Archive for November, 2010

Oo, ee, oo, ah ha — DeLima takes on the TSA

November 28th, 2010
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Comedian Frank DeLima, not one to ignore a community (or in this case a national) dilemma, takes on the TSA and its current probe-the-body approach to airport security with a just-out parody sung to the tune of The Chipmunks “Witch Doctor” hit from yesteryear.
I nearly fell off my seat, when he sang this particular verse:
“His hands went everywhere, they patted high and low,
“They went from here to there, and searched me head to toe,
“Then he put the back of his hand where it shouldn't go,
“And I said ...
“Oo, ee, oo ah ah,
“Ting tang,
“Wala wala bing bang. ...”

Also note that DeLima puts himself smack dab in the middle of the radar — and furor — in his final verse. Choice!
DeLima and his writing partner, Patrick Downes, continue to immortalize, via parody, a number of timely benchmarks in Island history. Remember the last earthquake-blackout day (“Bad Day”) or Furlough Fridays (“Day-0”)?
Like the earlier ones, “I Saw the TSA” can be downloaded free at DeLima’s website, www.frankdelima.com. A voluntary contribution to his student program may be made, but not required.
Surely, DeLima will perform his newest novelty song at his Dec. 10 Christmas concert, from 6 p.m., at the Pagoda Hotel’s C’est Si Bon ballroom. For reservations, check his website or call the Pagoda at 948-8370.

Here are the lyrics:
“I Saw the TSA
(Sung to "Witch Doctor")

I saw the TSA, he told me what to do
Take off your belt, your hat, your jacket and your shoe
And stand right there and do not move until I'm through.
And I went ...

Oo, ee, oo ah ah,
Ting tang,
Wala wala bing bang,
Oo ee, oo ah ah,
Ting tang,
Walawala bang bang

His hands went everywhere, they patted high and low,
They went from here to there, and searched me head to toe,
Then he put the back of his hand where it shouldn't go,
And I said ...

Oo, ee, oo ah ah,
Ting tang,
Wala wala bing bang,
Oo ee, oo ah ah,
Ting tang,
Walawala bang bang
He said "We need one scan," and my expression sank,
He said "No shame brah! It makes your face a blank!"
But then, behind the screen, a voice said: "Look! It's Frank!"
And it said ...

Oo, ee, OO LA LA,
Ting tang,
Wala wala bing bang,
Oo ee, oo ah ah,
Ting tang,
Walawala bang bang

Oo, ee, OO LA LA,
Ting tang,
Wala wala bing bang,
Oo ee, oo ah ah,
Ting tang,
Walawala bang bang

How much do you know about 'Five-0' opening sequence?

November 28th, 2010
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You know the wave, the hotel, and that unforgettable music from the original “Hawaii Five-0.”
But do you know the locals who weren’t cast members who appeared in that iconic original opening sequence that has faithfully been recreated for the current reboot with Alex O’Loughlin, Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park in the obligatory credit roll?
Yes, Jack Lord and company appeared in the original CBS opening footage.
But who were the pretty women in the opening credits, in perpetual motion while the Morton Stevens theme song was intoxicating us all?
Like, the model in a pareu, running on the beach? And the wiggling Tahitian dancer?
The hotel, of course, was the Ilikai, which today is the reinvented Waikiki Edition Hotel, but it still provides the balcony setting to introduce O’Loughlin as Steve McGarrett, just the way the world first got to know the late Lord.
But the original had that pin-up beauty, who was Elizabeth Logue, who gets a nice turn-the-face-to-the-camera closeup that still thrives in syndication. And the Polynesian dancer, with hips moving, was Helen Kuoha-Torca.
They shared the limelight with quick-cut images of Island scenics like Diamond Head, Aloha Tower and Lady Columbia (aka Lady Liberty) from the top of the staircase at the National Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl. In some versions of the opener, a young boy appears; and fire knife dancers as well; and images of the King Kamehameha statue.
The familiar flashing blue-dome police light of a motorcycle, retained in the current opener, is an homage to the past, too.
Another trivia note: Do you know the two actors who turned down the McGarrett role before Lord accepted? One wasn’t a local resident, but the other was.
The pair: Gregory Peck and Richard Boone; the latter called Hawaii home and was asked by original producer Leonard Freeman to become McGarrett since he was already living here, but Boone declined. He already had completed filming “The Richard Boone Show” in Hawaii, and was not interested.
Boone (who also starred in the earlier “Have Gun, Will Travel”) also is believed to be the one who urged Freeman — who wanted to use Hawaii mostly for second unit filming (background, incidental shots) — and to shoot “Five-0” entirely in Hawaii and not the Mainland, to maintain authenticity and credibility.
Thus, “Five-0” became the first network series to film entirely on location, setting up the bar for others that followed — from “Magnum P.I.” to “Lost” to “Off the Map” — to shoot the whole enchilada here.

