Archive for September, 2010

MVT ‘A Christmas Carol’ requires multi-tasking cast

September 20th, 2010

Manoa Valley Theatre will hold auditions for its holiday show, “A Christmas Carol,” at 7 p.m. today (Sept. 20) at MVT, 2833 E. Manoa Road. The cast will have to multi-task, portraying multiple roles.
With Betty Burdick guest-directing, the production — based on the classic Charles Dickens work — will be a Doris Baizley adaptation with a play within-a-play concept with minimal sets, no props, tapping the imagination of the viewers. Performances will be from Nov. 11 through Dec. 12.
The ensemble features the traditional Dickensian characters — Ebenezer Scrooge, Marley, the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and more — but the actors each will play several roles.
Parts for five men, three women and one adolescent child (male or female) are sought to play the different characters.
Here’s how the audition call describes the available roles:

MAN #1 - age 30-50, plays the Stage Manager and Scrooge.

MAN #2 - any age, take-charge type, plays the Director, Marley and Christmas Future.

MAN #3 - age 20s-30s, leading man type, plays Leading Man and Bob Cratchit.

MAN #4 - age 20s-30s, young leading man type, plays Young Leading Man and Fred, Scrooge's nephew.

MAN #5 - age 30s-50s, character man type, plays Old Clown, School Master, Mr. Fezziwig and Jake the Fence.

WOMAN #1 - age 20s-30s, leading lady type, plays Christmas Past and Mrs. Cratchit.

WOMAN #2 - age 20s-30s, ingenue type, plays Ingenue, Belle and Mrs. Fred.

WOMAN #3 - age 30s-50s, character woman type, plays Character Woman, Charitable Woman, Mrs. Fezziwig, Mother-in-Law and Scavenger 3.

BOY or GIRL - to portray a small ten year old boy, plays the Prop Boy and Tiny Tim.

CLOWN #1 - man or woman, plays Ali Baba (helpful if you can walk on your hands), Christmas Present 1, Scavenger 1.

CLOWN #2 - man or woman, plays Parrot, Christmas Present 2, Scavenger 2 (helpful if you can juggle).

CLOWN #3 - man or woman, plays Little Caroller (high, sweet voice would be preferred), Christmas Present 3, Scavenger 4.

Rehearsals begin Sept. 22. The production will be staged in one act, with no intermission, at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, and 4 p.m. Sundays; there will be performance on Thanksgiving Nov. 25, a Thursday, so the make-up show will be at 7:30 p.m.Wednesday Nov. 17.
For details on audition requirements and role demands, go to
Scripts are available for on-site perusal at MVT’s business office, 2833 E. Manoa Road, between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Call 988-6131.

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OMG, Bruno Mars arrested for drug possession in Las Vegas

September 20th, 2010

With his career still in start-up mode, Hawaii’s Bruno Mars has jeopardized his climb to fame by pulling a Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton. He’s been busted for drugs possession.
Mars, the rising hip-hop singer and composer from Honolulu, was arrested early Sunday morning for apparent possession of narcotics, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Entertainment Weekly said the substance was cocaine.
Mars, 23, whose real name is Peter Hernandez, had performed at the Hard Rock and had tweeted his fans to come see the show. Afterward, he was confronted by security in a hotel bathroom, where he was arrested, according to the Las Vegas Journal.
Mars’ career has soaring this year, since he co-write and performed on such hit songs as B.o.B.’s “Nothing on You” and Travie McCoy’s “Billionaire,” and he als composed Flo Rida’s “Right Round.”
His first solo single, “Just the Way You Are,” also is a hit, previewing his first CD, “Doo-Wop & the Hooligans,” due to be released Oct. 5.
Mars has been announced as an opening act for Maroon 5’s “Hands All Over” tour beginning Oct. 6 and he’s schedule to join McCoy on his European tour this year.

