Archive for April, 2010

'Dinner: Impossible' meets 'Lost' on the beach May 19

April 22nd, 2010

Reality TV meets the mystiqueof “Lost,” the ABC series where reality is distorted to the max, when The Food Network’s “Dinner: Impossible” show prepares dinner for about 90 cast and crew on — what else? — a deserted beach on O’ahu.
The segment, airing at 7 p.m. May 19 on Oceanic Cable 60/Digital 321, will feature “Impossible” chef Robert Irvine, assisted by Honolulu chef Jon Matsubara of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, on a mission to prep, cook and serve dinner for a hungry Hollywood crew, relying only on food found on a private beach with minimal kitchen supplies.
The advance publicity says that Irvine is “stranded” on Papa’iloa Beach in Hale’iwa.
Which prompts the query: do you suppose the cooks will find shrimp and clams and the makings for fresh sushi, or any other seafood, just waiting to be snapped up for the diners on our sandy shores?
Will Irvine and Matsubara find enough grub, much less concoct appetizers and entrees, to satisfy the cravings of Jack, Sayid, Hurley, Sawyer, Jin, Sun, Kate, John, Ben, Desmond, Claire, Miles, etc.?
Not much has been revealed about what is served, how much food was found, or how the challenge of preparing a meal without a run to Costco or a supplier factors into the chore. The secrecy suits the nobody-knows-what-will-happen arc of “Lost,” ever since the Emmy-winning show launched here in 2004.
The cooking episode was taped at a “Lost” location set identified as Papa’iloa Beach, sometimes called Survivor Beach, in a Hale’iwa sector on private property. A formal list of actors-diners also is under wraps, so you’ll have to tune in to see who was there and what they ate.
For the record, chef Irvine generally completes his mission to feed his clients which often can number in parties of 100 to several hundred, often in bizarre, isolated environments like abandoned prisons.
If anything, the reality-food element brings a celebratory flavor to “Lost,” as it heads for the sunset after six seasons, since the final episode is set to air May 23.
The beach party is not the “Lost” wrap party, a traditional pau hana feast for all hired hands. This one is slated for a group of 600 this Saturday night at the Kahala Hotel and Resort, with Don Tiki its exotica sounds for guests.
The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau partnered with Starwood Hawaii to provide “Dinner: Mission Impossible” support for the filming of the show.

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'Get a Job' film under way on Maui; Willie K, Eric Gilliom star

April 22nd, 2010

“Get a Job,” an ambitious film comedy by Maui resident Brian Kohne, is in production on the Valley Isle, providing jobs for a coterie of local entertainers including Willie K, Eric Gilliom, Augie T, Carolyn Omine, Jake Shimabukuro, Kathy Collins, Kealoha and Alaka’i Paleka.
The project, by Cicala Filmworks and Malama Pono Productions, was launched April 16 and will shoot entirely on Maui locations. It was written and is being directed by Kohne, perhaps best known for his Malama Pono-produced award-winning Barefoot Natives act comprised of Willie K and Gilliom. “Get a Job” marks his feature film debut.
“It’s actually a love story in which the characters must learn to first want what they have, in order to get what they want,” said Kohne in a statement. “I’m blessed to know and have worked with many of these extraordinary entertainers before, and the opportunity to partner with a multi-talented, experienced independent filmmaker like Stefan Schaefer is a dream come true.”
Schaefer is the film’s producer and co-founder of Cicala Filmworks.
“We’ve assembled an experienced Hawaii crew along with several exceptional key positions from New York,” said Kohne, who expects “Get a Job” to be the first of many planned collaborations with Schaefer. The film's budget has not been revealed, nor the nature of funding.
Schaefer has completed a Hawaii-based dramatic screenplay, “‘Ohana,” and Kohne has a project dubbed “Brother’s Kuleana,” an adventure-comedy with cultural and spiritual implications, and hopes to create a television sit-com based on characters and elements from Barefoot Natives, which would further tap Willie K and Eric Gilliom.
In "Get a Job," Willie K plays a successful employment agent, William, whose career is jeopardized when he repeatedly fails to place a forty-something surfer named Merton, portrayed by Gilliom. Omine plays William’s girlfriend Laura, a wedding planner who wants to be married. Complications result in William jobless, homeless, girlfriend-less, and wheel-less.
Kohne describes the film as “Hawaii’s ‘Napoleon Dynamite,’” though he had originally hoped for an epic more in the realm of “Gone With the Wind” or “Ben Hur.” He concluded it would be “expensive to burn down mansions in Wailea: and “we wouldn’t be able to afford to shoot the chariot canoe race in Kahului harbor.”
Kohne is a graduate of Baldwin High School on Maui and San Jose State, with degrees in Film/Television and Art/Graphic Design. He move back to Maui from the Silicon Valley in 2004, where he was a successful Marketing and Media professional and semi-pro soccer player for several of the top clubs in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The production team includes Dan Hersey, who most recently worked on Philip Serymour Hoffman’s feature film “Jack Goes Boating,” as director of photography; he previously worked with producer Schaefer on “Arranged” and “The Hungry Ghosts.” Nori Hubbs is production designer, Beth Anne Kelleher is costume designer, and Blaise J. Noto of Maui-based Blaise Noto & Associates is marketing consultant.

