Archive for October, 2009

What's up, you ask? Here's a mixed bag

October 21st, 2009

Another week, another mixed bag of things to do — from The Bard on screen to wedding previews, from slack key to Halloween costume rentals.
Do it!

Film: The Bard’s ‘All’s Well’ at the Kahala cinema

The United Kingdom’s National Theatre’s “NT Live” series comes to the Kahala Theatres for limited showings of Shakespeare’s “All’s Well That Ends Well,” at 7 p.m. today (Oct. 21) and tomorrow (Oct. 22).
The acclaimed production, staged live on stage in Britain, was filmed at a live performance Oct. 1 and will screen in high-definition at the Consolidated theater.
“All’s Well” is the second play in a pilot season that began with “Predre,” starring Helen Mirren, seen by 50,000 in 19 countries world-wide. “All’s Well,” produced by Marianne Elliott, is a bittersweet tale set amid sexism that turns fairytale logic on its head. Helena, the heroine, falls in love with Bertram, but to gain his hand, she sets off a string of impossible missions that don’t necessarily guarantee is love. The cast features George Rainsford as Bertram and Michelle Terry as Helena, with
Oliver Ford Davies as the King of France, Claire Higgins as the Countess of Rossilion, Conleth Hill as Parolles.
Tickets: $20. Information:

Weddings: Bridal Showcase Friday at the Kahala

The Kahala Hotel & Resort presents its annual Bridal Showcase from 5 to 10 p.m. this Friday (Oct. 23).
The event enables couples to tour different ceremony and reception sites located on the property and meet hotel vendors and staff for insights into essentials of planning the perfect wedding. To register, 739-8715 or online at

Obama: An Emme revisit, an HBO documentary

Emme Tomimbang’s “Food, Wine and an Island Moment in D.C,” featuring Barack Obama, will be retelecast at 9 p.m. tomorrow (Oct. 22) and 4 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 24) on KHON2.
The show also spotlights Chef Alan Wong, who brought lu‘au food to the White House for a bash earlier this year; Chef Roy Yamaguchi, whose Roy’s Restaurants marked its 20th anniversary recently with the chef competing on “Top Chef Masters,” and wine sommelier Chuck Furuya. The Obama segment, “With Island Roots,” a bio on the Island-born president, which won a Telly Award.
Also, HBO stages a special screening of the documentary, “By the People: The Election of Barack Obamam,” Oct. 29 at the Waikiki Shell. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., with the film showing after sunset.
Willie K provides in-person music.
Admission is free.

Nightclubs: Slack key at Kani Ka Pila Grille

Wanna hear some slack key guitar kings?
The place to be is the Kani Ka Pila Grille at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach at Waikiki.
The ones to see and hear:

• Ledward Kaapna, Oct. 24, 31 and Nov. 7.
• Cyril Pahinui, Wednesdays.
• Martin Pahinui, Thursdays.
• Kawika Kahiapo (with Kaukahi), Thursdays and Fridays.
• Keli‘i Kaneali‘i, Oct. 25, Nov. 1 and 8.
Showtimes are from 6 to 9 p.m.

Halloween: DHT extends costume rental hours

With Halloween a week away, the costume shop at Diamond Head Theatre — a virtual wonderland of potential costumes for partying and trick-or-treating — has extended its hours.
It’s now open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily except Sundays, through Oct. 31.
The shop is located in the back of the theater, at 520 Makapuu Ave.
Full outfits, or accessories, can be assembled with a visit. The costumes rentals are in adult sizes only.
Call 733-0277, ext. 2.

‘Ukulele: Jake’s at the S.F. jazzfest tonight

Jake Shimabukuro, the wizard of the ‘ukulele, is performing tonight (Oct. 21) in this year’s San Francisco Jazz Festival.
His show will be at the Davies Symphony Hall — his first domestic appearance after a long Japan tour. Tickets are $25, if you’re in the area.

