Just asking…

Is yours a remove-shoe, remove-slippers

home upon entry?

In other words, what’s your house rule – enter barefoot or with slipper or shoes?

This is largely a local issue; traditionally, islanders don’t wear any kind of feet covering when entering their homes. They also go barefoot when they visit friends.

Would you tell guests to your home to take off footwear at the doorsteps? Why or why not?


When Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton” reopens Sept. 14 at the Richards Rodgers Theatre on Broadway, local boy Marc delaCruz will be part of the ensemble, as he was prior to the show’s shutdown due to the pandemic.

The principals in the award-winning mega-hit again will be led by Miguel Cervantes, in the title role, with key roles featuring Krystal Joy Brown (Eliza Hamilton), Mandy Gonzalez (Angelica Schuyer), Tamar Greene (George Washington) Jin Ha (Aaron Burr), James Monroe Iglehart (Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson), Euan Morton (King George III), Fergie L. Philippe (Hercules/James Madison), Aubin Wise (Peggy Schulyer/Maria Reynolds) and Daniel Yearwood (John Laurens/Philip Hamilton).

Marc delaCruz

For the record, Hawaii’s delaCruz had been understudying the title role and did perform Hamilton in at least one Sunday matinee. Thus, he became the first Asian American actor to do the role on Broadway. No updated word on his status beyond the ensemble.

The show’s box office opens Aug. 2, and a Hamilton store reopens Aug. 12 across the street from the Richard Rodgers Theatre; another store will open in Los Angeles, too, so the show is poised to relaunch in a big way. …

Halekulani reopening Oct. 1, but…

Halekulani Sunday brunch

The good news: the Halekulani Hotel finally has set Oct. 1 as its reopening date, following the closure due to the pandemic. The public environs will boast a new look, the rooms refreshed with expected elegance becoming a first-rate establishment.

The not-so-good news: The House Without a Key will welcome diners in November, again with exciting transformation befitting its beachfront location with vistas of the sea and the mountains. What locals want to know is when the main dining rooms will resume business, especially the fabled Sunday brunch buffets – a key destination for locals, who will stroll through the lobby and exteriors, but not likely to book a room.

Granted, buffet protocols will change (food items served, rather than self-served) but I’m in as long as the popular popovers prevail.

So: I’ll anticipate an announcement of restaurant reopenings, with particular emphasis on the Orchids Sunday brunch. …

At last: NCIS’ ‘okina in place

CBS finally has added an ‘okina – a diacritical mark – in the promotional visuals for “NCIS: Hawai‘i.” Generally speaking, it’s not a big deal to be “right” but the show made a promise to do what is traditionally correct. As you may know, it’s largely an optional inclusion in print media.

NCIS logo, with ‘okina

That said, the show and its cast led by Vanessa Lachey, continues to film episodes around town, and with its Pearl Harbor orientation, some filming has been on base but numerous sightings have been reported from communities across Oahu. The clue, if you’re wondering, would be a collection of vans and trucks required for equipment as well as cast dressing rooms. Or this cluster of vehicles could perhaps be “Magnum P.I.,” the other CBS filmed in Hawaii, starring Jay Hernandez.

“NCIS: Hawai‘i” will premiere at 9 p.m. Sept. 20, with the mothership original “NCIS” starring Mark Harmon preceding the island version, enabling the newbie a powerful lead-in edge. …

And that’s “Show Biz.” …


First Lady Jill Biden apparently left Hawaii with an unwanted souvenir – an unidentified object in her left foot encountered during a brief walk on a beach.

Network media have been mentioning Biden had a visit to Walter Reed National Medical Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, to remove the foreign object, upon her return to the Capitol, according to the first lady’s press secretary Michael LaRosa, in a statement. President Biden was by her side.

Jill Biden

FLOTUS had two official meet-and-greet sessions while here, including one to promote vaccinations during this pandemic. …

KHON2  veteran Joe Moore did not anchor the Wednesday and Thursday editions of the 5:30 and 6 p.m. newscasts, as he rested from a badly sprained ankle  earlier this week.  He’s scheduled to return to the Friday evening lineup as usual.  Alas, the ankle injury also triggered some back pain. “Feel like a hundred years old at the moment,” he emailed Thursday.

