Archive for December, 2011

'Wicked' group sales means 10 pct. discount

December 23rd, 2011

“Wicked,” which will make its Hawaii debut in an eight-week run beginning Nov. 24, 2012 at Blaisdell Concert Hall, is the midst of a group-sale ticket campaign now.
The date for individual ticket sales will be announced sometime early next year.
Group sales — for bulk purchases of 20 seats minimum, translating to a 10 percent discount in prices —were launched Dec. 15 in an invitational event at Blaisdell, attended by one of the show’s producers, David Stone, with cast members performing excerpts from the Tony Award-winning musical.
Presenters deemed the special session as “the largest group sales kickoff event ever,” though specific tallies were not announced. Besides the discount, group sale purchases give buyers the opportunity to select the best seats available for all dates.
Group sales may be made by calling 593-2468, or downloading an order form at
“Wicked,” a prequel to the “Wizard of Oz” story, is one of Broadway’s hot tickets and is one of the most anticipated new productions here.
It will be staged from Nov. 24, 2012, through Jan. 16, 2013, with eight shows a week, including several matinees.
The production is being presented by Broadway in Hawaii, which earlier has staged such attractions as “Beauty and the Beast,” “Cats” and “Riverdance.”
“It is a gret honor to be able to host the national tour of ‘Wicked’ and introduce Hawaii to this musical phenomenon,” said Bruce Granath, marketing chief for Broadway in Hawaii.
The show features music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Winnie Holzman, based on the 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire.
The show’s artistic team includes Tony winners Joe Mantello (director) and Wayne Cilento (musical staging).

To NTSB cellphone ban list, add these worse habits

December 16th, 2011

Sure, it’s a given that cellphone use and related texting or tweeting are potential safety hazards.
But for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to include no-hands Bluetooth technology to the proposed no-can-do list seems bizarre, compared to worse distractions I’ve witnessed — you, too, probably — on the road.
If the intent was to make drivers pay attention and drive, the law should say you can only drive, and do nothing else.
Enforcing the regulations would be tough, for sure. And there will always be folks who will cheat and regulators can’t possibly list every possible no-no.
Admittedly, I’ve taken or made a call while in transit while awaiting a green light or stopped in gridlock traffic. But I don’t text or tweet.
Clearly, there are numerous other worse habits happening on our highways and byways on any given day.
Here’s a starter list of obvious infractions that are distractions; perhaps you can add to it:

1. Putting on makeup. Lipstick, mascara, rouge, whatever. The sun visor mirror, or the rear-view mirror, are magnets for these actions.
2. Reading a map or GPS for directions. If you don’t know where the heck you’re going, you rely on an old-fashioned map in your glove compartment, or GPS in your vehicle or your cell.
3. Drinking soda or bottled water. It does get warm and you do get parched.
4. Reading a book. I mean, really, I wouldn’t believe it but I’ve seen it.
5. Reading a newspaper. Ditto, like above.
6. Holding a dog in your lap. Pets probably should be in the rear seat, not in the driver’s lap or hanging its head out the window.
7. Reaching in the back seat for a bag, purse, etc. The thing you need seldom is in easy reach.
8. Left foot hanging out of driver’s window. No comment necessary. Duh!
9. Combing or brushing hair. Looks may matter, but multitaskers will be multitaskers.
10. Brushing your teeth. Aaay, don’t laugh; I saw a woman do this; she rinsed with bottled water.

Any further comment? Anything to add?

Santa brings ratings cheer for 'Hawaii Five-0'

December 13th, 2011

Christmas came early for “Hawaii Five-0,” with Monday (Dec. 12) ratings walloping ABC’s “Castle.”
Was it Chin Ho Kelly’s wedding storyline that finally put “Five-0” in the bride’s role, not the often-time bridesmaid?
Could be.
The wedding hubbub sandwiched the crime-solving, with preparations opening the CBS show, when a body found by kids intruding a wartime bunker, with the I do’s capping the episode. Before the final credits, Steve McGarrett was frowning and fumbling wonderment and intrigue about the suspicious actions of his pal Lt. Cmdr. Joe White.
It wasn’t the best of episodes, but preliminary Nielsen ratings indicate that “Five-0” attracted 10.93 million viewers, with a 3.6 rating in the key 18 to 49 demographics.
It swamped its usual competitor, ABC’s “Castle,” which had no reason to party, with its 4.2 million viewership and 1.0 rating in the demographics ... with NBC’s “Rock Center With Brian Williams” at 4.0 million viewers and 1.1. in demos.
Now that’s a Christmas present that should make everyone happy.