Datebook: A ‘Thriller’ Halloween, an accessible Vereen

October 19th, 2009

Haps to consider in the days ahead:

Halloween: A Jackson impersonator at Level 4

E’ Casanova, a Michael Jackson look- and sound-alike who has impersonated the King of Pop in earlier Waikiki shows, will star in “The Thriller” from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Halloween, Oct. 31.
E’ Casanova will present his uncanny MJ interpretation in what looms as a dance-oriented wee-hour wonderment.
The lineup also includes dance performances by Hypersquad and Funkanomestry, with Rick Rock as emcee. Mixmaster /dJ Paul Brandon and local fave Kutmaster Spaz will be turntabling, with music of the 1970s, ’80s, ’90s and the current charts.
A Halloween costume contest also is slated, with $500 cash prizes in several categories, plus other prizes for celebrants.
The event is open to those 21 and older.
Pre-sale general admission is $10, available at the Level 4 kiosk-box office on Kalakaua Avenue, fronting the Royal Hawaiian Center, and at Level 4 when the club is in operation nighttime.

Music: Ben Vereen headlines symphony pops

Broadway veteran Ben Vereen, headlining the Honolulu Symphony Toyota Pops Series at 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 23 and 24) at Blaisdell Concert Hall, is promoting his shows at several community appearances this week.
Vereen, known for his roles in “Pippin” on Broadway and “Roots” on TV, begins his community outreach from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. today (Oct. 19) at the University of Hawai’i Dance Program, followed by another appearance from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. today at Kahala Nui retirement residence.
He also appears at:
• Castle Performing Arts Center at Castle High School, from 10 to 11 a.m. tomorrow (Oct. 20).
• Army Community Theatre at Fort Shafter, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. tomorrow (Oct. 20); for base access, call Brett Harwood at 469-1407.
• Tripler Army Medical Center, from 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesday (Oct. 21); for access, call Jan Clarke at 433-2809.
At the symphony concert, Vereen joins maestro Matt Catingub in a program that will tap some of the musicals he has appeared in (“Wicked,” “Fosse,” “Jesus Christ Superstar, “Hair”) and a jazz-flavored song list.
Tickets: 792-2000,

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A sweet life for Helm, combining chocolates and China

October 18th, 2009

It’s a sweet life these days for singer Raiatea Helm.
For the second consecutive holiday season, Helm will be the focus of Hawaiian Host chocolate’s “Christmas Macadamia Nut” medley, twinning her new song, “Foolish Ways,” on a free five-song CD that will be packaged with a box of premium chocolate-coated macadamia nuts boasting her image, coupled with a series of Wal-Mart in-person mini-concerts and autograph-signing sessions in November.

This week, Helm and a host of other Island entertainers, including Keola and Moanalani Beamer, Jeff Peterson, Steve Jones, Chino Montero and Capella Williams, are on a pioneering promotion tour of Shanghai, Beijing and Fuzhou to expose Hawaiian culture through song and dance to a fertile new audience.

“It’s will be an incredible opportunity to share Hawaiian music to a new audience,” said slack guitarist Peterson, the organizer of the event. The timing couldn’t be better, since Hainan Airlines is scheduling non-stop flights from Shanghai to Honolulu this fall.

“It’s a wide open door,” said Helm of the prospect of jump-starting a Chinese fan base for Island sounds. “I’ve been to Shanghai before; folks there think Hawaii is old Hollywood; you know, with pinup girls and grass shacks. We want to cover all criteria of Hawai’i, with authentic music.”

She brushed up on key Chinese phrases for the trek, but chuckled, “I only know how to say ‘hi.’ But I’ll get by.”
She hopes her music — and that of her colleagues — will speak volumes of the Islands as a logical holiday destination, in a tour sponsored by Shangri-La Hotels.

Otherwise, Helm has sweet thoughts about her chocolate odyssey:
Q: Obviously, the first Hawaiian Host chocolates with your first composition, "Where I Belong," was a great success. What’s your take on your new holiday medley tradition?
A: “I am so fortunate and thankful and delighted to have the chance to establish a holiday tradition that combines my music with chocolate, to have the opportunity to work with Hawaiian Host, a local company with a great tradition serving our community. The thought of people listening to my music and smiling while they are eating chocolates seems to be a win for everyone!”

Q: How much personal life experience is reflected in "Foolish Ways"? Does this reflect an aspect or a period of your love life, subtly exposing a side of you that’s private?
A: "I am not so sure that it is ‘subtle’ at all. The lyrics were inspired by events that took place at different times in my life. One aspect of the song speaks of a relationship, although that is not the only meaning I am trying to express. ‘Foolish Ways’ really talks about how we all fail to look at ourselves closely and as a result we keep making the same mistakes over and over. As the song says, ‘Oh, it's still the same, no one has changed their foolish ways.”