Joe Moore

Moore and his Army buddy, Pat Sajak, will co-star in Neil Simon’s “The Sunshine Boys” comedy June 16 to 26 2022 at the Hawaii Theatre. In the comedy, they play senior citizens Willie Clark (Moore) and Al Lewis (Sajak). “I feel like I won’t have to act at all to play the old fart Willie Clark,” said Moore. “ I’ve become Willie Clark! ).”

The pain has impacted his daily routine, like “sleeping in the wrong position, turning awkwardly, sitting too long…and on and on and on.  :-(.” …

A rom-com film

Taiana Tully

Taiana Tully, a singer-actress-dancer-model from Honolulu, has a role in the Hallmark Channel’s “Love, for Real,” a rom-com airing at 6 p.m. Saturday. She plays the character Bree.

You may have seen her previously in “Magnum P.I.” and “Hawaii Five-0,” and on a Zippy’s commercial, too, a valuable credit indeed.

She stars with Chloe Bridges as Hayley, Scott Michael Foster as Luke, and Corbin Bleu as Marco, in a tale about a reality dating show complete with friction and melodrama before

a dramatic finish. The film is part of a wave of summertime love stories. …

Global reach growing

Kevin Iwamoto, who released a cache of digital tunes from one decade of his performing/recording career in Hawaii, continues to receive a wave of new international fans.

Kevin Iwamoto

His album, “The Best of Kevin I,” has logged streaming and sales that astound him. No, it’s not current stuff, but a mixture of his 1980s music and performances that have resonated anew with pandemic-era listeners. And he hasn’t performed since he moved to California and established a vigorous profile in the business community.

“I’m continually fascinated by the weekly top countries that streamed or bought my music worldwide according to Apple Music,” he said on Facebook. “In the beginning it was the U.S. hands down, in June/July each week has been a different country,” he said of his mounting global reach.

“Recently it’s been Peru, Norway, Thailand, India, Japan, South Korea, and the UK,” he said. “Thank you so much to the global listeners!”

A peculiar trait of his reborn “career” as a digital crooner: his fan base in Hawaii knows him – he visits home frequently enough — but hasn’t shown the kind of devotion expressed by an international audience. Wassup, Hawaii? …

And that’s “Show Biz.” …


I finally made it to the “Beyond Van Gogh” exhibition at the Hawaii Convention Center, and thought I’d share some reflections to add to the abundant responses on social media.

The Gogh for broke images, from palette to the walls

I’ll do it in a Q&A format:

Sunny-bright sunflowers…
  • Is it worth attending? It’s a top-tier vehicle, on a wide tour here and elsewhere, and it’s clearly akin to a museum coming to you. You might encounter this on a future Mainland trip, but since it’s here, why not?
More sunflowers — oversized and overwhelming.
  • Is it costly? Nothing is truly cheap anymore; yes, admission is pricey, but for a discount of sort, go weekdays; weekend entry fees are higher. Weekend prices: $45 adult, $40 seniors, students, and military; $23 children (costs rounded out).
The Gogh guy, in one of his guises.
  • What makes this better than, say, an exhibit at the Honolulu Museum of Art? For starters, this is an immersive hap, so you’re part of the visuals you’ll encounter. The art comes to life, so to speak, swirling and dancing across all walls of the main exhibition area; many familiar artwork are depicted, but you may have to look hither and yon to see the range; the exhibit is exquisite in darkness, heightening the color.
  • Is it accessible for the handicapped? Yes, wheelchairs are allowed; chairs are available for the asking, once you’re at the exhibit area; there are limited benches, otherwise; I brought my own stool, since I tire when standing a long time, but took an open seat when it was vacated.
His architectural sense still is imaginative and wondrous.
  • What’s the best point of the exhibit? It’s a personal choice; you’ll be amazed at the range of Van Gogh’s self-portraits, and witness his altering brush stroke styles; I loved his still life, like sunflowers; the art provided a sense of how he felt about life, his country, his people. Especially stunning: “The Starry Night” and “The Sunflowers.”
  • Downsides? Not really, but a stroll through informational morsels was longish, with a lot to read; the intention is to educate, but pictures are worth, as they say, a thousand words, and the gallery of the paintings hit the mark. Oh, there’s the expected gift shop, a pop-up store, with T-shirts ($35), mugs, posters, and bookmarks ($6); no postcards, however.  Museum shop prices prevail.
  • Extended dates: Through Sept. 26..
  • Final words: The common punchline: Gogh see it!