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Add-on fees making the friendly skies unfriendly

April 16th, 2010

Up in the air, there’s a surge of “kaching-kaching” ploys going on.
One airline hopes to charge you if you stow your roll-aboard in the overhead bins.
Worse, another carrier intends to make you pay to pee.
Happily, neither is happening here — yet.
Add-on flight charges are getting ridiculous so perhaps it’s time for a Frank DeLima parody dubbed “Up, Up and Auwe,” lamenting the ballooning trend Up There.
Surely, you’ve heard the latest ...
Spirit, a budget carrier, plans to add a hefty charge for fliers boarding with a hand carry: a $45 fee at the gate ($30 if booked in advance online), meaning a roll-aboard or a loaded backpack but excluding a purse or a modest carry-on.
Its CEO says the charge would discourage folks with bulging bags from jamming them into limited stow space, which ultimately would reduce boarding delays and trigger more check-in bags since the fee to check a bag is $25 online, $45 at the airport.
Spirit also imposes seat-location fees: $15 for window, $10 for aisle, and $5 for middle. Huh?
Spirit is milking its customers with yet another unbundling charge. Meaning: it’s looking for ways to ante up the revenue, looking for untapped schemes while pretending it’s offering better service by opening up the cramped space in the overhead bins.
From a consumer’s perch, this is red-flag-dangerous: other carriers may see green (bucks) in this latest pimple on acne of the airline industry’s face and this tactic could spread like a plague.
Alarmingly, inventive airline bean counters continue to fish for new ways to hook a few more bucks. If you, like me, typically make three to five trips a year, including Neighbor Island hops and Mainland or global jaunts, this latest wrinkle is making the friendly skies very unfriendly.
So far, legacy carriers American, United, Delta and Continental are in holding pattern on the hand carry fee. But the copycat mentality could prevail.
Could Hawaiian join the line, too? I hope not!
You’ve heard that Ireland’s Ryanair is nickel-and-diming it, raising the ire of folks who use the no-frills carrier, which plans to install coin-operated on-board toilets this year. Absurd. I’m surprised the carrier hasn’t also thought of additional slots to use toilet paper, flush, wash hands, use paper towels.
That’s just the beginning; online reports reveal Ryan has revealed other outrageous proposals: to yank out two toilets to place six more seats, redesign planes to inaugurate a standing-room fare, install no-recline seats with no seat back pocket for the standard-fare safety card, eliminate airport check-in with only self-service online procedures where you print your own boarding pass, and request passengers to haul their checked bags to the gate.
It’s time to start beating the drums to prevent further charges and a spread of this virus. What goes up never comes down, after all. With an array of charges already in place for checked bags, in-flight food and, in some cases, fees for a pillow or a blanket, the sky’s the limit.
On one hand, you don’t blame the airlines. Fuel costs have gone astronomical — industry experts warn of more fuel surcharges this summer. Passengers cram more crap down the aisle and literally stuff the overhead bins with loot that exceeds the one bag, one purse or laptop generally allowed.
With charges for first and second bag already, carriers are always looking for new maneuvers to boost income, particularly if the service or the item is of a premium nature.
But as roll-aboards get larger, the bins remain teeny, meaning not enough space for bags, coats, computers and omiyage.
Would you be surprised if ...

