Archive for May, 2011

ACT occupies Paliku, MVT books Winpenny

May 15th, 2011

Change is challenging two theater groups — a switch of venue for one group, a replacement director for another.

The details:

Army Community Theatre, normally ensconced at Richardson Theatre at Fort Shafter, is relocating its “Bugsby Malone” musical, playing one weekend only May 20 to 22, at Paliku Theatre at Windward Community College. Reason: Richardson Theatre was temporarily shut down, to accommodate fire safety improvements ordered by the Army, forcing the show to seek rehearsal quarters and a performing space.
A cast of 40 youngsters will portray the Prohibition-era mobsters in this tongue-in-cheek tribute to the 1920s gangster flicks. The youths come from schools throughout Oahu, who will be collaboratively directed by a production team comprised of director Meaghan Olsen, musical directors Angela Morales and Daren S. Kimura and choreographers Ramon Del Barrio and Deanna Luster.

Curtain: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday; 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Tickets: From $20 adults, $15 children
Reservations: 438-4480,

Manoa Valley Theatre, about to launch auditions for its season finale, “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding” opening June 30, welcomes improv specialist Shannon Winpenny as guest-director. Auditions are set for 7 p.m. May 23 and 24.
Reason: Original director Larry Pellegrini, who has history with the original off-Broadway staple, had conflicting business demands on the Big Island that made him unable to fulfill his directorial chores.
Winpenny is a professionally trained and experienced improvisational theater artist with club credits; she also studied with Second City, the famed Chicago school of improvisation. Further, she coincidentally appeared in MVT’s 1996 production of “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding. Presently, she operates the Laughtrack Theater Company in Honolulu.
Keith Griffin will be guest musical director.
Ed Wary and his Auntie Pasto’s gang will cater the wedding-style meal for the production, which is a pioneering “environmental theater” vehicle that involves the audience as participants. In other words, if you're a spectator in the audience, you're officially part of the onstage wedding celebration.
Information: 988-6131.

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Review: 'Cho Dependent' shows Margaret is kim chee-hot

May 15th, 2011

The Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival winds up today with “Cho Dependent,” a Margaret Cho concert outing, as the finale film.

“Cho Dependent”
8 p.m. today (May 15)
Doris Duke Theatre

Margaret Cho lays it all out, expletives included, in “Cho Dependent,” a concert-film biz-confessional, screening at 8 p.m. today (May 15) as the closing feature of the Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival.
The performance, complete with rants and rock, originates from the Tabernacle in Atlanta, Ga.
Cho tells all, in an outing that boldy displays her rapport with her audience. If you’re not a fan, you might become one — she is infectious.
“You will be pleased with one of my talents,” says the comic, best known for being the first Korean to land a network sitcom (“The All-American Girl”).
Last year, she was a competitor on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” which provides much fodder for raunchy humor, Cho-style.
She makes fun of Bristol Palin (“she’s not a good dancer,” she says, adding a comment about how she looks like that cannot be printed here) and “Dancing With the Stars” (“it is a jam of old people”) and even gives credit to Brandy (“she danced her ass off” and should have won).
Even her mom is not exempt from a few put-downs — Cho imitates her.
Nor gays and lesbians. Or sexting. Or Lady Gaga. Nor Jet Blue flight Steven Slater, the flight attendant who had his 15 minutes of fame.
She is hot and spicy like kim chee, after all.

Capsule reviews of films screened yesterday (May 14):

• “Three,” a film in German by Tom Tykwer (of “Run, Lola, Run” success), focuses on a mature Berlin couple Hannah (Sophie Rois) and Simon (Sebastian Schipper) who unknowingly fall in love with the same younger man Adam (Devid Striesow). How's that for odds?
Thus, the 20-year marriage is in jeopardy. Worse, the couple have wanted a baby and couldn’t conceive; but when Adam enters the picture, you guessed it — jackpot!
The relationship provides reflection on how to explore and understand emotions, gender, and romance.
• “Three Veils” is Rolla Selbak’s feature on Middle Eastern women that unspools like a three-episode stint of how sticky and challenging it is to find romance in America. The conflicts include a family with an abusive father, another adhering to the tradition of an arranged marriage, and an unexpected lesbian relationship.
The land of opportunity isn’t for Nikki (Sheetal Sheth), who struggles with history and a bad dad; Amira (Angela Zahra), a dedicated Muslim unable to cope with her inner feelings toward women, and Leila (Mercedes Masohn), who discovers her chosen beau ain’t what she wants as the nuptials approach.
Life isn't always happily-ever-after, after all.

