Archive for November, 2010

Check out ‘Charioke,’ a marathon sing-a-thon

November 17th, 2010

Imagine an eight-hour karaoke singfest.
Takes a lot of folks, a lot of effort, a lot of music.
It’s officially called “The Charioke Sing-a-Thon,” and it happens from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. this Saturday (Nov. 20) at Ward Warehouse.
Not exactly “Glee,” but certainly an endeavor with choral implications.
The marathon sing-a-thon is a project of The Performing Arts Academy, led by the music school’s founder-director William Daquioag; until this year, he was a member of the Society of Seven LV and earlier was the vocal coach of Jasmine Trias before and at the height of her run on Fox’s “Americal Idol.”
The project, featuring karaoke singers (of course) plus a silent auction ... hence the “Charioke” motif.
“It’s to raise money for my choir trip to New York,” said Daquioag. “I will be having celebrities to sing at my event, such as Emme Tomimbang, Sweetie Pacarro, Kimo Kahoano, Gregg Hammer, Dita Holifield, Rolando Sanchez, George Chun, Garry Moore, girls from Forte Marlene Baldueza and Joanne Banda, Jesse Gamiao” and others.
Troupers from “Hawaii Stars,” the local karaoke TV competition, are also anticipated, along with students from The Performing Arts Academy ranks and choir. Carole Kai and Kahoano, co-hosts of “Hawaii Stars,” serve as honorary chairs of “Charioke.”
The goal, said Daquioag, is to raise $54,000 by April 2011, to help finance the New York trip.
Thus, "Charioke" will give the group exposure and the chance to raise funds.

SOS: Latest Version is a work in progress

November 17th, 2010

The Society of Seven LV — the initials originally stood for Las Vegas but now means Latest Version — is a work in progress in the group’s latest show at the Outrigger Waikiki’s Main Showroom.
Identity is an issue.
Three members left the group this fall, but one “retiree” has returned, so the core now includes Jonathan Kaina, John Salvatera, Freddie Von Paraz and Mike DeGuzman. This fall, Richard Natto, William Daquioag and Glenn Miyashiro exited, but Jan Luna returned to the ranks after a brief leave. Additionally, veteran keyboarder Jeanette Trevias has joined the company mostly as a musician.
But two featured guests also have been enlisted: Mainland crooner Ryan Gallagher, who belts like a Michael Buble, and Melanie Fausto, who has a blues-jazz bent and now does SOS-style pop tunes.
With a “Hot, Hot, Hot” theme, the ensemble works diligently and with high spirits, but the disadvantage is this: the crew is a few cards short of a whole deck, so how do you get a full house without all the cards?
As a spectator on this merry-go-round, it’s a tad frustrating to watch the cast reach for that gold ring.
In SOS tradition, there’s a parade of stock impressions and a couple of new ones, considering the cast additions. Some work, some don’t, but there’s quite a bit of fun along the way— a Michael Jackson (Von Paraz) , a James Brown (Kaina), a Tony Orlando (De Guzman), a Lady Gaga and a Beyonce (Fausto), a Josh Brogan (Gallagher), all embellished with the requisite costumes.
Musically, the lineup change has impacted the bold and brassy sounds of yesteryear, with saxes going but no tooting trumpet anymore. And transitions between segments — the crew alternates in the introductions — still need some polish.
Though “guests,” Gallagher is integrated in some segments (he’s in a Beatles tribute and the “Phantom of the Opera” finale) but Fausto’s not, though she does a stand-alone cutie, “It’s Raining Men,” with De Guzman, Kaina and Luna frolicking in abs/bodysuits for atmosphere.
Tony Ruivivar, founder and still the tentpole of the original Society of Seven, has his fingerprints throughout the show, which may be part of the problem. He has the wisdom, the eye and the ear to take a recipe and serve a savory dessert, but his spin-off LV group has challenges because of the transitory makeup of membership now; it's a stretch.
Gallagher, who has country music roots, has charm to spare and early-on describes himself as the “haole” in the gang. Supposedly, he and Fausto have a three-month contract to find their personal space and role in the act.
There's enough to embrace and enjoy, with all that determined effort, but as for the “Hot, Hot, Hot” handle, it’s not, not, not yet. SOS LV has a way to go to reclaim the sizzle.