Amazing Grace, Caan Man pace the 'Five-0' reviews

September 19th, 2010

“Hawaii Five-O,” premiering at 9 p.m. Monday (Sept. 20) on KGMB, is receiving unprecedented reviews — mixed but mostly positive — and looks like it will be the fall season’s darling of the small tube.
Much of the glee is about Amazing Grace (yeah, Grace Park) and the Caan Man (Scott Caan), in secondary roles but with eye-popping presence, based on the wave of opinions online sites and in print preceding the pilot's premiere.
The buzz is bountiful, certainly a green light for the network to book 'em, Danno, for the years to come.
Reviewers like the fact that "Five-0" boasts four big pluses could keep the Hawaii-filmed CBS entry afloat and a future in syndication, just like the original:
• Retention of the identifying, iconic theme song, in the opening credits of the reboot, complete with the requisite wave. The update is hot, hot, hot.
• Movie-quality chases and wow factor action, to keep the prime audiences watching, especially the young. Think “CSI: Miami” with a tropical veneer.
• The travelogue beauty of our Islands: sure to boost visitor counts and the economy.
• The see-sawing love-hate relationship between the one-two punch in the casting: Alex O’Loughlin as Steve McGarrett and Scott Caan as Danny “Danno” Williams, of the mythical police unit created by the governor (Jean Smart); the duo trade squawks as they battle the no-goods, side by side.
The big fave: Caan, over O’Loughlin, simply because he has baggage, attitude, and an unpredictable demeanor, like a downed live wire with undetermined spark and fury. And Grace Park as Kono has spunk and sex appeal to spare, a poster girl for bikinis, who is now the cousin of Chin Ho, played by the appealing Daniel Dae Kim, the lone “Lost” survivor to wind up still in an Island show that is entirely filmed on location here.
Here are some early reviews/comments:
Variety: “On paper, ‘Hawaii Five-0’ appears destined for can’t miss success, offering a pre-sold name, an attractive cast and a stunning location. But the expensive pilot — millions were spent on front-loaded explosions — doesn’t necessarily indicate smooth sailing, relying as it does on playful banter (more like frat-boy hazing) between the leads that grows tiresome even before the hour’s over .... charitably, (this is) a Diamond Head in the rough.”
San Francisco Chronicle: “’Hawaii Five-O’ is nothing but entertainment. It's eye candy. Waves, sun, island culture. A bad guy surfaces, McGarrett goes to work. Danno books him. End of story. Sometimes there are gun battles. Fists fly. That's all there is, folks. It's not rocket science... It’s almost impossible to mess up a series shot on location in Hawaii and featuring Grace Park in a bikini. True, watching the original is more fun. And more cheesy. But waves are waves. Hawaii is still pretty. And if you're looking for anything deeper than that, you've landed on the wrong island. ‘Lost’ is over. Let your mind take a break.”
Charlotte Observer: "The action sequences were pretty good (over the top, of course, but pretty good). It's worth watching if only for Scott Caan stealing the show as the wisecracking, dark-humored Danno. His is a breakout performance."
Washington Post: “'Hawaii Five-0’ is a big bag of dumb fun, with a story told as tautly and smoothly as the surface of a Polynesian drum. "Hawaii Five-0" succeeds mostly because it steers clear of sacrilege and gently ushers an old friend into a more kinetic form, a genre that has more physical and stylistic demands: The theme song has been updated to today's hyper-tempo standards while the camera zooms in on the new Steve McGarrett atop a Honolulu high rise, the same way the old one did. ... It gets better the minute McGarrett meets Danny Williams, a total haole played by the sardonic fireplug Scott Caan, who frankly saves the pilot episode.”
IGN Entertainment: “Engaging and fun ... I wouldn't exactly call Hawaii Five-0 can't miss, appointment TV — my tastes lean towards the serialized. But this is meant to be fun, escapist entertainment, and on that score it succeeds, corny moments and all. The beautiful Hawaiian setting, coupled with the high energy, cool action and talented cast all add up to a show that delivers exactly what it promises. And yes, the theme song is as catchy and hummable as ever. Just try and resist it…”

Watch the premiere, then post your own comments/reviews here...