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No second season for ABC’s ‘Off the Map’

May 14th, 2011

ABC’s “Off the Map,” the medical show with high expectations that filmed a season in Hawaii with Oahu portraying the jungles of South America, has been formally canceled.
The show, which struggled with low ratings, won’t be on the radar as the network juggles its prime time slots for the fall season, the network announced yesterday.
The show had a wonderful concept — a group of six medics travel to a remote jungle landscape to rediscover who and why they are physicians — featuring a competent cast without star power.
The series, from the get-go, was second banana to CBS’ popular and ratings achiever “Hawaii Five-0,” which likewise filmed in Hawaii, with Honolulu playing itself and a cast of attractive, high-profile players: Alex O’Loughlin, Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park.
The “Off the Map” regulars included Caroline Dhavernas, Jason George, Jonathan Castellanos, Mamie Gummer, Martin Henderson, Rachelle Lefevre, Valerie Cruz, and Zach Gilford. But from day one, the show — which already wound up airing all of its 13 episodes — was plagued with challenges of acceptance and a slim buzz profile.
It premiered to an unimpressive 2.3 rating in the key 18 to 49 demographics, attracting 7.57 viewers on the evening of coverage of the Tucson shootings. With the disruption in programming, ABC reran the premiere episode the next night.
The fortunes never improved much, despite a loyal fan base and a pedigree of seasoned producers (the series was the third medical drama from the camp that gave birth to “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice”).
The finale attracted an even smaller viewership, 1.3 rating in the demos and 3.8 million viewers.
Thus, the prospects for a second season were very slim.
Alas, the series’ title, “Off the Map,” became an indicator of appeal and a portent of its demise: literally off the map. The tragedy is the young doctors never had an opportunity for closure — to bid aloha to the shrinking fans and to resolve being lost in the jungles.
Will you miss the episodes? Share your opinions on why.

Reviews: ‘Gun Hill Road, ‘eCupid’ screen today

May 13th, 2011

Two on the Honolulu Rainbow Film Festval gaydar today (May 13):

“Gun Hill Road”
At 3 p.m. today (May 13)
Doris Duke Theatre
Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival

In “Gun Hill Road,” a father named Enrique (Esai Morales) returns to his Bronx neighborhood after spending three years in prison, and discovers his teen son Michael (Harmony Santana) is a practicing transvestite. His wife Angela (Judy Reyes) has been having an affair, providing fire and fury for the dysfunctional Latino family.
It’s an old story of a macho man, discovering his loved ones have abandoned tradition and values for new inspiration and happiness.
Director Rashaad Ernesto Green’s first feature script zooms in on the Enrique character, when there’s potentially more depth and dimension to explore in the boy who wants to be a girl, and that’s possibly due to Morales, who exec-produced this feature of fractured lives.
Surely, the soul of cross-dressing Michael, who wants to reinvent himself into Vanessa, would be far more interesting to play out, in a theme that , while no longer new for feature films, could make abigger impact, particularly since Santana is pivotal in projecting the wrenching frustrations of his emerging lifestyle.
The title refers to a sector of the Bronx, the battlefront of these emotional lost-souls.


6 p.m. today (May 13)
Doris Duke Theatre
Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival

There’s an app for everything these days, so J.C. Calciano’s bromantic comedy is as current as they come.
Marshall (Mike C. Manning) has the seven year itch — the love is questionable and perhaps a bit too comfy — in his relationship with his partner. About to turn 30, he’s seeking a life-changing experience.
And as an adman, he’s wired to online stuff, so, lo and behold, he downloads an app to find a potential new mate, or fling.
That’s about it. Light-headed, light-hearted fun targeting the gay audience.
Morgan Fairchild appears in a cameo as a waitress, who helps Marshall field the odds and outcome of his dilemma.


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‘Rainbow’ of issues challenges fest director