Perceptions changing on ‘Hawaii Five-0’

November 24th, 2010
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Monday’s “Hawaii Five-0” raised some interesting perceptions and provide a retro investigative style and certainly revised a prevailing image — that Rachel is not all that mean and menacing an ex-wife of Danno, as he has been ranting about ever since the show’s September debut.
For her first on-screen appearance on the episode entitled “Hao Kanaka (Iron Man),” Rachel (Claire Van Der Boom) all but deconstructed that negative talk we’ve been hearing from Danno (Scott Caan). All that rant, and what happens? She has a nice streak, after all, and she helps provide a diversion that ferries a key twist in the plot to enable Danno and Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) nab the baddies in a Kahala rental next door to Rachel.
Further, McGarrett becomes somewhat of a MacGuyver, relying on the inside scum of a vacuum cleaner to resort to primitive fingerprinting, which he documents on his cell phone and ship to HQ for identification.
How cool was that?
All this, in the midst of a triathlon that provided real-life relevance for locals who’ve participated and/or endured the swim/biking/run in Waikiki.
The escapades take the “Five-0” team from the Blaisdell Center parking lot to the inside stairwell of the old Honolulu Advertiser building and downtown corridors and the seas off Waikiki.
Delightful disarrangement of places, perhaps, but this is faux crime in a real paradise.
And: didn’t you love it, at the conclusion of the episode, that McGarrett and Danno mention perhaps grabbing a bite at Side Street?
They meant Side Street Inn, of course.
That would be a nice element for a future episode, just to see what they’d eat. Suggest the pork chops! The fried rice! The roast pork with the ono crispy skin! The ahi poke!

Lei, munchies, aloha at ‘Danno’ MacArthur's funeral

November 21st, 2010
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There were Island leis, a lot of aloha and local-style snacks at the funeral services for actor James MacArthur — the “Danno” of “Book’em, Danno” on “Hawaii Five-0” — Sunday (Nov. 21) in Palm Desert, CA, where he resided after the original 12-year run of the beloved set-in-Hawaii CBS crime drama.
Hawaii-based actor Al Harrington and TV producer-host Emme Tomimbang, who were intending to be at the rites, had to cancel, because Harrington, the lone surviving regular of the original show, is in the midst of filming an episode for the rebooted “Five-0.” He and Tomimbang, who has produced shows on “Five-0” folks including MacArthur, called off their trip at the last minute.
But they sent a double maile lei entwined with ilima for a portrait of “Danno,” along with strands of orchid leis, for the funeral. Plus Malolo syrup to make Hawaiian fruit punch and munchables such as macadamia nut shortbread cookies for those assembled at the services.
Harrington, who played Ben Kokua from 1972 to 1975 on the Jack Lord-as-Steve McGarrett original, is completing an episode for the first season. The reboot stars Alex O’Loughlin as McGarrett.
“He (Harrington) said MacArthur would have wanted him to go to film instead — being the actor trouper that he is,” said Tomimbang, emphasizing the customary show biz mantra, “the show must go on.”
Harrington and Tomimbang represented MacArthur when the new crew of “Five-0” —O’Loughlin and colleagues Scott Caan as Danny Williams, Daniel Dae Kim as Chin Ho Kelly and Grace Park as Kono Kalakaua — appeared at the world premiere of the new show in a Sunset on the Beach screening in Waikiki in September. MacArthur couldn't make the trip because of health issues.
More than 1,000, including a coterie of Hollywood celebrities, were expected at the Palm Desert rites.
MacArthur resided in Palm Desert after the 12-year run of the original “Five-0,” but maintained an Island apartment for his frequent visits here.
A Hawaii memorial also will be held later, at the Hawaii Theatre, where MacArthur was a donor, funding a seat bearing his name. The date has not yet been set by the MacArthur family or local sources.
MacArthur died Oct. 28 at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., at age 72. His publicist said that the actor died of “internal complications,” updating his statement as “natural causes,” but local pals indicated that he had a failing liver, among other problems.
The producers of the reboot had hoped to tap MacArthur for a featured guest role in the premiere season, but could not connect the dots, compounded by the actor’s health issues.
MacArthur prevailed as an iconic actor of procedural drama, thanks to the “Book ’em, Danno” quotable that is part of television history.
At the Waikiki premiere, he sent a message to the new cast and producers, which Harrington read, with intermittent tears, to the audience. Among MacArthur's comments: “I can remember back to when (“Five-0” creator) Lenny Freeman called to invite me to participate in the original version. My first thought was, ‘Great! If I’m lucky, this is my free ticket to 13 weeks in Hawaii. Count me in!’ Little did I know that 40 years later, people would still be calling out to me to ‘Book ‘em, Danno’ wherever I go.”