Society of Seven LV
8:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays
Main Showroom, Outrigger Waikiki
$45 general, $29.95 kamaaina with ID or military ID

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The time is ripe for a 'Hawaii Five-0' museum

November 14th, 2010

It’s time to start planning a “Hawaii Five-0” museum, don’t you think?
The procedural CBS reboot is off and humming, with the first 22-episode season sprinting toward completion. No doubt a second-season order is waiting in the wings.
And there’s still a lot of affection for the original franchise, which ran from 1968 to 1980, and the oldies continue to air in syndication.
So methinks there ought to be a “Five-0” museum, a place that will be a shrine for everything that shines about “Five-0.” A home for artifacts, taped episodes, a photo gallery of stars and guests over the decades, built around Steve McGarrett, the original and the reincarnation. The car that Jack Lord drove as McGarrett should be retained; the updated wheels of Alex O’Loughlin’s McG would be a natural match. Maybe life-sized cutouts of both McGs?
Imagine all the other possibilities: a hall of villains, led by the incomparable Wo Fat; the history about “Book ’em, Danno,” and clips of McG uttering the phrase.
Surely, somebody somewhere must have costumes donned by Lord and his Danno, the late James MacArthur; they did the coat-and-tie thing back then, unlike the casual gear now worn by the principals except the new Danno, Scott Caan, who’s from New Jersey so he still is fit to be tied. No wonder he bickers so often; it’s warm when you’re up to your neck with clothing in sunny Hawaii.
And there must be a pidgin coop of sayings, along with bloopers, like this new season’s “bird” designation for da kine local talk, and the misnamed flip-flops for rubbah slippahs.
Or a gallery of misplaced directions, the foremost being McGarrett No. 1 driving diamondhead on Kalakaua and periodically breezing by the Blow Hole, allegedly with the airport as his destination; and maybe a pictorial of the memorable real-life places, like the Ilikai lanai from which McGarrett is introduced in the opening scenes of the original and reboot, and Iolani Palace, which was the first HQ of the special police task force that the world now knows as H50.
And, of course, a music room that would feature a video loop, complete with the big wave dancing to the unforgettable and formidable Morton Stevens theme song, easily the best, most iconic sound portrait of any TV series produced. Yep, better than “Mission: Impossible” or any other crime drama then and now.
The museum can’t be in Hollywood or New York. Gotta be Honolulu.
Its birth would be a godsend, for actors, producers, fans ... and ultimately the Hawaii visitor industry. It would be on the tour agenda for anyone visiting us, from the U.S., the Orient, Europe, everywhere. I mean, who hasn’t watched “Five-0.”
It’s not an easy deal to seal, of course. Gotta have a central site; CBS, which owns the franchise, will have to be a participant, since it owns the original footage and continues to build on the legacy. Gotta have the late Leonard Freeman’s ohana (he was the creator and original producer) to endorse such a project. And gotta have some financier (other than Japanese billionaire Genshiro Kawamoto) to invest in and support the museum.
With the legion of “Five-0” fanatics accrued over yesteryear's 12 historic seasons, along with the new-generation followers viewing and worshiping every Monday night, this would be bigger than a Planet Hollywood or a Hard Rock Café.
If Waikiki can have a teddy bear museum, why not one for the greatest series ever filmed here nearly entirely on location (there were a few exceptions in the first go-round). It's a no-brainer.
And think of the domino effect.
Lee Cataluna can write a play, “Folks You See on ‘Five-0,’” just like her "Folks You Meet at Longs" escapade, with comedic documentation and reintroduction of “Five-0” culture, complete with dialogue like “Eh, bruddah, bodda you?”
Maybe Uncle Sam Kapu Jr. can be the resident docent, speaking pidgin the way it’s supposed to, as he guides tours in the museum. Sam’s the guy who does those local TV commercials for Karen’s Kitchen and Seaside Hotels; the bird flies from this buggah’s mouth so naturally, he lives the lingo; his is not an act.
As the lone surviving regular from the Lord-MacArthur era, Al Harrington could be an honorary consultant. After all, his character’s name was Ben Kokua; kokua means help. Harrington is a former teacher, motivational speaker, and a nightclub performer; he could provide tapes of his Waikiki shows where he usually donned a head lei, and might be an ambassador of "Five-0" goodwill. And surely, someone must own some vintage footage of the late Zulu, the original Kono, who, like Harrington, had a spin-off Polynesian show as a result of his “Five-0” fame. The gender of Kono has changed, with Grace Park portraying the part now.
Daniel Dae Kim, who now plays Chin Ho, the role originated by Kam Fong Chun, could open a museum café not unlike the hamburgery he co-owns at Kahala Mall. Imagine the menu: could have show-related influences.
Crazy Shirts could help create and market a line of “Five-0” T-shirts, with logos and mugshots of stars then and now. And, of course, there will have to be a bikini line inspired by Park’s Kono gear.
There’s certainly developmental space, at 605 Kapiolani Blvd., for a museum; that’s the former home of The Honolulu Advertiser, now occupied by “Five-0” regulars, with a sound stage in the back and spill-over “location” space up front; one recent episode was filmed on the first floor of the facility, on one side of the dual-staircase building.
Someone with an enterprising mind, and a big checkbook, can take this idea and enhance and expand and make the “Hawaii Five-0” museum a reality.
Would you make this a destination if you're a visitor? If you're local, would you have a look-see? Do you even agree that “Five-0” merits a home base museum? Do you see it as an asset for the show and for Hawaii?
Share your reactions and suggestions. Maybe someone will listen and take the lead to make it a reality.

