (with disco lights, a canopied bed, & large table for a stage) I added incense & a persian carpet. We did 10 different shows over 18 months of Saturdays, all sold out 3 weeks ahead. Rave Reviews, a huge hit, lines of people waiting to get in. FUN! To help hold the attention, I inserting shadow puppets for sections of the tale. I went to Turkey in 2013 to ‘see Islam’, which turned into another visit for their Karagoz Shadow Puppet Festival (Bursa). Sincve, I’ve told some of these tales in Hong Kong, China, India. .. and now this tour!

So what is it about these tales that continues to hold your interest?

They’ve taught me so much about Islam (I knew little). They continually surprise audiences with sudden stops & turns (a hero is saved because of his prayer). I love the challenge of guiding an audience through their complex narratives (story within frame story within story). I love these tales because of their beauty, their violence, their sensuality, the philosophical questions they call up, their remarks falling on contemporary life, and their poetry. Even the jokes still work! They speak of the genius of the peoples of the sands. They make me grow bigger as an artist & human. They rock my boat!


Saturday, 17 March, 2018


The ARTS at Mark's Garage

Phone: 8085212903
Website: Click to Visit


$15 Presale, $20 at the Door, $10 Students

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