‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the ‘aina

Santa was list-checking, gifts splendid and minah.

With Omicron still threatening, though COVID protocols declining;

He had concerns of Rudolph’s red nose still brightly shining.

For Gov. Ige and Mayor Blangiardi, a green light on waivers;

But for bars and restaurants: are the pushbacks life-savers?

Bruno Mars

To Bruno Mars, pretty please, come back, do a show;

You know how we love you and your Hooligans‘ glow.

A second season “go” signal, for the “Doogie Kamealoha” cast;

For “NCIS: Hawai‘i,” too, may one not be the last.

For Chris Lee, resident film guru, more savvy shared;

His knowledge and smarts go where no one else dared.

Destin Daniel Cretton

For Destin Daniel Cretton, “Shang-Chi” pride of Maui

A bid at the Oscars would make him a wowie.

For Dwayne “Rock” Johnson, who has more than he needs;

Maybe some fundraisers for a string of good deeds?

For the divine Bette Midler, a “Dolly!” for all seasons.

And now, Kennedy Center laurels, kudos for all the right reasons.

Marcus Mariota

For QB Marcus Mariota, a wish: “Maybe next year;”

More huddling, more passing…TDs we would cheer!

Fresh water, not tainted, for those on Red Hill,

And Navy brass, come on, too many are ill.

For singer Shari Lynn, a trove of Sondheim ditties?

Shari Lynn

For her furry dog Lui? Two pairs of warm mitties.

For Kika Matsumoto, new bookings, more cats;

For Audy Kimura, pups and kittens… minus spats.

A one-time day-off, for dandy Andy Bumatai

His daily online postings are as bright as the sky.

Frank DeLima

For Frank DeLima, more tours of schools statewide;

For decades he’s shared comedic inspiration with pride.

Another isle concert has been his big wish;

So sing, Martin Nievera, share your songs! Delish!

A “safe pass” to visit, for Loretta Ables Sayre;

She’s self-secluded in Mililani, because of pandemic scare.

Joseph Morales

For Joseph Morales, Marc delaCruz, Hawaii’s “Hamilton” stars;

Let your “shots” in the musical leave you stronger, without scars.

Something homemade and special, for busy Henry Kapono;

A gigantic tub of poke, fresh-catch and so ono.

Jerry Santos

For Jerry Santos, maile, the lei with sweet scent;

And one for Bryan Tolentino, the uke-strumming gent.

For Misty and Afatia, tweaking the Tihati  brand;

With visitors returning, they’re still best in the land.

For retired Tihati founders Puna Cha and Papa Jack:

A leisurely cruise would ease their pain in the back.

Robert Cazimero

For Robert Cazimero, a night club, where he can serenade and glow;

A chic Waikiki lounge to sing –three nights in a row?

For Roy Yamaguchi, Chai, Siu, the DK, MW team:

Filled fridges, full houses and creations that gleam.

A personal request to Alan Wong: please return to the scene?

We miss your culinary treats, you’ve always been keen.

For poet Fran Kakugawa, a new wrinkle of glory;.

Asa Ige

A regular letter-to-the-editor writer, her words tell a story.

For floral whiz Asa Ige, a field full of bright blooms;

To create arrangements astounding, befitting hotel rooms.

For Kevin Iwamoto, also known as  Kevin I:

More surges in ‘80s music, giving him a new global high.

For creator Johnson Enos, a delayed “Honu” launch would do;

His Disneyesque musical would have folks cheering “Woo!”

Keali’i Reichel

For Keali ‘i Reichel, Roz Catracchia, too;

The kickoff of Michael Jackowitz’s

Hi‘iaka dream musical come true!

For actor Jason Tam, more Broadway hits;

For Greg Zane, kudos, for his DHT blitz.

For composer Jay Larrin a “white” Mauna Kea year-long

Kalani Pe’a

So deejays can keep spinning his appropriate song.

For Kalani Pe’a, perhaps Grammy win No. 3?

He’s nominated again, so a hearty shout-out: Whee!

For Jake Shimabukuro, our prolific ukulele czar

A Grammy, too, will elevate his global star.

Raiatea Helm

A new path for Raiatea Helm, the songbird from Molokai;

With her new college degree, she’ll reach a new high.

For Carole Kai Onouye, a revamped Great Aloha Run next year

That will wind up at UH’s Ching Stadium, no doubt with a big cheer!

For Blue Note operators, a rousing big cheer

For hiring acts, staying open, welcoming patrons without fear.

Karen Keawehawaii

For Karen Keawehawai’i, used Christmas cards aplenty;

She recycles, makes tote bags, full of cheer … not scanty.

For KSSK’s Michael W. Perry, more music, less talk;

His political rants are making many folks balk.

For Ho’okena, The Makaha Sons, groups always supreme

Perhaps regular music festivals would be keen.

For Yvonne Elliman, simply, redemption, she’s had a few bad years;

She’s rebuilding her life, and her tunes still evoke tears.

Carissa Moore

For Carissa Moore, the first lady of surf;

May the waves never cease while you’re in that turf.

For Vanita Rae Smith, a frequent lunch mate;

Shall we continue the chatfests once we select a date?

For all of you first responders, in this time of duress;

A huge mahalo, and aloha you’re all truly da best.

To vaccine dodgers, a plea: please halt the decline;

Two shots. Plus booster. Just join the line.

A holiday toast, precious readers, all you Mr. and Ms.,

Mele Kalikimaka! Happy New Year! And that’s Christmas Show Biz …


Looks like the Grinch has shut down and canceled Diamond Head Theatre’s holiday hit, “Elf, the Musical,” last night (Dec. 22) and tonight (Dec. 23), which were to be the final two performances.