Keith Haugen donates a kidney (song, that is)

November 10th, 2010

You’ve got to hand it to singer-composer Keith Haugen. He found a need, did a good deed, and now the local chapter of the kidney foundation as a song.
When Haugen and wife Carmen — for decades, a prolific and productive performing team in town — were tapped to headline a National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii-sponsored ”Music With a Message” concert last Saturday (Nov. 6) at the city’s Mission Memorial Auditorium, he dipped into his songbag of 200-plus tunes to share a retrospective of Island melodies, beginning with his first-ever composition, circa 1962, entitled “In Your Eyes (E ‘Ike Mai).”
“We performed about 30 of my songs, complete with hula, ‘signing,’ and guest artists,” said Haugen. “Good fun concert.”
But the best was saved for the last, when Haugen went beyond the call of duty, matching the moment with music.
Not one to only stand by his laurels, Haugen unveiled a new ditty at the end of the show, introducing his latest composition, “I Love My Kidneys,” expressly for the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii.
“It wasn’t easy coming up with a ‘hook’ for a song about kidneys,” said Haugen. “Not a very glamorous topic.”
Because of its simplicity, upbeat tempo, and sequencing familiar in children sing-along tunes, the audience chimed in and sang a verse, amid smiles, when he premiered the cutie.
Thus, NKFH CEO Glenn Hayashida said the local foundation will surely utilize the jingle.
Undeniably, Haugen should record it. And certainly, the foundation now is blessed with a gift that will keep on giving joy and hope for the future.
Everybody wins!

Here are the lyrics to “I Love My Kidneys”:

"I love my kidneys
and I have two
so if you need one,
I can give it to you

"I love my kidneys,
wish I had three
I could help two others
like you and me

"I love my kidneys,
and if I had four,
I could save the lives
of even more

"I love my kidneys
and if I had five,
I could help four others
to stay alive

"I love my kidney,
now I have one
someone is happy,
with the other one."

(Spoken): "Just think about it. You only need one."

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Bingo! 'Five-0' online game debuts, so play along

November 7th, 2010

“Hawaii Five-0” is fair game for scrutiny and second-guessing, with an ensemble of characters who predictably do or say things — if not weekly, at least with some regularity.
So, the website of Entertainment Weekly, has launched a “Five-0” bingo game, with visuals or situations or word clues (instead of numbers), coinciding with each weekly episode.
Occupying the usual bingo boxes: Postings such as a photo of a shirtless Alex O’Loughlin, slogans like “Book ‘em Danno” or “Back in Jersey,” a pix of Grace Park in a bikini carrying a surfboard, and descriptions such as Daniel Dae Kim lurks in the shadowy surveillance van and Scott Caan hates his demonic wife.
The game card will change each week, presumably with more photos (McGarrett in cop uniform, Danno with his 5 o’clock shadow) or situations like Kono with doing a karate kick, Kim repeating innocence in his disgraced cop past, McGarrett embracing his sister, the governor confronting “Five-0” squad, endless cop-chasing-crooks footage. Anything local is potential fodder for the fun, and perhaps gamesters can play on social media sites.
No prize, and no instructions if you’re supposed to shout “Bingo!” if you get the right boxes filled horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, with, of course, the help of the free middle box.
Crossover shows like “Lost” or vintage first-run “Five-0” characters like Wo Fat are potential opportunities to embrace.
So do you have potential postings for the bingo boxes?

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