* Vending machines are installed to fetch soda, water, or mini-bottles of burgundy or scotch? (This could reduce flight attendant counts, a bottom-line savings for carriers, though safety issues would be compromised).
• * Open space in the overheads (if carry-on loads actually diminish) converts to coin-operated lockers for those willing to hand-carry?
• * Seat choice selection escalates, with added fees?

I can appreciate added fees, if they bring added comfort, like more legroom, but
shouldn’t undesirable seats conversely be discounted? Like the zone next to the restrooms? The last row in coach? The seats close to the noisy galley?
Those who taketh should giveth, too.
One way to stop mounting add-on fees, of course, is to simply return to higher airfare across the board. Bundle up the fees, and bring back first-bag-free. A hotel charges you for the room; you get to use the bed, toilets, showers — but pay for perks. A la carte has been a nightmare.

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Guerrero, Ho'okena lead Na Hoku noms with seven

April 15th, 2010

Uluwehi Guerrero’s “Uluwehi Sings Na Mele Hula Aloha” and Ho'okena's "Nani Mau Loa (Everlasting Beauty)" lead the 2010 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards with a total of seven nominations apiece.
The Maui entertainer and kumu hula is vying for album of the year, male vocalist, Hawaiian album, song of the year, liner notes, Hawaiian language performance and favorite entertainer of the year.
The Hawaiian music foursome, comprised of Manu Boyd, Glen H.K. Smith, Horace Dudoit III and Chris Kamaka, is competing for group of the year, favorite entertainers, Hawaiian language, song of the year, with Boyd and Dudoit figuring in three haku mele in contention.
Other leading nominees are Amy Hanaiali’i’s “Friends and Family of Hawaii,” Lorna Lim's "Polinahe" and Na Palapalai’s “Nanea” with five, Mailani Makainai’s “Mailani” with four, and Ku’uipo Kumukahi’s “E Hula Mai Me A’u” with three. Hanaiali'i, Na Palapalai, Makainai and Kumukahi also are finalists with Guerrero for album of the year.
The nominees were announced today by the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts, whose 33rd awards show at 7:30 p.m. May 30 at the Hawai’i Convention Show is the grand finale of the first Na Hoku O Hawaii Music Festival featuring three days of music, workshops, exhibitions and panel discussions. For tickets, go to

HARA members will vote for the winners in 19 categories but adjudicators decide five technical and Hawaiian language categories. One award — favorite entertainer — is decided by public vote beginning in May, at

The Hoku evening arrivals will be televised live on K5 Your Home (Channel 5) from 6:30 p.m. and the awards presentations will begin at 7:30 p.m. on KGMB9.
Lifetime Achievement honorees, traditionally revealed before the telecast, will also be acknowledged. The 2010 winners are Ida Keli’i Chun, The Makaha Sons, Boyce Rodrigues, with posthumous laurels going to George Ka’inapau, a falsetto icon, and the members of the Isaacs family, including Alvin Kaleolani Sr., Barney, Atta and Norman Isaacs.