OK, it was the pandemic that shuttered the pair of shows, an abrupt and unfortunate circumstance which saddened and distressed director Greg Zane.

“Extremely upsetting,” he said in an online post. “Not how we imagined this joyful production would finish its run.  As some know, I invest my whole heart and soul into a production; that’s what I taught. That’s what I’ve learned from the artists that I admire and that have mentored me. If not, then why do it?”

The villain was the pandemic – though specifics on whether it was Delta variant or the newer Omicron threat that led management to put an early end to the run, in the name of safety.

The theater’s notice to ticket holders for either show – me included – disclosed that the cancellation was “due to notice of a positive COVID case here at DHT,” with no other specifics.

Greg Zane

As far as we know, state leaders like Gov. David Ige or Mayor Rick Blandiardi had not issued new measures to shut down the shows.

Most recent alerts forewarned the growing influx of Omicron cases, but the protocols alluded to social distancing, hand-washing, sanitizing and vaccination including booster shots. Caution and avoidance of “large” crowds had been issued, but not monitored or forced.

These abrupt cancellations are hitting events nationally; a cluster of Broadway musicals, including “Hamilton,” has had temporary closures, and even the legendary Radio City Music Hall Rockettes Christmas show has been shuttered due to COVID. Several NFL games have had to reschedule, since football players have contracted the virus.

With Christmas and New Year gatherings and celebrations imminent, folks should maintain awareness and take precautions to avoid the virus. …

Piano and popovers

Noly Paa

Elsewhere, things are looking up. Pianist Noly Paa has opened at Azure Restaurant, at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, where he serenades from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. today (Dec. 24) and tomorrow (Dec. 23) and again Dec. 29, 30 and 31. …

Not certain if Paa has been reinstated at the Sunday brunches at the Halekulani Hotel, which have been resumed without fanfare. But forget about going this weekend or next – it’s sold out. Understandably, it’s Waikiki’s best buffet (like the normal days, with self-served goodies to select). And home of those yummy signature popovers. …

And that’s Show Biz. …



Two generations of the Tihati ‘ohana share their rarely-discussed stories of love and faith on “Living Hope,” New Hope Hawaii’s new TV magazine series airing this holiday season.

The Tihati founders, Jack and Cha Thompson, open up their home and hearts, along with their successors, Afatia Thompson and Misty Thompson Tufono, in conversations with hosts John Tilton and Dawn O’Brien, in seven unprecedented screenings this weekend (see box), the second of a new series of programming.

“It’s about good news in challenging times,” said Tilton, new leader of New Hope and a former employee of Tihati Productions, about Tihati’s struggles amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down operations for more than 18 months until the company’s Polynesian shows reopened when visitors finally started to arrive in Hawaii.

Thus, it’s a rare glimpse of dad and mom and son and daughter, revealing how their Tihati Productions company – the state’s and world’s largest entertainment-producing organization for 52 years – is deeply rooted in religion and family values.

Jack and Cha Thompson, founders of Tihati Productions

Faith is the glue that bonds the Tihati tradition; commitment to ‘ohana is the framework of its success.

As Cha declares about the religious orientation, “Give to the Lord first and he will come through.”

As Jack remembers, “We have to thank someone or something,” about their good fortunes then and now.

Afatia Thompson and Misty Thompson Tufono, current president vice-president.

Their revelations suit the theme of New Hope’s series of “Living Hope,” with pastor Tilton and Dawn O’Brien co-hosting.

God and prayers have been part of the Tihati spirit for decades, when inspiration hit the Farrington High School sweethearts one night. They went shopping/searching for a church, and set anchor at a Pearl Harbor home of worship. Since then, the church is where there is a need, like hotel show spaces where performers conduct Bible studies and offer prayers before and following each performance.

As Jack “Tithai” puts it, “we give to the Lord first and he would come through,” a sentiment that has prevailed ever since the company was launched. Through his South Seas Christian Ministry, Tihati has provided support and kokua to independent Samoa for 34 years, arranging for natives to receive medical supplies, creating water tanks to families, and building or rebuilding churches to continue the work of God.


12:30 p.m. Dec. 24, KITV

6:30 p.m. Dec. 24, KHII

8:30 p.m. Dec. 25, KHON

10:30 p.m. Dec. 25, KITV

9:30 a.m. Dec. 26, CW

6:30 p.m. Dec. 26, KHII

10:30 p.m. Dec. 26, KHON

Son Afatia, now Tihati president, and his sister Misty, now vice president, continue the gift of caring and giving, having lived and learned the ways of Tihati as youngsters with ringside seats growing up in a show biz family. “Being onstage, growing up in hotels…we thought that was normal,” says Misty.

“God has helped us weather this storm (of the pandemic) and we remain faithful in his plan,” says Afatia.

Misty says Psalm 46:10 in the Bible – “Be still” – is her inspiration. “In the fear, we will worship.” she explains.

The show includes a few vintage photos of Jack and Cha, back in the day, and should have included an archival clip of a live Tihati performance to provide visual evidence of the pulse of the company’s livehood: hula, mele, otea from the Polynesian resources that give the Tihati brand a sound and moving foundation.

However, there’s live music, to conclude the TV chat, as Afa sings “I Will Worship” on the front lawn of his parents’ Portlock home, surrounded by ‘ohana singing, dancing (Cha, in a sit-down hula from a queen’s chair), or listening on the front porch. For the holiday season, and befitting the Tihati message: a family that plays together, stays together, and prays together …

And that’s Show Biz. …