Archive for December, 2009

One final round-up -- and cheers for a super 2010!

December 31st, 2009

For my final blog of the year, I offer a quickie round-up of events and people you may want to check out...and send best wishes for a healthy and safe new year and new decade:

Music: Makaha Sons at Royal Hawaiian Center

The Makaha Sons — Louis “Moon” Kauakahi, Jerome Koko and John Koko — will be joined by kumu hula Karl “Veto” Baker and Michael Lanakila Casupang in a free concert at 7 p.m. Jan. 9 at the Royal Grove of the Royal Hawaiian Center.
A Hawaiian fashion show at 6:30 p.m., by Ryan Brown/ADR Productions, will precede the concert, which will feature The Makaha Sons’ signature songs and hula kahiko by Halau I ka Wekiu.
Randy Hudnall of Hawaiian 105 KINE radio will emcee.
“The Makaha Sons are legends in the Hawaiian music scene and will be a great draw for both our visitors and kamaaina community,” said Manu Boyd, cultural director for Royal Hawaiian Center. The site once was Helumoa, a coconut grove with 10,000 trees, in the heart of olden times Waikiki. The Royal Grove now is a gatherig place for music, shopping and dining.
Parking is free with validation — three hours with a restaurant validation, two hours with a food court validation.

Opera: Quinn Kelsey at the Hawai’i Theatre

Baritone Quinn Kelsey, who has performed with the Hawaii Opera Theatre, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and New York Met and the San Francisco Opera, will perform his award-winning repertoire Jan. 20 at the Hawai’i Theatre. Tamara Sanikidze will be piano accompanist.
The recital is a Hawaii Opera Theatre-Hawai’i Theatre collaboration, marking HOT’s 50th anniversary.
Kelsey has starred in numeours operas here, singing Marcello in “La Boheme,” Mandarin and Ping in “Turandot” and Sharpless in “Madama Butterfly.”
Tickets: $25 and $50; a $75 VIP package includes premium orchestra seating and a post-recital cocktail with Kelsey at the theater.
Reservations: 528-0506 or visit

Music: Another ‘Breathe’ concert Jan. 30

Melveen Leed, Willie K and the Hot Club of Hulaville are among the headliners of the American Lung Assn. of Hawaii’s “Breathe” concert, set for 7:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at the Hawai’i Theatre.
Marian Jay Morrison, veteran Island performer and dance teacher who also has had a 15-year association with Walt Disney Entertainment, will direct the concert, promising an “exhilarating showcase of the senses.”

A cast of 150 will perform. The concert is staged to raise awareness of the importance of clean air — an everyday matter of life and breath — and to combat lung disease and asthma in adults and youths.
Tickets: $35 and $55, $135 for VIP tickets that include a pre-concert with food and beverages at the theater. Discounts are available for seniors, students and military with ID as well as Hawai’i Theatre members.
Reservations: 528-0506 or visit

Whale-watching: Ahoy there, cruises have begun

Whale-watching cruises, aboard the Atlantis Navatek, have begun, with daily departures at noon, through April 11.
The two-and-a-half-hour lunch cruises trace the East O’ahu shoreline and includes rarely-seen vistas from the sea as well as a buffet. Atlantis also offers its “see a whale or sail again for free” guarantee; if you don’t see a humpback, you may return on another day.
Departures are from Pier 6 at Aloha Tower Marketplace.
Tickets: $69 for adults, $35 for children 2 through 12, with roundtrip ground transporation included for visitors in Waikiki.

Radio taping: ‘Aloha Shorts’ set for Jan. 10

“Aloha Shorts” will pay tribute to Filipino authors at a taping at 6:45 p.m. Jan. 10 at Hawaii Public Radio’s Atherton Studio. To complement the Filipino theme, the University of Hawaii Filipino Rondalla will perform.
Cedric Yamanaka is show host.
Readings will be from the current Bamboo Ridge Press publication, featuring “In the Company of Strangers,” a short story by Michelle Cruz Skinner; excerpts will be read by Donalyn Dela Cruz.
Other writers featured, and those performing, include Eileen Tabios (read by Stephanie Kong), Jennifer Santos Madriaga, Noel Abubo Mateo (Cheyne Gallarde), Normie Salvador (Cheyne Gallarde), Kenneth Zamora Damacion, Darlene M. Javar (Stephanie Kong).
Admission is free, but seating is limited.
Call 955-8821.
The taped shows will air at 6:30 p.m. the following Tuesday on KIPO 89.3 FM.

