Killa Vanilla is a new original musical with book by Joe Moe, music by Brian Woodbury and lyrics by Brian Woodbury & Elma Mayer. It has been developed at the BMI Lehmann Engel Musical Theatre Workshop in New York and at the Academy for New Musical Theatre in Los Angeles.

Killa Vanilla is a romantic, character-driven show featuring exotic Polynesian rhythms, rock surf beats and a pop musical theater score. Colorful islanders, Gen-X surfers, conniving resort developers, a grand love story, dancing, ritual and theatrical pageantry abound.


Set on Vanilla, a fictional Pacific island, Killa Vanilla is the story of island chief Moana with a mysterious phobia of the water. Unable to cross the ocean, Moana lures civilization to his island by bringing Killa Vanilla, the cult surf meet, to world attention. Enter international surf champion Marina Breen – a gorgeous, talented extreme sport addict, at the top of her game and constantly on the move. When Moana and Marina meet, there are sparks…of loathing. But their attraction to each other is undeniable.

Darryl Baker is Marina’s manager, a former surf star living in Marina’s shadow, looking for a game of his own. Darryl schemes with Marina’s sponsors to build a resort on the island. Moana is seduced by the idea of the development and soon has signed away his island and forsaken his culture.

Alana, Moana's tomboy cousin is a colorful drunken layabout. She sobers up and becomes a vocal activist against the development. But Moana won't listen to anyone (not high-priest Ari'i nor family matriarch Tutu) until it is nearly too late. Will Moana find a way out of the terrible commitments he's made to the resort developers? Will he overcome his fear of the water? Will Marina grow some roots and find a home on Vanilla Island with Moana?

Watercolor of idyllic Vanilla Island as depicted by Cornell ethnobotanist, Colin Troscott.

Killa Vanilla Surf Meet poster courtesy of
Marina Breen Productions.

"Big Plans Unveiled for Sleepy Vanilla Paradise" -- Coconut Wireless

S O N G    S A M P L E S

Anuddah World
Surfin' Girl
Club Marina
A Little All Da Time
Who Are You?
Someone Like Me
Get Away from You
This is What Keeps Us Afloat

Performed by:

Joe Moe – Moana, Ku’uaki
Ginger Smith – Marina (Abandon, What Keeps Us Afloat, Club Marina)
Kathi Funston – Marina (Who Are You?, Get Away From You), chorus
Sandy Shimoda - Alana
Rob Shapiro – Darryl
Brian Woodbury – Belard, chorus
Elma Mayer – chorus
Jim Kimo West – slack key guitar
Paul Lacques – lap steel
Brian Woodbury – other instruments

For further information please contact:
Joe Moe and Brian Woodbury (click here)