The complete list of 2010 nominees:

Most Promising Artist(s)

RODNEY CAZIMERO, “Kohala Moon” (Heloke)

ANUHEA JENKINS, “Anuhea” (OneHawaii)

KOLOHE KAI, “This is the Life” (Go Aloha)

KÜLEWA, “Külewa” (Oversized)

ALVIN OKAMI, “Just Uke and Me” (KoAloha)

Female Vocalist of the Year

NOHELANI CYPRIANO, “Pulelehu..My Precious Butterfly” (Pulelehua)

AMY HANAIALI`I, “Friends and Family of Hawai`I” (Ua)

RAIATEA HELM, “Raiatea Live!” (Raiatea Helm)

LORNA LIM, “Polinahe” (Palm)

MAILANI MAKAINAI, “Mailani” (Mountain Apple)

Reggae Album of the Year

“BRING BACK THE DAYS,” Rebel Souljahz (Go Aloha)

“EKOLU MUSIC II: ANTHEM,” Ekolu (Waiehu)

“GO JIMMY GO,” Go Jimmy Go (Go Jimmy Go)

“PRESS PLAY,” Nesian N.I.N.E (B.I.G.)

“THIS IS THE LIFE,” Kolohe Kai (Go Aloha)

Religious Album of the Year

“C. Z. RUNNER,” Kamalei Mark Teves (no label)

“KALANA,” Barrett Awai (Diamond Head Christian Records)

“NU OLI,” Na Leo Ho`onani (Reign)

“TESTAFIYAH,” Testafiyah (Crossstick)

Male Vocalist of the Year

BROTHER NOLAND, “Hawaiian Man” (Mountain Apple)

O`BRIAN ESELU, “Aloha E, Aloha E, Aloha E” (Hiki No)

ULUWEHI GUERRERO, “Uluwehi Sings Nä Mele Hula Aloha” (Kaulupono)

UNCLE WILLIE K, “Uncle Willie K Live from Mulligan’s on the Blue” (Maui Tribe)

KELI`I KANEALI`I, “Kaua`i” (Mountain Apple)

HENRY KAPONO, “The Wild Hawaiian Experience” (Eclectic)

Music Video DVD of the Year

“THE DRESS FOR LIFE,” June Simon (Golden Bell House)

“RAIATEA LIVE!,” Raiatea Helm (Raiatea Helm)




R&B/Hip Hop Album of the Year

“BEFORE MY LAST BREATH,” Ryan Hiraoka (Rubbah Slippah)

“NOBODY OWNS ME,” Faioso (Pearl City Publishing)

“RAPS 2 DA MAX,” Mo Illa Pillaz (no label)

“SITUATION,” Pone Boy (Hitropolis)

Rock Album of the Year

“ACOUSTI-ME,” Kona (LineKona)

“CANEFIELD HERO,” David Tamaoka (MIX)

“DON’T SLOW DOWN,” The Throwdowns (The Throwdowns)

“SIMPLE TRUTH,” Gail Swanson (no label)


Island Music Album of the Year

“ALOHA PUMEHANA,” Darlene Ahuna (Daniel Ho)

“E KU`UIPO E HULA MAI ME A`U,” Ku`uipo Kumukahi (Ward)


“HAWAIIAN MAN,” Brother Noland (Mountain Apple)

“KAUA`I,” Keli`i Kaneali`i (Mountain Apple)

Group of the Year


EDDIE KAMAE AND THE SONS OF HAWAII, “Yesterday and Today, Volume 2” (Hawaii Sons)

HO`OKENA, “Nani Mau Loa (Everlasting Beauty)” (Ho`omau)

NÄ PALAPALAI, “Nanea” (Hulu Kupuna)

WAIPUNA, “Mana`o Pili” (Poki)

Instrumental Album of the Year

“FOUR STRINGS: THE FIRE WITHIN,” Brittni Paiva (Talmidim)

“FROM HIS HEART,” Derick Sebastian (Cross Path)

“LANI,” Chiyo Flynn and Bruce Shimabukuro (Forever)

“LIVE,” Jake Shimabukuro (Hitchhike)


“WAIHUA,” Ranga Pae (Cave)

Anthology of the Year

“A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS,”, Teresa Bright (Teresa Bright) Kit Ebersbach and DJ Pratt – producers

“NÄ LEO 25TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION,” Nä Leo Pilimehana (NLP) Nä Leo Pilimehana – producers