Season’s greetings: Check out Jake Shimabukuro’s website

I’ve applauded Jake Shimabukuro, largely for his one-of-a-kind talent, but my hat’s off to him for his very sincere holiday tidings now on his website,
Listen as he recaps this past year, and reveals his plans for the early months of the new year; you hear an earnest, dedicated and committed musicians, whose laurels equal his genuine sincerity. May other entertainers have as much success and humility as Shimabukuro.
And I add my holiday aloha to one and all, as one year ends and a new era begins. Hauoli makahiki hou!

Show Biz: Christmas cheer, in verse

December 25th, 2009

'Twas the morning of Christmas
And out on the lawn;
Santa was all smiles:
“Pau hana, it’s dawn.”

His parcels were delivered
His feet and back sore;
His gifts were spot-on
With stuff folks would adore.

For Hanaiali’i and Reichel
Why not a duet?
And pairing Jay with Karen?
They’d do one, no sweat.

For Michelle Wie she scored
A big tournament win;
With a spare for Fujikawa
And an endorsement spin.

For Roland Cazimero, simple:
A clean bill of health;
For Robert Cazimero, ditto;
But add shopping and wealth.

For Jake Shimabukuro
With ‘ukulele so faithful
Lessons with Queen Elizabeth
(Or would she be grateful?)

For Raiatea Helm?
Deluxe chocolate-coated nuts;
For the symphony musicians?
Work! Paychecks! Lots!

For Ho’okena, perhaps,
The Hawaiian Grammy reward;
That’s only if Daniel Ho
Doesn’t snare the award.

A stash of local gags
For Frank, Augie and Andy;
A back-to-the-country gig
For Makana Sons. Dandy!

For Jack and Cha Thomson
A White House hana hou?
With the Obamas in our midst
It just might be a “go!”

For Makana, why not,
A Monarch Room hana hou;
And where is that statue
For beloved Don Ho?;

A real home vacation
For Loretta Ables Sayre;
Broadway’s just wonderful
But ya know, it snows over there.

For Billy V? Some rest
He moves like a cyclone;
More decorations and costumes
For showman Cione.

For Marlene Sai,
A new CD, indeed;
And toss in another
For ol’ Melveen Leed.

And gollee, ‘twas nice
To have Jim Nabors back;
Helped Hawai’i’s Burton White
To stay in the black.

For Tom Moffatt why not
A show list so long
With Paul, Tina, Mick
To follow-up Jovi and John?

A long overdue crown
For the morning drive kings;
Mike Perry and Larry Price,
Also deserve a pair of rings.

More cool, same charisma
For svelte Jimmy Borges;
And doesn’t Matt Catingub's
Short locks look real gorgeous?

A break from furlough talks
For Gov. Linda Lingle;
She needs prep time
To make negotiations tingle.

For Jack Johnson, it’s time
For another “Kokua” show;
For Manoa DNA, pause time,
Since they’re always on the go.

For Emme and Carole
May TV specials never dim;
For dieters everywhere
A year’s pass at the gym.

For hard-luck Roy Tokujo,
A Waikiki extravaganza;
For Mayor Hannemann?
Hail rail ... a bonanza?

For Howard and Diane
For Ramsay and Paul?
Perhaps next year
You’ll all get that news call.

Though Blangiardi should explain
That 9-8-5 dealie.
And has think-about-it Fink
Reinvented the news wheelie?

Good times forever
For Cecilio and Kapono;
For Na Leo and Nohelani
Hale Koa shows – so pono.

To the Kahumoku clan,
To the Pahinui ‘ohana, too:
Mahalo for sharing
Your particular Island brew.

For the Society of Seven,
The one here and in Vegas;
A quick champagne toast
Or do they prefer Chivas?

To the de Mello duo,
Son Jon and dad Jack:
Applause for their music
Right now and way back.

May Keith and Carmen
Never ever retire;
They share their art
Manuahi or for hire.

May Jeff Peterson join
The league of music greats;
You know, Eddie, Herb, Gabby,
Sonny, Roy — those mates.

For Chef Mavro, more raves
For his culinary skills;
For Roy, Russ, D.K., Alan
Not-so-costly food bills.

New commercial jingles
For that Kimura dude Audy;
And for Big Islander Brittni?
On cold nights? Hot toddy.

For Merrie Monarch competitors
And folks like Kanoe Miller,
Let's make hula bigger here
Than in Japan, where it's a thriller.

