Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Escape to the islands on Wednesday nights, 'Aloha at the Merc' will debut in Old Town Temecula on Jan. 22

In the midst of Old Town Temecula, at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater, businesspeople can find a place to relax and dance their workweek blues away ‘aloha-style.’

“Aloha at the Merc” is an evening of Polynesian music, dancing and fun that host Kehaulani Ashton is certain will allow guests to dance and laugh away their workweek stress.

Ashton, born on Lana’i, HI, but raised on the mainland, missed island activities that were meant to help relax businessmen and women after a long day at work, so she approached management at ‘the Merc’ to create a weeknight of relaxing music and entertainment.

Nohea Polynesia, a Polynesian dancing group comprised of Ashton’s former hula students Bianca Escamilla, Lelani Caluya and Kalaki Ferido, help her host an evening of Hawaiian contemporary, island-style reggae and traditional music performed by local area bands, including Polynesian Style, a popular island band.

Ashton and Nohea Polynesia dance authentic hulas during “Aloha at the Merc” between the performances of the different bands.

And while the performers may not wear traditional costumes while performing on stage, Ashton and Nohea Polynesia wear full authentic costume, Tahitian skirts and all.

“Bellybuttons will be shown,” laughed Ashton, who spent at least two days on each of the hula costumes she made herself.

“Aloha at the Merc” will debut on January 21 and Ashton hopes to be able to create a “laid-back, relaxing and neighborly” atmosphere.

The dress code is casual but Ashton hopes people will dress up in their favorite Hawaiian shirts to get into the aloha spirit.

Ashton has big plans for “Aloha.” She hopes to be able to hold business mixers during the show and fill the building with dancing, happy professionals looking for a good time.

“I want this to be a new watering hole where people can come and make new friends,” she said.

Once “Aloha at the Merc” has a larger attendance, Ashton is planning to hold auditions for women and girls in the area to be able to perform hula dances between band performances – a “battle of the hula,” so to speak.

Sadly, there will be no fire dancing at “Aloha at the Merc,” as the fire code does not permit it, but the music and dancers are more than enough to keep people coming back.

“Aloha at the Merc” is not considered suitable for children under the age of 18, but not because of the content. Ashton wants to make sure everyone can sit back and relax with beer or wine from the snack bar without having to worry about children running about.

“Aloha at the Merc” will be held the first and third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15.

For more information, visit http://www.temeculatheater.org or call (866) 653-8696.

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