May 12th, 2011

The Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival, opening today (Thursday May 12), has a new director this year — active filmmaker Brent Anbe, of “Ajumma, Are You Krazy?” fame — who is both challenged and inspired by the roster of films to be exhibited.
“Being the festival director of this year’s Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival (HRFF) is truly an exciting and rewarding experience for me,” said Anbe who hopes to channel the enthusiasm in his own future works. “The Honolulu Gay and Lesbian Cultural Foundation, which sponsors the HRFF, has been working tirelessly over the past few months to provide the community with the best and most diverse program of LGBT filmmaking and storytelling. Most of the films that we have this year have never been shown in Hawaii, or in the Pacific, and many are ‘hot tickets’ right now, with recent premieres at Sundance, Berlin and Toronto.”
The array of films has already challenged him, as audience and filmmaker.
“As a filmmaker, this experience has already had a great impact on me, as I definitely appreciate the quality and level of talent that this year’s festival program has—the storytellers, actors, and filmmakers who are involved in the various feature film, documentary, experimental and short projects are truly outstanding,” said Anbe. “It is inspiring and challenges me to work harder to ensure that my next film project be of the caliber of some of the fresh and original stories we have programmed in this year’s festival. Also, being a fellow filmmaker, I can relate to (and, at times, commiserate with) our visiting delegates in regards to the rational and irrational world of filmmaking and production.”
The festival, unreeling at the Doris Duke Theatre, is a venue for the local film fans of all persuasians — gay, lesbian, straight, bi, transgender — to view fare not otherwise shown in commercial movie theaters and also assembles folks on both sides of the camera to interact.
The festival’s opening film is “Going Down in La-La Land,” screening at 7:30 p.m. today (May 12) at the Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. The closing film on Sunday (May 15) is “Cho Dependent,” featuring comedian Margaret Cho.
Film producers, directors and actors from around the world will be here to meet and mix with the local film community at the various film screenings in-between.
Anbe said the spectrum of films, with particular appeal to the target LGBT crowd, taps real-life people and issues and would interest the straight community.
“For me, there isn’t just one particular film that relates to real life, as our program is truly unique and relevant to many current issues,” he said. “I definitely can relate to many of the varied situations, both dramatic and comedic, in our film offerings this year. I am proud that we have some very thought-provoking and unpredictable selections that cover a wide range of topics/genres, including anti-bullying, modern relationships, transgender, sci-fi and horror-musical films with stories I haven’t seen on the big screen here in Hawaii before. I am excited to share this with our community and really look forward to experiencing these films all over again with local audiences.”!
Director Anbe is best known for his audience-friendly “Ajumma” comedy, which won the 2009 Video-on-Demand award in the 2009 Hawaii International Film Festival and since has been seen in a clutch of film festivals.

See in person:
7 p.m. today (May 12) — “Going Down La-La Land” actors Alec Mapa and Matthew Ludwinski
6 p.m. Friday (May 13) — “E-Cupid” actors Mike C. Manning, Houston Rhines, Noah Schuffman and Galen Drever, plus director J.C. Calciano and co-producer Nicholas Downs
1:45 p.m. Saturday (May 14) — “Uncle David” director Gary Reich
7:45 p.m. Saturday (May 14) — “Three Veils” actress Sheetal Sheth
4:45 p.m. Sunday (May 15) — “Co-Dependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same” director Madeleine Olnek
8 p.m. Sunday (May 15) — “Cho Dependent” director Lorene Machado

The schedule:
All screenings at the Doris Duke Theatre

Thursday (May 12)

4:15 p.m. — “Beyond Gay — the Politics of Pride (Canada)
preceded by “Gayby” (U.S.) and “Yes Man” (U.S.)
6 p.m. —Opening night reception
7 p.m. — “Going Down in La La Land” (U.S.)
preceded by “Spring” (United Kingdom)

Friday (May 13)

Noon— “The Advocate for Fagdom” (France)
preceded by “Beasty Training” (U.S.)
3 p.m. — “Gun Hill Road” (U.S.)
preceded by “Boys and Girls” (U.S.) and “Broken Vase” (Indonesia)
5 p.m. — Light reception
6 p.m. — “E-Cupid” (U.S.)
preceded by “I Was a Teenage Werebear” (U.S.)
9 p.m. — 2011 HRFF Gala, at Chai’s Island Bistro (special admission)

Saturday (May 14)

11 a.m. — “Three” (Germany)
preceded by “Curious Thing” (U.S.)
1:45 p.m. — “Uncle David” (U.S.)
preceded by “Triple Standard: (U.S.)
4:45 p.m. — “Fit” (United Kingdom)
preceded by “10000 Hearts” (U.S.)
6:45 p.m. — Light reception
7:45 p.m. — “Three Veils” (U.S.)

Sunday (May 15)

11 a.m. — “We Were Here” (U.S.)
preceded by “Masala Mama” (Singapore) and “We Once Were Tide” (United Kingdom)
2 p.m. — “Romeos” (Germany)
preceded by “Loop Planes” (U.S.)
4:45 p.m. — “Co-Dependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same” (U.S.)
preceded by “A Woman Named Canyon Sam” (U.S.) and “You Move Me” (U.S.)
7 p.m. — Light reception
8 p.m. — “Cho Dependent” (U.S.)
preceded by “Cried Suicide” (U.S.)

Where to get tickets:

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