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“Moana” Star Auli‘i Cravalho Makes Her New York Stage Debut

For a play reading to benefit high-need schools, the Oscars sensation (and now TV actress) will perform with a cast that includes Christopher Jackson from “Hamilton” and Uzo Aduba from “Orange is the New Black.”


Aulii Cravalho

Auli‘i performing “How Far I’ll Go” at the Oscars.


“How Far I’ll Go” continues to be the theme song for Auli‘i Cravalho. The Moana star is busy in New York, filming the pilot for NBC’s Drama High. Her singing career has soared ever since her live Oscars singing triumph. And soon she’ll add an off-Broadway feather to her cap, taking part in A Night of Yes! The 11th Annual Benefit Play Reading brings together television, Broadway and theater veterans in support of arts programs in New York’s most high-need schools.


SEE ALSO: “Moana” Star Auli‘i Cravalho Opens Up About the Oscars and “Drama High”


A headliner with the likes of Hamilton star Christopher Jackson and Orange is the New Black’s Uzo Aduba, Cravalho will take the stage on April 25 and read from plays by Katori Hall, Ike Holter and students from Opening Act after-school programs.


It’s hard to imagine the 16-year-old being fazed by anything after her Oscars performance, which, unlike the Best Film presentation, went off without a hitch. Absorbing a little knock on the head from a passing dancer’s flag only seemed to inspire her.


Speaking of theme songs, Cravalho’s version of the Lin-Manuel Miranda power ballad peaked on Billboard’s Hot 100 at 41, 15 places above the “official” Disney version by Alessia Cara—which debuted a week before Cravalho’s. Four months later, it’s still charting at 63, outlasting songs by Drake, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill and, well, co-star Duane Johnson’s “You’re Welcome”—No. 99 but climbing off the mat after a week at 100. 


It’s undeniable fun, watching the ingénue from Mililani and Kamehameha Schools conquer new worlds with her winning combination of talent, effervescence and maturity. As the song says, we can’t wait to see how far she’ll go.






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Honolulu Magazine December 2017
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