“SEAN NA`AUAO HOT HITS,” Sean Na`auao (Mountain Apple) Sean Na`auao – producer

“TOM MOFFATT 50 YEARS OF MUSIC IN HAWAII,” Various Artists (Shaka) George Chun and

Andrea Dismuke – producers

“ULTIMATE VIBES: THE BEST OF NATURAL VIBRATIONS,” Natural Vibrations (Natural Vibrations) Natural Vibrations - producers

Compilation Album of the Year

“CROSSSTICK COLLECTIVE, VOL. 1,” Various Artists (Crossstick) Vernon Kapua`ala - producer

“DJ JIMMY TACO AND SLAPP SYMPHONY PRESENTS SLAPP COLLECTIVE,” Various Artists (Slapp Symphony) James Westbrook and Leti Leti - producers

“HULA ISLAND STYLE, VOLUME 1,” Various Artists (Keala) Greg Sardinha – producer

“`IKE O NÄ KUMU HULA (INSIGHTS OF HULA SOURCES),” Various Artists (Lamaku Society) Tony Conjugacion and Pierre Grill - producers

“MASTERS OF HAWAIIAN SLACK KEY GUITAR,” Various Artists (Daniel Ho) George Kahumoku, Jr., Paul Konwiser, and Wayne Wong - producers

Jazz Album of the Year

“COME TOGETHER,” Ginai with Pierre Grill (RVR)

“GIRL TALK,” Hula Honeys (Ululoa)

“JUST UKE AND ME,” Alvin Okami (KoAloha)

“LAST TAKES WITH RORY,” The Rich Crandall Trio (Music Formats)

“UKULELE VIBES,” Abe Lagrimas, Jr. (Pass Out)

Hawaiian Album of the Year

“MAILANI,” Mailani Makainai (Mountain Apple)

NANEA, Nä Palapalai (Hulu Kupuna)

“POLINAHE,” Lorna Lim (Palm)

“ULUWEHI SINGS NÄ MELE HULA ALOHA,” Uluwehi Guerrero (Kaulupono)

“YESTERDAY AND TODAY, VOLUME 2,” Eddie Kamae and the Sons of Hawaii (Hawaii Sons)

Contemporary Album of the Year

“ANUHEA,” Anuhea Jenkins (OneHawaii)

“C & K,” Cecilio and Kapono (C & K)

“LOVE & PEACE AND UNITY,” Iolani and Natalie Ai Kamauu (Keko)

“PULELEHUA..MY PRECIOUS BUTTERFLY,” Nohelani Cypriano (Pulelehua)

“SOUTH OF THE BOUDOIR,” Don Tiki (Taboo)

Album of the Year

“E KU`UIPO E HULA MAI ME A`U,” Ku`uipo Kumukahi (Ward) Ku`uipo Kumukahi, Karen Aiu, Isaac Akuna, and Steve Kramer – producers

“FRIENDS AND FAMILY OF HAWAI`I,” Amy Hanaiali`i (Ua) Amy Hanaiali`i and Matt Catingub – producers

“MAILANI, Mailani Makainai (Mountain Apple) Dr.Trey and Jon de Mello – producers

“NANEA,” Nä Palapalai (Hulu Kupuna) Kale Chang and Hulu Kupuna Productions – producers

“ULUWEHI SINGS NÄ MELE HULA ALOHA,” Uluwehi Guerrero (Kaulupono) Uluwehi Guerrero and Pono Fried – producers

Song of the Year

“I Love Kaua`i” by Keli`i Kaneali`I, from “KAUA`I,” Keli`i Kaneali`i (Mountain Apple)

“Ka Ni`o O Maleka `Ailana,” by Manu Boyd and Horace Dudoit III, from “NANI MAU LOA- EVERLASTING BEAUTY,” Ho`okena (Ho`omau)

“Nani Kamakura” by Uluwehi Guerrero and Pono Fried, from “ULUWEHI SINGS NÄ MELE HULA ALOHA,” Uluwehi Guerrero (Kaulupono)