'A Cazimero Christmas:' joyful and triumphant

December 10th, 2011

Let it be said that the holiday season majestically opened Friday night with the launch of “A Cazimero Christmas” at the Hawaii Theatre.
Anchored by Robert and Roland Cazimero and featuring the traditional blend of hula, Hawaiian, holiday pop faves and some carols, the evening was blessed with the guest appearance by jazz vocalist Jimmy Borges, who shares Kalihi roots with Robert and Boze, and the prevailing Miss Keiki Hula and Master Keiki Hula, both hailing from Maui.
It was a joyful and triumphant delight, on both ends of the age spectrum.
Borges provided one spectrum of classic artistry — that of the smooth jazz warbler, with decorum and pristine precision — on the senior side of the age group. He appeared initially with The Caz on “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow.” with The Caz.
He brought along a red jacket and another in black, worn over black tuxedo trousers, and a suave persuasion dominating his trademark aura of jazz. It’s somewhere between Sinatra and Buble, but invariably Borgean, with a slight strut, a twinkle in the eye, and a voice that could roast chestnut. A medley of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” — was just the tonic for the chilly, drizzly night, with Robert at keyboards punctuating the master crooner’s gentle manner with counterpoint vocal delivered with just the right restraint.
The youth dancers — Shayla Ballesteros and Rahstan Kahokuk’ieki’eokalani Benavides (Kahoku for short) — are this year’s prevailing keiki hula luminaries; at age 12, they were particularly cunning and winning on their respective solos. Hers: a sweetly syncopated and polished “Ainahau,” with Robert vocalizing. His: a frisky and bouncy “Boy From Laupahoehoe,” with expressive eyes communicating as much as his full-body workout including those eloquent hands.
What is amazing about these yuletide songfests is the chemistry between onstage talent and off-stage direction by Hawaii Theatre’s maestro of magic, Burton White, whose idea it was to tap the keiki dancers a few years ago, creating an instant tradition. White co-directs with Robert, a visionary of Christmases past and present.
For the brothers, Christmas surpasses the Lei Day tradition at the Waikiki Shell in that it’s a season of earnest giving that still allows Hawaiian songs to flourish, with the glimmer and twinkle of holiday finery and lights.
A slender and massive faux tree is the centerpiece decoration this year (those white coconut trees, originally from the Jim Nabors spectacles that ruled for a solid decade, are taking a break), because The Caz insist on the holiday frou-frou; the concert would still be a wonderment on a blank palate, since the cast fills in the color and the pageanty.
There were inventive highlights, one from each act: “They’re Talking About Mary,” which closes the first half, is a jewel that begins with a Jamaican tone and — thanks to the gents of Robert’s Halau Na Kamalei and the Ladies of the Royal Hawaiian Dance Company — evolves into a clever theatrical piece with the dancers (doubling as singers) clad in modern dress, staging a piece de resistance with contemporary overtones (jackets and street wear, instead of Hawaiian costumes, complete with the guys toting cell phones), trashing on a Virgin Mary character pregnant with the baby Jesus reflecting these tabloid times though rooted in the past.

The other stunning gem, in Act II, integrates Christmas carols (an Angel medley, leading into “Little Drummer Boy” and “O Come All Ye Faithful”) with Hawaiian pahu of various sizes and tones, with the Kamalei crew thumping away in unison. It's a hybrid endeavor that is old and fresh —a cultural theatrical marriage made in Cazimero heaven.
For more pageantry, there’s a refined, extravagant exploration of the legends of Poli’ahu, the four Snow Goddesses, assembling the wahine dancers in stunning oli performances, with the goddesses decked out in different white gowns. It’s a vision that has been dormant in Robert’s mind for years, finally fleshed out fully in this cherished Christmas production.
There are duets aplenty, but Robert sings most lead vocals; Roland does have a beaut in the rare Kui Lee Christmas ditty, “Song of Christmas.”
With a problematic knee, Roland sits on a high stool instead of his usual white box.
And Leinaala Kalama Heine is reduced to one big hula solo, “White Christmas,” getting a lot of smileage in the process.
“Mele Kalikimaka,” the thing to sing for a Hawaiian Christmas, closes the production. If you’re suffering from the holiday blues, or are stressed out with shopping and crowded parking lots, plan to take in one of the two remaining performances, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. It doesn’t get any better, and you’ll get more kick out of this one than, say, a serving of egg nog.

Where: Hawaii Theatre
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
Tickets: $33, $43, $53, $78
Reservations: 528-0506,

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A wicked notion: Ed Asner recreating '5-0' role

December 8th, 2011

Something wicked this way comes.
And no, it’s not “Wicked,” the Broadway musical, which indeed is coming to the Islands next year. Details for that one are forthcoming; but that’s another story.
The website Deadline has reported that the current reboot of CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0” is doing something quite extradordinary in bringing back a character played by Ed “Lou Grant” Asner (who, of course, is the guy who in that floating house in the Disney hit “Up”) to play the same dude — smuggler August March, which he originally portrayed when Jack Lord was Steve McGarrett in 1975 — in a 2012 “Five-0” episode where Alex O’Loughlin is McG.
Huh? It’s either the most brilliant move yet, from the Hawaii-based procedural, or the dumbest. Remember, the characters are the same with new actors and one as a switcheroo, from male original to female. The recurring characters, like Wo Fat and Dr. Bergman, are played by actors from this generation, not the past. “It is thrilling to, for the first time, merge the original 'Hawaii Five-0' and our new show by having the classic, versatile and award-winning actor Ed Asner reprise his role of August March, a character Mr. Asner first played 36 years ago,” said Lenkov, the executive producer of the new “Five-0.”
But how can this unlikely merger, which according to Lenkov, will tap archival footage of a younger Asner to counterpoint the older Asner as the same character, make any sense?
“There is no better way to form a bridge between our reboot and the original series,” said Lenkov.
Huh? Al Harrington, who played Ben Kokua in the earlier “Five-0,” is a living bridge to the past, who had a bit part in season one. But everyone else from the groundbreaking show — from Lord, Zulu (Kono), Danno (James MacArthur), and Chin Ho (Kam Fong) — are deceased. Shouldn't the chapter be closed when returning to the vaults to revive a character playing along a new generation of regulars?
Medical examiner Bergman (now played by Masi Oka) is a continuing character, once played by the late Al Eben. Wo Fat is enacted by Mark Dacascos.
Perhaps logic is not an issue in creating the weekly cop drama. But folks — particularly local fans — still cherish the memory of the original while struggling with acceptance of the reboot. There’s a lot of history and fond aloha out there, so some restraint and delicacy should be observed in robbing the past to fulfill present needs.
What do you think: Good idea? Bad idea?
As some bloggers are beginning to say, maybe another Island show, airing opposite “Five-0,” might be an option to place a homegrown production on a mantel where there’s pride in what viewers elsewhere are also watching. We care a lot; elsewhere, not so much.

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