For the cast of “Lost,”
May your last season be jolly;
Of course, some of you could stay on
And become locals, by golly.

To you faithful readers,
You Mr. and Ms.;
A very Mele Kalikimaka...
And that’s Christmas Show Biz. ...

Review: 'Stomp' is an industrial caravan of sounds, rhythms

December 24th, 2009

“Stomp” is movement and rhythm, noise and music, comedy and acrobatics — an explosion of sheer fun and merriment.
It’s back at the Hawai’i for the holidays, playing through Jan. 3 — and it's a great way to ring in the New Year’s without pyrotechnics.
Its inventive use of everyday objects, including the kitchen sink, makes “Stomp” somewhat of an industrial caravan of hardware (and software) masquerading as theater.
And it works.
From the opening shuffling and tapping of brush brooms to the standard finale of two guys on huge steel drums romping like Terminators with a mission, “Stomp” is a romp for young and old alike. When I attended the show last night, scores of kids were clapping and cheering and discovering the somewhat tribal temptations of the production. Oh, their parents were tapping and clapping along, too.
Yes, it’s all about tempos and thumping, the sounds and the rhythmics resulting from tapping (or tossing) steel cans, rustling plastic bags, shaking or tapping matchboxes, or mere hand-clapping or body-slamming.
The eye-opening number, of course, is the utilization of that over-sized metallic xylophone that forms the backdrop of the endeavor — loaded with signs, hubcaps, tubing, pots, pans — and creating a cacophony of soul-stirring music. There’s choreography, too, with performers doing mini-bungee jumps, reaching for and hitting an object or two or three.
Of the fresh inserts, the over-sized inflated inner tubes — like gray-black doughnuts for the Jolly Green Giant — were an audience favorite, with bouncing delights aplenty.
Andres Fernandez, one of three Islanders in the cast (the others are Ivan Delaforce and Guillaume Carreira), is the one to watch in the old newspaper-rustling-and-ripping number. He folds and manipulates broadsheet newspapers into hats, G-string coverup, gun, spear, and he accentuates his props with broadly funny interpretations, notably as a stripper and a Maori warrior without the painted face (his natural bush of hair is a bonus).
Thirteen performers comprise the touring cast and only eight take the stage each night, so you may not see all locals in one visit — so go back for another serving. “Stomp” is a buffet for the eyes and the ears and the soul — and you’ll get a big bang out of the hijinks and highly innovate ways these guys and gals create their industrial symphony of sounds.

8 p.m. today-Saturday, Monday-Jan. 2; 3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 2-3;
7 p.m. Sunday and Jan. 3.
Hawai'i Theatre

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'Everyone has rhythm,' says 'Stomper' Delaforce

December 24th, 2009

After 14 years with “Stomp,” Islander Ivan Delaforce has figured out why the off-Broadway show remains popular — in New York and on tour. It’s all about the beat, the tempo, the movement, the sound.
“Everybody can do rhythm, even if they think they have none,” said Delaforce, 40, about the lingering fascination of the percussion-heavy show, now playing at his old stomping grounds, the Hawai’i Theatre, for another holiday run through Jan. 3.
“It’s kinda subliminal, how it all works, even if you’ve seen it before,” he said. “So amazing; we can play all kinds of music with different things. And the show has no language, so everyone understands it. We bang on things; there’s noise; it’s music. It’s somewhat tribal; that’s the genius of the show’s creators, Steve (McNicholas) and Luke (Creswell). They found objects; trash cans, hammer handles, brooms to make rhythm.”
“Stomp!” has been Delaforce’s stomping grounds since 1995 and he’s particularly thrilled to come home to his stomping grounds to strut his stuff again.
“I guess I’m the long-timer,” he said of his tenure. “I’m lucky to be able to come to this one. I’m based in Las Vegas, where I was able to help originate a role in ‘Stomp Out Loud,’ a spin-off of ‘Stomp,’ but ‘Stomp’ has been my life. Actually, I haven’t been on tour since October; but the tour needed help, because of the (holiday) schedule. Hey, Hawai’i is home — and I get to spend Christmas with family.”
The troupe normally numbers 12; he’s the 13th. Usually, eight take the stage and the cast rotates this way, allowing everyone spotlight and down time.
Delaforce was chatting long-distance from Los Angeles, where he was doing a gig with a friend on tour, who was to be on the Jay Leno show this particular night.
The touring show includes a couple of new numbers, said Delaforce. One involves paint cans, metal cans and buckets; the other, inner tubes, called “Doughnuts.”
Old numbers are usually tweaked, so there are fresh flavors and moves in the production, but the garbage cans are usually the “Stomp!” trademark.
He has obvious affection for the Vegas show, which was designed exclusively for the Sin City audience, and it twice as large as the usual “Stomp”-ede. “There were some numbers that could be done there, since this was a sit-down (permanent) show, and there was a spectacular big cardboard box number, with 16 people on stage, plus a number called ‘Waterphonics,’ with a big fishtank that lit up; we had bungee cords, tied with metal pipes, that made different sounds when moved in water. It was exciting to be part of the creative process of this show.”
It’s possible that the Vegas show might reopen next summer, he said, so he has options to return.
Sure, he’s had his share of show-related injuries. “It’s very physical; I’ve hurt my back, from wear and tear,” he said. “Those 55-gallon oil drums are heavy, 35 or 45 lbs. each. That got my back out during the first two years. But everyday blisters, pulled hamstrings, whatever.” In Vegas, he was out for a month due to hip issues.
“Stomp” has been his ticket across America and to parts of Europe, from Iceland to Italy. For two months, Delaforce also toured Tokyo and other Japan ports.
“This is a good way to see the world,” he said. “While in Hawai’i, I gotta recruit; bring more locals out to auditions.”
Delaforce was a serious surfer before he became a Stomper, so he suspects he’ll be checking out the waves while here.
“When I got into music, and then, ‘Stomp,” I lost my tan,” he said.
Does the production disallow the performers to indulge in such endeavors as surfing, to maintain stability in the company?
“Never used to be, considering the crazy stuff that Luke, one of the original Stompers, who used to skydiving or snowboarding, some kind of extreme sport.”