Q: Are you confident with your growth and maturity, both as a singer and a composer?
A: “I am enjoying the process of learning to express myself in my own words. My first three recordings all represent my growth as a female vocalist in the traditional Hawaiian music art form. This Hawaiian Host project provides me with the opportunity to communicate with my audience on a personal level. I believe I have grown a great deal over the past nine years as a recording artist and now I feel comfortable in my own skin.”

Q: With your Tahiti trek earlier this year and China now, are you focusing on a global audience for your music?
A: “First of all, I will never forget all of my fans here in Hawai'i who supported me from the beginning. After I started singing professionally, I knew I wanted to travel the world sharing my music. My Tahiti, Japan and China concert appearances are simply a natural progression of my growth as a vocalist and musician. Each day I realize how lucky I am to have the opportunity to sing Hawaiian music at home as well as in so many faraway places. And when I am away it amazes me how much people everywhere LOVE Hawaiian music. Not just my music but all kinds of Hawaiian music!”

Q: When is that Hawaii Theatre concert DVD coming out — in time for Christmas giving?
A: “The DVD "Raiatea Live!" will be in stores in early November. This is my first video and I hope everyone likes it. It's a perfect stocking stuffer for the Christmas holiday season!”

Presumably, with a box of chocolates as a stuffer-mate.


Featuring mini-concert,
autographing of her
Hawaiian Host Christmas
Macadamia Medley CD-chocolate,
$6.99 suggested price

Nov. 7, noon — Mililani Wal-Mart
Nov. 8, noon — Hilo Wal-Mart
Nov. 11, noon — Ke'eaumoku Wal-Mart
Nov. 13, noon — Pearl City Wal-Mart
Nov. 13, 6 p.m. — Kunia Wal-Mart
Nov. 15, noon — Maui Wal-Mart
Nov. 20, 6 p.m. — Kona Wal-Mart
Nov. 21, noon — Kaua'i Wal-Mart

Bill Cosby set for two Blaisdell shows Jan. 15

October 17th, 2009

Bill Cosby, who hasn’t performed here in decades, will give two concerts at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. Jan. 15 at the Blaisdell Concert Hall.
Tickets go on sale Oct. 24 at the box office and Ticketmaster outlets, as well as by phone at 800-745-3000 and online at Ticket prices have not yet been announced, however.
Cosby, who is more conversational in his tone than a conventional stand-up comic, has become a cornerstone and foundation for parenting, relationship and familial co-existence, primarily from his stint on NBC’s landmark “The Cosby Show” from 1984 to 1992, which often paralleled his real life and has become — and still is — the defining ‘80s sitcom of family values. Over time, he parlayed these virtues through his recordings and film and television appearances and through books such as “Fatherhood” and “Time Flies.”
Cosby has distinguished himself as an icon of American culture after being tapped in 1998 for the Kennedy Center Honors and more recently, in 2002, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor.
His comedic crayons have brightened the TV landscape in a number of realms; he was a major character on the children’s TV show, “The Electric Company,” and his voice punctuated the animated cartoon series, “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids.” Earlier, he was on “I Spy,” and he hosted the closing season of “Kids Say the Darndest Things.”
NewSpace Entertainment is presenting the Cosby shows.

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A life of Kaua'i privacy for Buffy Sainte-Marie