“Pä Aheahe” by Amy Hanaiali`i Gilliom, Gary Kalehua Krug, Jr., and Matt Catingub, from “FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF HAWAI`I,” Amy Hanaiali`i (Ua)

“Polinahe” by Lorna Lim and Wailau Ryder, from “POLINAHE,” Lorna Lim (Palm)

Slack Key Album of the Year

“HÖ`IHI (RESPECT),” Ozzie Kotani (No Label)

“KANI WAI: SOUND OF WATER,” George Kahumoku, Jr. and Bob Brozman (Kealia Farms)

“MAUI ON MY MIND,” Jeff Peterson (Peterson) Favorite Entertainer of the Year

Favorite Entertainer of the Year












BROTHER NOLAND, JON de MELLO, AND KEITH USHER, for “HAWAIIAN MAN,” Brother Noland (Mountain Apple)


SCOTT JOHNSON, for “DON’T SLOW DOWN,” The Throwdowns (The Throwdowns)

STACEY LEONG DESIGN, for “MAUI ON MY MIND,” Jeff Peterson (Peterson)

KATHY LONG, for “FOUR STRINGS: THE FIRE WITHIN,” Brittni Paiva (Talmidim)

KUHAO ZANE, for “POLINAHE,” Lorna Lim (Palm)

Liner Notes

BARRETT AWAI, for “KALANA,” Barrett Awai (Diamond Head Christian Records)



NEIL HANNAHS, for “MANA O PILI,” Waipuna (Poki)

KAWAIKAPUOKALANI HEWETT, for “HO`OLA I KA POLI,” Kawaikapuokalani Hewett (Daniel Ho Creations)

GEORGE AND NANCY KAHUMOKU, for “KANI WAI: SOUND OF WATER,” George Kahumoku, Jr. and Bob Brozman (Daniel Ho Creations)

CINDY A. LANCE, for “BABA ALIMOOT,” Baba Alimoot (Hula)

LARRY SPIELER, for “YESTERDAY AND TODAY, VOLUME 2,” Eddie Kamae and the Sons of Hawai`i (Hawai`i Sons, Inc.)

Haku Mele

“Hanohano Helumoa,” by Manu Boyd from “NANI MAU LOA – EVERLASTING BEAUTY,” Ho`okena (Ho`omau, Inc.)

“He Mele No Kahalu`u,” by Mailani Makainai and Keola Donaghy from “MAILANI,” Mailani Makainai (Mountain Apple)

“Ka Ni’o O Maleka `Ailana,” by Manu Boyd and Horace Dudoit III, from “NANI MAU LOA – EVERLASTING BEAUTY,” Ho`okena (Ho`omau, Inc.)

“Kahalaomapuana,” by Keawe Lopes and Tracie Lopes from “`IKE NÄ KUMU HULA (INSIGHTS OF HULA SOURCES),” Various Artists (Lamaku Society)

“Nani Mau Loa,” by Horace Dudoit, III, Puakea Nogelemeier, and Manu Boyd from NANI MAU LOA – EVERLASTING BEAUTY, Ho`okena (Ho`omau, Inc.)

Hawaiian Language Performance

ULUWEHI GUERRERO, “Uluwehi Sings Nä Mele Hula Aloha” (Kaulupono)

KAWAIKAPUOKALANI HEWETT, “Ho`ola I ka Poli” (Daniel Ho Creations)

HO`OKENA, “Nani Mau Loa – Everlasting Beauty” (Ho`omau, Inc.)

