Archive for June, 2015

Janet Jackson's 'Unbreakable' tour set for Nov. 12 at Blaisdell

June 15th, 2015


Janet Jackson will bring her “Unbreakable World Tour” to Hawaii for a concert at 8 p.m. Nov. 12 at  the Blaisdell Arena.

The announcement was made Monday as part of a 36-date tour, beginning Aug. 31 in Vancouver B.C. and winding up in Honolulu in the fall. Shows will span the obvious music hubs across the country, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, San Diego and San Francisco.

World dates will be announced later.

The concert, expected to be a sell-out, will be Jackson’s first since her  “All for You Tour” at Aloha Stadium, which resulted in an HBO special in 2002.

American Express cardholders will get first dibs to buy tickets, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. now through Friday this week, at  The site lists prices from $65 to $195. Regular sales  begin June 22.

Over the years, American Express has enabled card-members to secure premium seats in a diverse field of entertainment, from concerts to Broadway shows.

Rhythm Nation. Jackson’s production company, is partnering with Rhythm Nation on most of the tour dates, though other promoters such as Nederlander Concerts, jam Productions and Another Planet Entertainment are involved in select markets. In Hawaii, the producer will be Tommy Meharey and participation of Bamp.

Jackson has been an icon of pop and hip-hop music, thanks to her choreographic and dance skills.  She is a winner of six Grammys, two Emmys and a Golden Globe, among other awards.

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Hawaii's Ruthie Ann Miles earns a 'King and I' Tony trophy

June 8th, 2015

ruthie_ann_miles_tony_awardsRuthie Ann Miles of Honolulu won a Tony Award Sunday night for Featured Actress in a Musical, portraying Lady Thiang, the No. 1 wife of the king in Rodgers & Hammerstein's “The King and I.”

Miles, who graduated from Kaimuki High School, read her acceptance speech, stored  in her cell phone (was this a first?), in a somewhat nervous voice. But her glee and excitement were evident.

She praised her colleagues in the Lincoln Center Theatre acting company. “My highest admiration to our ensemble, which has the hardest job on stage — which is to tell the story without ever saying a word,” said Miles. “They never get to open their mouths. It is a pleasure to be a company of such amazing actors.”

Miles is only the second performer with Hawaii roots to ever snag a Tony acting prize in the Featured Actress in a Musical category. The first was Angie “Leilani” Jones, an African American singer-dancer, who won in 1985’s “Grind” musical.  Loretta Ables Sayre, of Filipino heritage like Miles, was the first Asian Tony nominee in the same category for her role as Bloody Mary in “South Pacific,” which ran  from 2008 to 2010 at Lincoln Center’s  Vivian Beaumont Theater, where “King” now is on an open run.

“The King and I” marks Miles’  Broadway debut, but she earned accolades for her last role, portraying Imelda Marcos in an off-Broadway disco musical, “Here Lies Love,” in the original mounting at the Public Theatre, and also in a revival a year later. That role earned her two off-Broadway awards: the Theatre World Award and the Lortel Award, for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical. Her other off-Broadway roles include “Avenue Q” at the New World Stages.

“The King and I” other awards include Best Revival of a Musical and Best Actress in a Musical (Kelli O’Hara).


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'Aloha' film-maker Crowe: 'I am the one to blame'

June 3rd, 2015


Filmmaker Cameron Crowe, who was at the center of the storm of controversy surrounding his Hawaii-filmed “Aloha,” has apologized for casting Emma Stone as one of his leads.

Accused of  “whitewashing,” Crowe — whose earlier film hits include “Jerry Maguire” and “Almost Famous” — offered an apology on his blog,

The most criticism, from viewers and bloggers alike, focused on the casting of Stone, whose character was supposed to be one-fourth Hawaiian and one-fourth Chinese, with haole heritage too. But clearly, she didn’t look like an Allison Ng, the name of her character, because of her classic blue-eyed-blonde looks.

2015, ALOHA“I have heard your words and your disappointment, and I offer you a heart-felt apology to all who felt this was an odd or misguided casting choice,” Crowe said on his blog after earlier supporting his film which he also said “felt like a misunderstood movie.”

With an A-list cast, including Brad Cooper, Rachel McAdams, Alec Baldwin and Bill Murray, the Sony release was a box office disaster in a weekend that featured homegrown Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson exploding and dominating the mall screens in “San Andreas,” a disaster film that was an audience favorite.

Crowe said that the Allison Ng character, proud to be a quarter Hawaiian with a half-Chinese father, was meant to reflect Hawaii’s racially mixed culture and popular. Alas, Stone didn’t look like a hapa-haole, though Crowe said “the character was based on a real-life, red-headed local,” who like Ng, was proud of her mixed blood heritage and compelled to explain her racially mixed at every opportunity.

The furor erupted when Guy Aoki,  a former Big Island resident who is the watchdog and voice of  the advocate group  Media Action Network for Asian-Americans (MANAA), alleged that "Aloha" was “whitewashing”  Hawaii’s rich and diverse culture and people, bemoaning the lack of Asian and Pacific faces in key roles (Dennis "Bumpy" Kanahele is the exception, playing himself) . This was the first of a tidal wave of similar responses, from critics and bloggers alike.

Crowe’s mea culpa also included a shout-out to the Hawaii residents and the film community. “We were extremely proud to present the island, the locals and the film community with many jobs for over four months,” he said.
“Emma Stone was chief among those who did tireless research, and if any part of her fine characterization has caused consternation and controversy, I am the one to blame.”


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