He’s a dad: “Nainoa was born last May 20 and he’ll get to spend his first Christmas in Hawai’i. He’s not hitting anything yet, but he uses his voice — he screams.”
He’s got buddies: “For the first time, there are three local aguys in this show. We first met in the Las Vegas ‘Stomp’ show, and what’s interesting is that we all grew up in the Salt Lake-Moanalua-Aliamanu area. I grew up in Foster Village; Andres “Pooh” Fernandez, went to Radford, and I think he was from the Salt-Lake Moanalua area; Guillaume Carreira lived in Kane’ohe for a while, but has family in Salt Lake-Moanalua.”
His must-do’s: “I gotta find a board to surf; can’t do that in Vegas. That’s after I have Zippy’s chili, of course.”
His roots realization: “If you’re from Hawai’i, it’s all a measure of who you know and where you wen ‘ grad. It’s trippy; I only realized this recently that where you went high school really matters. I’m a Damien grad.”

8 p.m. today-Saturday, Monday-Jan. 2; 3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 2-3;
7 p.m. Sunday and Jan. 3.
Hawai'i Theatre

Obituary: Jennie M. Von Rohr, mother of Loretta Ables Sayre

December 20th, 2009

Jennie M. Von Rohr, mother of Island entertainer and Tony Award nominee Loretta Ables Sayre, died Wednesday (Dec. 16) of an aneurysm after suffering a heart attack. She also had been battling a kidney ailment for a dozen years.
Services will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow (Mon Dec. 21) at Unity Church, 3608 Diamond Head Circle.
Von Rohr was a proud and devoted supporter of her performing daughter, but never got to see Ables Sayre in her Tony Award-nominated role of Bloody Mary in Lincoln Center’s musical hit, “South Pacific.”
“She was a strong, loving woman who had battled kidney disease for the past 12 years,” said Ables Sayre, who is back in Hawai’i on leave from “South Pacific.”
“She went quiety and (was) surrounded by love,” said Ables Sayre. “She was our matriarch and leader. It was because of her vision and lifelong love of Hawai’i that she got my stepfather to request being transferred here from California. This is where she wanted to live and raise her family.”
Von Rohr had attempted to make it to Broadway to catch her daughter in the star-making role late in her singing career — at age 50 — but the flight was challenging; Von Rohr made the flight to California, but the trip was too strenuous for Von Rohr, who required dialyses treatment, so scrapped plans to go to New York and returned home.
Von Rohr was born in Phoenix, AZ and worked at Liberty House.
Besides Ables Sayre (and spouse David Sayre), survivors include daughters Barbara Karges and Judith Jones; sons Raymond Ables and James Von Rohr; and six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Attire is casual for the memorial services. Graveside services will be at Hawaiian Memorial Park.
n lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Kidney Fund,

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