Maile Kai and Kristin On Stage

By James Buckley   |   September 19, 2019
(from left, back row) Mom Holly Merrick, dad Oliver Merrick, impresario Janet Adderley, grandfather Tim Merrick, (front row, from left) Maile Kai and Camden Merrick outside the Lobero, where Maile played Maria in Janet Adderley's Santa Barbara Youth Ensemble Theatre production of West Side Story earlier this year

If you missed Maile Kai Merrick‘s performance with Kenny Loggins and Sofia Schuster at the Marjorie Luke in August during a special “Footloose” Summer Stock concert, you’ll have another chance to hear the young singer, as Maile is scheduled to join Kristin Chenoweth on stage at the Granada on October 2. Here’s how that happened: Janet Adderley sent Ms Chenoweth’s manager and Kristin’s close friend Sarah Michelle Gellar a video of Maile singing “Popular,” and apparently Kristin was so bowled over (Maile’s goal is to star in a Broadway musical) that she has invited Maile to sing “For Good” with her on stage.

And, just in case you miss that, Maile will be starring alongside Max Corden at the Lobero on April 4 and 5 in Oliver. Oh, and, just so you know, in addition to Maile Kai Merrick (she was born in Hawaii) having a stunningly powerful yet melodic voice, you should know she is also my grand-niece. Maile’s grandmother, Christine Merrick, is my sister-in-law, and was our manager when my wife, Helen, and I owned and operated Cafe Au Lait in La Cumbre Plaza in the 1990s: Christine has been Montecito Journal’s office manager for the past twenty-three years. 


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