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'Les Miz' revisited: 25 tuneful years, dreamy cast

November 18th, 2010
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Constantly called the greatest musical ever, “Les Miserables: 25th Anniversary Concert,” a concert film on the milestone 25th anniversary of the Cameron Mackintosh London-originated global sensation, was a one-night theatrical special last evening (Nov. 17) at the Regal Dole Cannery.
If you’re a “Les Miz” fan (I am), it was a dream cast performing a dream show. This, despite the not-so-dreamy theater sound (limp at best). If this was concert-quality sound, I didn’t feel it.
Since I couldn’t be in London for the actual commemorative presentation last October, this one-nighter, airing at selected screens nationally, was the next best thing.
First off, theater should be seen live.
There’s nothing quite as emotional, involving, inspiring and entertaining — bring on the tears, bring on the cheers, bring on the jeers (the are heroes aplenty and a hardcore villain, if you don’t know this Victor Hugo story about the French Revolution) — and the power is diminished considerably as a film experience. Still, the passion and the power prevailed —of the words and music, of the performances (actors and actresses in costumes, without the turnstile staging or the barricades).
The 02 Arena, a cavernous space, boasted a mammoth stage and a network of overhanging lights that danced and flashed on precise cues, descended as set pieces to double as hanging barricades. Add a trio of humungous overhead video screens to provide stellar closeups and multi-imagery of performers on the main deck, and you're talking extravaganza.
There were stage tiers, too, housing “a cast of thousands,” so to speak: the huge live orchestra, and rows and rows and rows of choral singers, who frequently beefed up the momentum in support of the principals, decked in blue, white, and red T-shirts with Cosette's familiar face.
Mon dieu.
What stupendous voices, throughout the ranks!
Alfie Boe was the perfect Jean Valjean, strong and thunderous but also gentile and delicate, particularly on the iconic “Bring Him Home,” one of the treasures of the score by Alan Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg, with lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer.
Truly, he was the star of the three-hour journey. If you saw Baz Luhrmann’s “La Boheme” on Broadway, Boe earned a Tony for his performance.
Norm Lewis was the ultimate antagonist, with persistent and bold tones, as Inspector Javert.
Lea Salonga, who has done Fantine and Eponine on Broadway (and Eponine in Hawaii), was a genuinely motherly Fantine with her “I Dreamed a Dream” signature.
Samantha Barks was the lovestruck but loyal Eponine, who breathed pain and heartbreak into her “On My Own” solo.
Matt Lucas as Thenardier and Jenny Galloway as Madame Thenardier brought comic acting (and singing) to new heights as the conniving “Master of the House” innkeepers and wedding crashers.
Ramin Karimloo was a handsome and energetic rebel-rouser, Enjolras, figuring as the corps leader on “Do You Hear the People Sing?”
For stardust (and to appeal to the younger audience), American Nick Jonas, one third of The Jonas Brothers, was a mild-mannered soft-voiced Marius, smitten over Cosette (a sweet and fragile Katie Hall) who also delivers “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” with aplomb. Footnote: When he was 9, he played Gavroche for nine months in the original Broadway run.
The event had some unexpected bonuses that will be a major keepsake in the upcoming DVD release of this project: the assembly of the two British casts that have nurtured the beloved historical story-with-music since 1985, but the grand slam was the unexpected reunion of the original 1985 cast, led by Colm Wilkinson singing “Bring Him Home.” Three other Valjeans, including Boe, joined in, and four Javerts also were in the grand finale.
One more thing: “Les Miserables,” meaning this musical, finally is heading for the big screen, a decade or so following a dramatic version (without the music) that tanked at the box office.
So, “One Day More” for the greatest musical ever written.