Expect the unexpected with improv king Robin Williams

September 16th, 2010

Oscar-winning actor-comedian Robin Williams (“Good Will Hunting”) will be touring his “Weapons of Self Destruction” in Australia and New Zealand Nov. 4 through 20, so he’ll pause in Hawaii en route home to deliver a stand-up performance at 8 p.m. Nov. 22 at the Blaisdell Arena.
Williams is an incomparable A-list actor-comedian with a plethora of voices (and as many accents) laced with observations of life that will tickle the funny bone. Improv’s his thing, so expect the unexpected.
Tickets — $127, $87 and $67 — go on sale at 9 a.m. Sept. 25 at the box office and Ticketmaster locations.
Williams has had connections with audiences young and old for decades.
Parents and grandparents perhaps got to know him early on via a vintage TV comedy where the youthful Williams played the alien Mork from Ork in “Mork and Mindy.”
Movie-goers will not forget his Academy Award-winning psychologist creation in Ben Affleck’s and Matt Damon’s “Good Will Hunting.”
Family audiences — children and their moms and dads — will recall his ingenious voicing of the iconic Blue Genie in Disney’s “Aladdin” film, a prime example of how a celebrity’s voice can enhance an animated film.
And movie buffs of all ages have witnessed Williams create vivid characters over the decades: the absent-minded professor in “Flubber,” the deejay in “Good Morning, Vietnam,” the memorable (in-drag) nanny in “Mrs. Doubtfire,” the popular Teddy Roosevelt cameo in Ben Stiller’s “Night at the Museum,” the defecting Russian musician in “Moscow on the Hudson,” the English professor in “Dead Poets Society,” the creepy photo lab attendant in “One Hour Photo,” the eerie murder suspect in the dark “Insomnia,” the medical student in “Patch Adams,” the father in the board-game-coming-to-life “Jumanji,” the aging dude seeking youthful adventure in the nostalgic “Old Dogs,” the homeless gent in “The Fisher King,” the gay blade in “The Birdcage,” the adult Peter Pan in “Hook,” the celebrated author in “The World According to Garp,” the singing and tapping Penguins Ramon and Lovelace in “Happy Feet.” And there are lots more flicks, of course.
One project that was bandied about in the 1990s —but never materialized beyond trade talk and speculation — was Williams’ intended participation in “Damien of Molokai,” in which he was to portray the Belgian missionary Father Damien, who settled at the Hansen’s Disease settlement at Kalaupapa, on the island of Molokai, and whose missionary work with leprosy patients is the stuff of legend — and sainthood.
Chris Lee, the Hawaii-based Hollywood movie producer heading Tri-Star Pictures at the time, was high on producing the film, with Blue Rider Pictures’ Walter Josten and Jeff Geoffray anxious to lure Williams to the pivotal role.
Alas, the project never reached the big screen, despite Williams’ and his then-wife Marsha’s keen interest. Instead, Williams wound up narrating a documentary, “The Father Damien Story — an Uncommon Kindness,” directed by localite Stephanie Castillo. In retrospect, don’t you think he had the physicality and temerity to take on that challenge?

Don Ho’s Island Grill changes ownership

September 15th, 2010

Don Ho’s Island Grill, an original tenant on the waterfront of Aloha Tower Marketplace and a regular hang-out for the veteran Waikiki entertainer, has changed hands.
The new owner is Phillip Johnson, originally from Bend, Oregon, who spent summers in Hawaii in his childhood and had been living at Wailea, Maui since 2002. Last month, he negotiated a transfer of ownership of Don Ho’s Island Grill from veteran Honolulu restaurateurs Fred and Nicki Livingston, who had earlier acquired the site from Shep Gordon, and became owner on Sept. 10.
A sale price has not been revealed.
Johnson, 28, has been immersed in the Island dining and entertainment scene and hopes to continue to make Don Ho’s a player in the years ahead.
“I want to know every aspect of this place,” Johnson said in a statement. “I’ll be trained in every position, from host to dishwasher to manager… in the kitchen, the bar and on the floor.”
The restaurant always had a Don Ho theme and the “I’ll Remember You” and “Tiny Bubbles” singer frequently popped in for lunch, and sometimes, dinner, so sightings were common. His photos were splashed all over the restaurant, and budding talent competing in regular singing competitions usually wound up performing with Ho in Waikiki — an ongoing extension of Ho’s penchant to help nudge careers of youngsters.
Since Ho’s death in 2007, the restaurant has been somewhat of a museum of Ho memories, where video of his performances ran in constant looping, and the place has remained an environment for family-friendly gatherings — but minus Ho's regular visitations.
The new proprietor will build on this foundation by tweaking the menu, with a focus on customer satisfaction and employee appreciation, and will create incentives that would appeal to the local community. The menu will reflect some new additions named after Ho’s trademark songs and a “Tiny Bubbles” champagne breakfast on Saturdays will be offered, along with the usual Sunday brunch.
Most changes will be launched in December.

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