October 16th, 2009

Buffy Sainte-Marie, the Native American singer-songwriter and Academy Award-winner, lives a quiet life of anonymity and privacy in a mountainous Kaua‘i retreat which has been her piece of paradise for decades.
She farms, she tends to goats and crops, but most of all, she’s happy. Very happy.
“I’ve lived under an assumed name, way in the mountains, raising my son, who’s now 30,” she said. “I’m on the road a lot — just back from Europe, Norway, England, Canada,” she said of her summer sojourn — “but this is home.”
The Garden Isle’s reliable weather was a factor in her dropping anchor here — but she also lived through the menace of the hurricanes “Everyone lost their roofs; it was radical,” she said.
“When I was living in Canada, we got blizzards so often, flights were threatened,” said Sainte-Marie. “When you have to work, you can’t not show up. I was aware that I couldn’t continue to live there.”
During one O‘ahu working trip, she came, she saw, she was conquered.
“The beauty of the nature in the mountains — that’s the ideal of peace and quiet,” said Sainte-Marie. “I saw my place and I set my roots here, partly because of the reliable weather. The world is round, so it doesn’t matter where you begin your travels; what matters is coming home and mine is here.”
Well, she didn’t really say Kaua‘i. She said “an undisclosed island,” but it has been commonly known that the composer of such hit songs as Donovan’s “Universal Soldier” chart-topper and the Oscar-winning “Up Where We Belong,” has been a Garden Island resident for more three decades. Specifically where, perhaps a few may know; but sightings are practically non-existent. As a celeb, she’s not on the radar.
“I’m single and anonymous — it’s a blessing in my life, having it both ways. I love show biz, but how stuck up can you get when you give a pedicure to a goat? And clean the litterbox?
“I appreciate fame, but the real deal for me here is simple: I look at the stars, the trees, my 27 goats, my kitty cat, my retired horse.”
There’s a lilt in her voice: “Anonymity is a precious thing; I love being famous, but I love anonymity more. It’s not a matter of popularity; fame like Madonna’s mean you’re not going to just walk down the street. In Hawai’i, it’s all about nature and quiet ... anonymity at its best.”
She farms and advocates a green environment. “I raise crops; I have citrus, tropicals, a variety of fruits and veggies,” said Sainte-Marie. “And I give away Christmas trees; little ones and big ones. The very tall Norfolks go to woodturners of Kaua‘i, who use the wood for art projects for bowls and platters. Could be some folks have wooden bowls that were from my trees.”
Saint-Marie came out of the shadows — this year marks her 45th year as an entertainer — mostly to talk up her newest project, “Running for the Drum,” her first CD in 13 years, which also boasts a DVD of “A Multimedia Life,” a documentary by Joan Prowse, which also includes interviews with Joni Mitchell, Robbie Robertson, Randy Bachman and Bill Cosby.
“Reviews have been spectacular; these days, I do a lot of concerts in Canada, Europe, seldom in the U.S Next year, it’s Japan and Down Under. But having had a career as a teacher, I do speeches, talks at convocations, and I’m a big fan of libraries, which are having a hard time. There’s always something to work for.”
She loves the multicultural population and arts life here. “Honolulu is world class,” she said. “I visit a big city one day, an indigenous community the next. Hawaii does it perfectly and naturally.”
Not that she approves of the widespread development everywhere. “Indigenous people are finding themselves displaced,” said Sainte-Marine. “In one of my songs, ‘No No Keshagesh’ (it means greedy guts, like a pup chowing and hungering for more), I’m talking about environmental greed from the point of the indigenous people. The world is getting smaller and more toxic, and we’re on the front line of environmental issues. You used to drive along the highways, whether Indian or Maori or Hawaii, and there would open space. Bulldozers have changed everything; we need to protect Mother Earth.”
Sainte-Marie is a product of the 1960s and says it was a fun time. “I was way ahead of the crowd; I looked at the ’60s as a toy; it was all about play, not work.
“I was lucky at the beginning; coffee as the drug students ruled. The music was diverse; I’d hear Gabby (Pahinui), flamenco, English folk songs, delta blues. The record industry was more conventional, but they came up with genres. Now, it’s all about the Internet, genres, variety — and that works for me. But now, nobody knows were to find the record store.”
She’s gravitated to the techno times, with musical scoring in the 1970s using electronics “and I’ve never been intimidated by the computer. I had a Mac before it hit the streets, and had electronic digital paintings in the 1980s and ’90s that people now understand. I’m a low maintenance girl; I know how to take care of myself.”


Birthdate: Feb. 20, 1941, on the Piapot Cree Indian reservation, Saskatchewan, Canada; orphaned but adopted by Albert and Winifred Sainte-Marie; grew up in Maine
Why you know her: Co-wrote with Will Jennings and Jack Nitzsche “Up Where We Belong,” performed by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes for “An Officer and a Gentleman,” which won the Best Song Oscar in 1982
Her Island ties: Married surfing teacher Dewain Bugbee of Hawai'i in 1968; divorced in 1971; lives on Kaua’i; had a relationship since 1993 with localite Chuck Wilson
Family: Has son, Dakota “Cody” Starblanket Wolfchild, with Sheldon Wolfchild, a former husband from Minnesota
Little known fact: “Until It’s Time for You to Go,” one of her compositions, has been covered by a diverse lot — Neil Diamond, Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops, Cher, Roberta Flack, Bobby Darin
Missions accomplished: Wrote “Universal Soldier” in 1964 in support of wounded soldiers returning from Vietnam who were snubbed by the government, a hit for singer Donovan in the folk music era; active supporter of the Baha’i Faith; Native American social activist; visual and digital artist and educator

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