NÄ PALAPALAI, “Nanea” (Hulu Kupuna)

VARIOUS ARTISTS, `Ike O Nä Kumu Hula (Insights of Hula Sources) (Lamaku Society)


WENDELL CHING, for “G-STYLE,” Micah G (G style)

GAYLORD HOLOMÄLIA, for “C&K,” Cecilio and Kapono (C&K)


DARIN LEONG, for “MAUI ON MY MIND,” Jeff Peterson (Peterson)

RON PENDRAGON, for “BEHIND THE MOON,” Treysara (Indie)

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For 'Ohia, growth and renewal, amid laughter and pain

April 9th, 2010

The laughter erases the pain and the process of putting together a Lisa Matsumoto production provides comfort — like soothing medicine.
So says Roslyn Catracchia, collaborator with the late playwright-humorist Matsumoto, of the relaunch of “The Princess and the Iso Peanut,” which premieres tonight at the Hawai’i Theatre,10 years after its debut and two years after her death in December 2007 in a bizarre H-1 traffic accident in which she was driving the wrong way on the freeway.
“‘Iso Peanut’ definitely has been good medicine,” said Catracchia. “The memories are so vivid. It was the first show Lisa and I did together that was a single story with a single through line, and it was very exciting for us working together as a team.”
Normally a musical director for an ‘Ohia Productions show, Catracchia has been juggling several tasks this go-round, while trying to keep her emotions in check. The involvement has been cathartic, she said in an interview, and old cast vets have blended with newbies to provide both a solid foundation and an optimistic future to share the joy of pidgin theater, Matsumoto’s hallmark.
“The decision to revive the show wasn’t difficult, however the process has been challenging,” said Catracchia, who has a teeny cameo in the production. “I was ready to get one of her shows out there again. I want so much to remind people of how incredible Lisa was… how creative, how hilarious, how joyful.
“Lisa had a magical way of helping us to keep our inner child alive and well, primarily through laughter and through celebrating our differences,” said Catracchia. This notion underscores everything in their collaborations, from “Peanut” to the “Once Upon a Time” trilogy that receive periodic revivals on stages across O’ahu.
At a rehearsal, Dwayne Fujitani (who is reviving the King Yuichi he originated opposite Matsumoto’s Queen Yumiko 10 years ago) watched with Catracchia, a scene from Act II.
“Dwayne turned to me and said, ‘We never get tired of it, do we? It’s just as fun as it was 10 years ago.’ And it’s true. We’re still laughing.”
With a mix of returnees and newbies, “it’s wonderful to see the family growing,” said Catracchia.
Indeed, folks who are touched by the experience return to stay.
“I’d say about half the cast are returnees, and that’s a cast of almost 50!,” she said.
For director Patrick Fujioka, this show is particularly meaningful: during the original run, he proposed to his wife, Colleen (Sullivan) Fujioka, who portrayed Princess Alexis.
Clint Sekioka (playing Prince Chah Ming Won encouraged casting new actors. “They are our future,” said Sekioka. “If we don’t get them and show them what it’s all about and how much fun it is and why it’s important to do it again, then something else will get them — baseball, paddling, volleyball. It’s time for us to nurture their creativity.”
Catracchia said University of Hawaii director Tammy (Hunt) Montgomery “taught all of us — the original cast and crew of Lisa’s trilogy — about creating a safe, playful environment where as a cast you become more like family.”
Matsumoto’s death was a gray day for Catracchia. “I was in shock,” she said. “The day after she passed away, I was sick and my mom was driving me to the hospital. I remember looking out the window and everything looked black and white, no color at all. I tried to search for something with color, and I couldn’t find anything. The trees were gray, the sky was gray, the ocean was gray. I was exhausted and emotionally drained, and I felt as if everything around me was ‘The Wizard of Oz’ in reverse, as if Lisa and I had been living in amazing, beautiful, colorful Oz, and that I had been swept away, alone, back to Kansas, and there was no going back.”
Moving forward was not easy for the singer-composer, who stopped writing for awhile. “Then a few projects came in, and it was good to write again, but they were nothing like the projects Lisa and I had done in the past,” said Catracchia. “She and I had a list of musicals we wanted to do together. It made me so sad to think that none of them would ever come to pass.”


Premieres at 7 p.m. today; repeats at 2 and 7 p.m tomorrow and 2 p.m. Sunday and again at 7 p.m. April 15, 16 and 17 and 2 p.m. April 18
Hawai’i Theatre
$15-$30 (discounts available), 528-0506

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